A little while ago, one of those annoyingly accurate Facebook groups popped up: ‘Everyone has that one friend that will always say yes to a night out’. I, unfortunately, am that friend. I don’t know why, but from a young age I have loved nothing more than the idea of getting dressed up and dancing the night away between intermissions of tequila. The unfortunate part of this scenario isn’t that I enjoy a good dance with my friends. It’s that I can’t drink for shit.
I tell a lie. I can drink. I can drink quite a lot for someone my size. What I mean is, alcohol doesn’t always agree with me, with my personality. I don’t generally settle down with a glass of wine in the evening. I’d choose a cup of tea and chocolate hobnob every time. What does this tell me? I don’t drink for myself. Therefore, I must drink for the benefit of others. In some ways this makes me a sociable drinker, which is fine. In other ways, my drinking habits borderline the ‘binge’ variety, which is not fine. I would blame University, but I was excited about hitting the clubs with my friends from my very first school disco. So I can’t.
My problem is that I never know when I’ve had enough. I want to make sure I’m having the best night ever, every single time. Which is plain ridiculous. I have recently been informed of the terrible contraction of FOMO disease – Fear Of Missing Out. I’ve been told it’s quite common.. Rather than FOMO though, I think I have something far more traditional – the need to have a few hours off from my own thoughts. Which is all well and good if you have a good night, maintain your dignity, and can remember it all in the morning.
Memory, that’s a good place to start. What’s wrong with being a party animal? For starters, it is not ok to not remember something you’ve done. It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t really you doing it. Rather, it means that your subconscious had a chance to take over. As Freud tried to tell us, the subconscious is repressed for a reason. The subconscious is dangerous, anti-social, animalistic and guilt-free. Above all, your subconscious can trick you into feeling things that you actually don’t. Which is not only embarrassing, it’s unfair. It can be fun to unleash it in small doses, but not to the extent that it takes control.
There’s nothing worse than waking up phoneless, without a clue how you got home, if you got home, with entrance stamps all over your face and ketchup all down your favourite dress. The list continues to grow as you gradually make it from your bed to the stairs: your camera has been trodden on, you’re only wearing one earring, you left your jacket in the cloakroom, you’ve slept through your alarm and missed work/your lecture, you find receipts for £50 bar tabs that you don’t remember, you’ve left a voicemail to your housemate telling them that you love them (you don’t), the kitchen is a state, there are people asleep in the living room and you have no idea who they are, you’ve got the shakes and you changed your Facebook status at 4:48am to ‘I lobe my girls more than life. FML. lol’. Some idiot has commented that you’re a ‘twat’ and informed you that you ‘vommed in the taxi home’ so now the whole world knows what a disgrace you are.
Do you know what the worst part is? This night, this catastrophe of a night is so damn funny. For some unexplainable reason, once you’ve cleared up the mess, solved all of the relevant mysteries and relocated your phone, you’ve laughed so much about the night before that you can’t wait to do it all over again! It is for this exact reason that The Hangover is such a brilliant film. It captures the ridiculousness of society and us party animals in all our glory. You cringe all the way through the film and by the time it’s over all you want to do is go out. Madness.
In all seriousness though, the average party animal seems to possess the kind of quality that comes with the need to please people, entertain people, make people laugh. So here’s some advice from one party animal to another: Lose the whole ‘animal’ part. Go out, have fun, do silly things, but do not lose control or sight of who you are when you’re sober. And most importantly, go out because you want to, not because everyone else wants you to. Know your limits and be responsible, otherwise one day it will all stop being so funny, and you’ll ruin something far more important.