First published in The Portsmouth News, 24th June 2014
Every so often, one of my mummy-mates breaks free and has a night out. And I don’t mean at bingo or one of their other mummy-mate’s houses. I mean they break free until the early hours; they go Out Out.
The latest brave soul to do so was Leanne. Not only did Leanne go to the mysterious land of Out Out, she reported back on her findings too.
By the time you reach your late 30s, the average night out is a meal with friends, or perhaps the odd leaving-do at Gunwharf. We sit around and like to think that we partake of witty and intelligent conversations. We discuss our children’s schooling, we talk about work and our aspirations for the future; it’s the standard chat of mums and dads the land over. But we do not go Out Out.
Out Out involves dancing. Out Out is the land where you have to stand up because there are no seats. Out Out is inhabited by lithe whippersnappers, all misbehaving in precisely the same way you did a decade previously, only with less of a hangover the next morning and the energy to do it all again. The land of Out Out leaves those of us in our late 30s needing a fortnight off work to recover and a glass of water with two paracetamol before bedtime.
Leanne paid close attention to the youngsters whilst she was Out Out. It transpires that the yoof of today dance in a robotic fashion, with much jerky limb movement and a lot of elbow. Worse yet, they seem to be burglarising the sock drawers of pre-school siblings the town over, for on the end of their legs they are sporting frilled ankle socks. Worn underneath jelly shoe clodhoppers no less.
The general mode of dress seems nonsensical and a small part of me did wish that Leanne were hallucinating when she reported back that girls are wearing what appears to be cycling proficiency test attire. The trendsetters are cladding themselves in high-visibility garments in the manner of roadworkers and those of us who made the unfortunate impulse buy of a Fat Willy’s Surf Shack t-shirt whilst on holiday in Cornwall in the late 1980s.
Team all of this with the fact that every male face that I’ve seen this month, past bum-fluff age, is muffled with a great wiry beast of a beard, and I think I’m better off staying In In.