The Midult’s guide to...
Are you going out? oh, that’s nice then. A cosy evening. Bit of a chat. Maybe a wine or two. Dinner. Could be that you put on a swoosh of bronzer, an Ancient greek Sand al rather than a Havai an a,dangly earrings or present able jeans. you’ll brush your hair, presumably, and maybe show it some dry shampoo. And scent always makes us feel more suitable for public consumption. But not too much. We don’t want to be one of those maturing ladies whose arrival is heralded by a noxious cloud of something powerful.
yes, you’re a tad weary. But it’s just a bit of ‘out’. nothing too intense. And it’s important to do the out thing once or twice a week otherwise what is t here? Loneliness, which is accret ive like moss, and social anxiety, which is cumulative, like debt. So out it will be and, all things being equal, you’ll still be in bed by 11.
But what about ‘out-out’? oh yes, be not mistaken, out-out is worlds away from the domestic out. out-out is a whole different kettle of panic. it’s an occasion. And it takes planning. Let’s work backwards: out-out means a hangover. And, these days, hangovers last two days; the first is physically appalling and the second is emotionally catastrophic. And they area bit shameful. Why do we never learn? Are we alcoholics? Firstly, we are idiots, and secondly, maybe a bit ( but we don’t want to talk about it).
out-out means late to bed. Perhaps, unthinkably, like ,1 am. or, now and again ,2.30 am. new year’ s eve late. Best friend’s wedding late. Late. But no lie-in because out-out could happen on a thursday night so there’s work. or maybe there’s a small and selfish child who needs feeding and just doesn’t get it. And even without a job or a critter, there’ s the alcohol-infected, heart-pound yearly start.
this kind of night is heralded by prep. not quite pre-first-time-sex wax- in ga nd pedicure groundwork, but perhaps a bit of a fake tan, possibly a blowdry, certainly a wardrobe crisis( oh god, i’ve nothing to wear and i’ve run out of hangers, again) and often a shop. We should know by now that, just as we rarely find a lover when we’re looking for one, we never find a dress on the day of the party. Just horrors.
And what about evening make-up that goes on properly, rather than just hovering on our skin, making us look like painted skulls? the more tired we are, the less make-up we should slap on because knackered faces reject it. they signal their‘ Leave me the hell alone’ attitude with extreme ugliness. So we wipe it all off and start again, but by this point we have pink-eye and it’s time to go, but we have lost the will to leave and we haven’t even sweatily wrestled with the dress zip yet. that part’ s always super-fun, isn’t it?
then there’s how to be. Fizzy or still? up or mellow? How to gauge the mood of the out-out scenario? How to be fun, quicksilver, the gift that keep son giving, but not desperate? How to relax while on display? How to be yourself when, lately, you feel that you and you have only recently been introduced?
out-out creeps upon us. these things are usually planned weeks or months in advance. And yet they blindside you. Par t icula rly if your default setting is dread and, as the commitment looms, the dread grow sand feeds upon itself.
So, if you’re going out, t hen have a lovely time. Come back armed with stories, slightly nudged perspectives and that warm friendship feeling that is so nutritious. if you are going outout, then best of luck. And remember– as your toes go numb in t hose heels before you’ve even left the house–to find the treasure in the evening. it may look scary, but somewhere in the scenario there’s a glittering moment with your name on it. themidult.com
Just as we rarely find a lover when we’re looking for one, we never find a dress on the day of the party. Just horrors