diamond geezer

 Saturday, December 30, 2006

2006 was the year I stayed in.

Not completely in, obviously. I went to work, as usual (I've not yet graduated to the dubious comforts of "working from home"). I went to the supermarket, as usual (I prefer to pick my own apples rather than allow some spotty home delivery oik to pick them for me). I went out and about and explored lots of different bits of London, as usual (because this would be a mighty tedious blog if I didn't). I even went on holiday, twice, which is absolutely unheard of. But, on the whole, especially of an evening, I stayed in.

Being the sort of person who counts things, I can tell you precisely how much of a stay-at-home I've become. Let's consider 'evenings out', in company. You know the sort of thing. Trips to the pub, visits to the cinema, a nice meal, a party perhaps, or just popping round to a friend's house for a cup of tea and a DVD. Overall, during the bits of 2006 when I wasn't on holiday or visiting my family, I've had precisely seven evenings out. Out of a possible three hundred and something. And, out of a possible 45 Saturday nights out, I've been out just the once. I really didn't think the total was quite that low until I counted. Grim, isn't it?

It wasn't always so. Four years ago my life was a social whirl. I was out almost every other night, here, there, everywhere, keeping busy, doing stuff. A pub here, a cinema there, a meal to follow, another pub later on, and maybe a club, oh hell why not? I wouldn't call 2002 typical (it was my first full year living in London) but it proved that I'm no anti-social stay-at-home when I choose to be. In 2002 I managed a magnificent total of 150 nights out. And this year it's been seven. Spot the difference.

The problem, if indeed it is a problem, is that I genuinely don't mind staying in of an evening. It's warmer, cheaper, less smoky and (perhaps most importantly) nearer. I don't miss going out, so I've stopped bothering. Sorry, but that's how it is. And a very special sorry to some of my regular blog readers who've suggested meeting up at some point in 2006 and I've said "er, no thanks". By my calculations I've turned down going out with at least 20 of you over the course of the last year. A drink in a pub, a blogmeet, a coffee, a social networking event, a barbecue, a dodgy club south of the river - I just wasn't feeling up to going out, sorry.

It may be another Saturday night tonight, but I'm staying in again. I've picked up a nasty cold over Christmas, a right sniffly one, and I'd hate to inflict it on anyone else. Honest. And then there's New Year's Eve tomorrow, the most over-excessive ultra-important social night of the year. You'll no doubt be spending the evening with other people, doing stuff, because it's expected. Whereas I might go out somewhere, but probably not to any event where people actually talk to one another. Or I might stay in. Again.

But don't worry, because I don't mind being an after-dark hermit, really I don't. When I feel like going out I go out, and the rest of the time staying in is quite good enough. Please don't invite me out merely out of pity. Please don't message me with words of comfort and advice, because I really don't need them. And please don't be surprised if you suggest meeting up in the future and I turn you down. It's nothing personal, honest. And you never know, I might just be up for it one day. In fact, I've got two drunken nights out (with three of my blogroll) planned just next week. 2007, hopefully, is not going to be the year I stay in. We'll see.

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