Monday, May 11, 2009

It's called 'getting older'

A very old friend pitched up on the doorstep at F-C Mansions yesterday.

I've known him for almost 25 years, since university. Much to my chagrin he looks just like Clive Owen and is wearing just as well.

However he goes from one woman to the next, never being able to settle down. There hwave been countless partners. Some we got to really like, others who lasted mere weeks. Once there was an almost marriage to an American girl, but to marry just for a visa was the wrong thing to to. Along the way he's fathered a child - my godson - whom he sees often enough but not that often. Where will it all end.

He always seems to me to be a bit adrift. It's not like he has trouble finding anyone - women are falling over themselves to date him. We set him up with a single friend once but hte moment they met I knew it was never going to happen. The last time I saw around Christmas a leggy blonde called Lulu answered the door. Of course she's history now. He just can't commit. Perhaps it's to do with being adopted. Abandonment issues.

Anyhoo, my point is, he'd just been to a party (and looked like it). Now, I don't know about you, but aside from weddings, birthdays, etc., I don't remember the last time I went to a party that someone had thrown simply for the hell of it.

Once upon a time, that's what every weekend consisted of, particularly in those post student new to London days. There were parties constantly. We travelled miles to get there, often got lost, slept on floors or wherever, sometimes even al fresco, usually woke up with horrific hangovers after x cans of Red Stripe and always took my own music and insisted on putting it on. (I'm blushing at the thought of this it's so rude).

So at 43 I can't think of anything worse. I like my own bed too much and I get taxis everywhere. If you think I'm getting the night bus from Southgate you're very much mistaken. I just won't go. A friend who's a bit of an overgrown student despite having two children, recently suggested that for her birthday, she might hire a cottage, get loads of people down and then we could have a party and people could sleep 'wherever'. Mrs F-C and I were immediately appalled. Can you think of anything you'd rather not do than sleep on a floor after a party? With people you didn't know? The idea was instantly dismissed as absurd.

I know what I like. And while it was fun while it lasted, there comes a time where sedate dinners and quiet conversation are far, far more appealing than late-night rave-ups. I'm not a huge Sunday lunch fan either, as it takes up so much of the day. Time is precious enough as it is. And as for barbecues - never invite me.

Do you feel the same way? Or is it just me?


fourstar said...

My best clubbing/partying days are behind me, and that's for the best.

I do recall when I was in my twenties and pretty much out every weekend, anyone still doing it who looked 'a bit older' was definitely "look at them who do they think they are at their age granddad" fodder.

That said, the cottage idea is great - we now go to cottages in the countryside with a few choice mates for a weekend's boozing and Guitar Hero/SingStar silliness, if we can all ship the kids to the grandparents at the same time. But you are right - we make sure we all have our own rooms :)

Dan W said...

With you on the BBQs. I never seem to enjoy the idea or the reality of them as much as everyone else. Sure it sounds good. Sun, beer, nice food... But in reality you stand in a windy patio, wait for a lame burger on crap bread with a fake cheese slice. No one ever actually wants more than two burgers, then you invariably spill tomato ketchup down your shirt. Then you go home, bloated, wind-battered, sauce covered and strangely unsatisfied. But you've got to go, because, everyone loves BBQs right?

Ishouldbeworking said...

I had a cluster of 40th parties a while back that were spread across the country, and I gamely went along to three or four of them with the strict proviso that I would stay in a hotel nearby ("but you can have the box room!"). I hated the experience so much (four hours drunken sleep in an uncomfortable strange bed, long journey home the next day with a hangover) that I have said no to all such subsequent invitations. It's my own bed or nothing. And preferably no later than 1.30.

As for BBQs...shudder.

fourstar said...

"...lame burger on crap bread with a fake cheese slice..."

Sounds like you're not going to the right BBQs :)

Cocktails said...

I actually had an appalling night out with 'young people' on Friday which was such a novelty I might have to blog about it.

BBQs are ok. Men get to bond over flames. Women get to discuss their boring children outside instead of in. Everyone gets to make constant exclamations about the weather.

Clair said...

Barbequeues? My chum calls them 'eating burnt sausages by a dustbin'. Which is true, though not at my house, of course.

I spurned two social events on Saturday as I just wasn't up for it. But when you're still single at our age, you generally feel you've still got to be 'out there', and it's starting to grate with me rather a lot.

Dan W said...

Eating burnt sausages by a bin. That is it entirely.

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

Yeah, I too went through that post-student era of regular parties (1995 to 2000, approx.). Living in a shared house, we had one every six weeks on average. The cosmopolitan melting pot that was our kitchen (spacious but with a moppable floor, so the idea venue) spawned three marriages (one has now split, though) and countless ill-advised drunken hook-ups (but none involving me!), and left a residue of half-drunk bottles of weird liqueurs that mostly got poured down the drain when we all moved out in 2004.

Nowadays though, any gathering involving more than about 6 people is too many, frankly. I still know all the dance steps to "Saturday Night" by Whigfield, though...

Five-Centres said...

Well Kitten, I shall look forward to seeing you recreate that tomorrow.

LF Barfe said...

With gas bills going up, up, up, I've started using our barbecue as much as possible, seeing as there's a sodding great canister of propane in the shed, paid for two whole summers ago and barely a quarter emptied. It's very easy to barbecue food badly. It's either overdone or underdone. With chicken, a few minutes on full blast in the microwave ensures that nobody will get the threepenny bits, leaving the barbecue to do its stuff on the outside. Burgers - straight from frozen. If you make your own, freeze them first. That solidity on initial impact is all you need to make sure they stay intact through cooking. Sausages - eternal vigilance. If you have a gas barbecue, have one burner on low for sausages and one on high for everything else. I suspect that Fourstar can add some tricks to the list.

fourstar said...

Well, my tricks would be to avoid chicken legs, burgers and sausages for a start :)

Minced lamb, rosemary and garlic, mix together, roll into balls and thread balls onto skewers. Grill, remove skewer whilst placing in long roll with tzatziki on top.

Halloumi and green pepper kebabs, cook until the peppers just blacken (but the cheese is not melting)

If you do want sausages, use the thin chipolata ones which cook quicker and won't be raw in the middle.

And always do a potato salad :)