I have never been that person, I have always been THAT person. You know there are two camps right? The ones who know when to quietly slip away into the night and those, well those who suggest an all-night karaoke bar after party when it’s already 1.30am. I’ve always been the latter, but often yearned to be the former. You see it’s all fun and games when you’re in the moment, but then when you’re looking down the barrel of the reality of spending the day with two young children after a night of maybe 4 hours sleep and too much Bon Jovi, I’m left wishing I was more Saffy than Patsy.
No matter how hard I try though, I can just never manage it – leaving a party before the end, abandoning a night out when you’ve ‘had your fun’ and recognising it’s time to call it even though others are in full swing, it’s just never been a life skill I’ve manage to master. Call it FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) or plain old immaturity, all I know is that having now passed the 40 milestone, perhaps it’s time I tried to crack it?
Consider the positives – you still get to go to the party, you still get to dab along with the best of them (frighteningly a dance term I recently learnt from my almost six year old daughter, for the uninitiated it’s a move a bit like a sneeze and a stroke happening all at once), you can drink Prosecco, even do the odd shot of tequila, but when the witching hour begins, you look around the room and make a conscious decision… it’s time to go. Get in that Uber and get outta there – you see, later the night becomes, greater the chance for an increased propensity to channel your inner Beyonce and start having “honest” conversations with everyone that leave you wanting to peel off your own skin when you’re experiencing the flashbacks next morning. Ouch.
On the other hand though, few have ever looked back over the years and remembered fondly those moments when they left a party early and were tucked up in bed feeling virtuous while the rest of their squad where podium dancing somewhere slightly inappropriate. Fact.
There are moments in my life, when faced with a decision such as this, that I ponder – “what would Audrey do?” – she of classic style and grace, the epitome of the fun yet sophisticated woman, but then a little voice inside my head says – “BUT, what would Kate do?” (that’s Moss not Middleton) and before I know it… well, let’s just say I’m party-hearty.
So I ask myself, now I’m 41 and apparently a grown-up, is knowing when to leave a party a critical life skill I need to master, I need to adopt? Well, on the one hand, it probably is, but then on the other… You see since hitting my 40s I’ve come to realise that life is indeed short and if I’m lucky enough to live to the grand old age of 90-something, wouldn’t I rather look back and recall the times spent putting the world to rights in Bar Italia until the early hours or extending that karaoke booth by another two hours, dancing with your best girlfriends in Marbs until the sun comes up, because what’s the alternative? – yes, recalling how you left and went home to bed. Snooze.
I think maybe there’s a balance to be struck, but for now, if you see me sensibly sneaking towards the door, remind me of the wise words of Benjamin Franklin who once said “…there will be sleeping enough in the grave…”.