Monday, 18 September 2017

20. Leaving Parties

If you’re single, congratulations, you can leave parties whenever you damn well please. You can just get up and say, “I’m off!” 

There’s no whispered consultation to be had, no negotiations, no, “OK, we’ll just stay for one more then”. 

When you go to a party with a partner it’s a whole different ball game. You arrived together and common practice suggests that you must also leave together.

But here’s the thing - deep down, everyone knows that people in relationships hate and revile each other when they are drunk. It’s like watching your favourite person morph into an embarrassing, unsympathetic, gyrating lout before your eyes, or perhaps a weeping psychopath with unresolved childhood issues.

Unless you have both mastered that rare art of getting drunk at exactly the same rate, chances are, that on any given occasion involving alcohol, one of you will get to a point where you think, “He/she is definitely drunker than me. I have no desire to catch up. I want to leave within the next half hour.” 

So, you make your way over to said drunken partner and try to subtly communicate your desire to leave. This bit has to be subtle because you don’t want everyone to know that you’re the bore of the relationship (which you obviously are, look at the evidence).

But your charming partner probably doesn't want to leave. They’re having the time of their life, and why shouldn’t they? 

Inevitably, you spend the next two hours swaying back and forth, sipping a drink that starts to taste like tar and which crawls down your throat with all the ease of treacle, holding your eye-lids open and wondering if this relationship is the worse mistake you’ve ever made as you watch hubby/wifey slut-drop, cry, fight with people harder than them, flirt with the DJ etc. 

You may well have a row in the uber home (in fact I'd say it's quite likely), a row which only you will remember and therefore provides no cathartic release whatsoever. As soon as you get into bed you find yourself wide awake, bullied to the edge of the mattress by the deadweight limbs of your beloved, planning the cutting speech you will deliver in the morning which usually begins with, “We can’t go on like this.” 

But, I’m here to tell you - there is another way. (Besides a ruthless dumping, which is always an option.) 

"What is this other way!?" you cry.

Well, I'll tell you. It’s called - the separate exit.

If I get tired or bored at a party, I turn to my party companion and I say, “See you later babe, have a great night, don't ring the doorbell when you get in.” (I actually never say babe, I just wish I did. But it gets to a point where it's too late to start that kind of thing.) 

I’m being deadly serious when I say that some of the happiest moments of my life have been those times when I have arrived home alone and have sunk into a double bed that’s all for me. Utter, utter bliss.

The drunken one might turn up and start setting fire to things in the kitchen at four in the morning, but place an extra comfy sofa in a strategic position and they should remain outside of the bedroom.

Also, earplugs. 

The result of my master plan for health and happiness? I wake up refreshed and discover a quiet, hungover man on the sofa who I genuinely wish well in life, and we carry on our lives in harmony.

Seriously, this is the best relationship advice I’ve got. Don't waste it.

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