Of all the reasons to be single, this is, I think, my favourite one of all. And not for the reasons you’re thinking. No, no; I am not enamoured of the casual-sex-with-a-stranger finale to the Anything Could Happen Tonight Night. Too predictable, too blasé, too twenty first century cliché. I am an adventurer, a free spirit riding a sparking zephyr of chance.
So what is an Anything Could Happen Tonight Night? You know when you’ve got no plans and you’re a bit bored and you’ve only got £60 to last you the rest of the month? Well, I’d suggest that instead on sitting indoors with the heating off eating beans out of a tin, you use between £30 and £50 of that £60 to make the present more pleasant. Go out. Have experiences. Life is short.
I’m going to admit to you now that most of my Anything Could Happen Tonight Nights involve large amounts of indulgence in all or some of the following: food, alcohol, classified substances, good humour/aggressive disdain. They often start with a kind of writhing anticipation which (I’ll warn you now), bubbles either into wild and debauched partying, or peaks around the four-hour mark so that you end up asleep on a crate while your mates dance around you, or tucked up in bed with a hot milk and a good novel. However, they are always preferable to the alternative, Feeling Sorry for Yourself Tonight Nights, which you know, are just no good for our precious souls.
Below I outline some suggested ingredients for the Anything Could Happen Tonight Night, should you wish to recreate your own:
You need enough mates (I’d say three to twenty is about the ball park) who are likely to respond in the positive to the following text message:
Hey darl, I’m around this eve if you’ve got any suggestions for fun time? Love.xxx
With any luck you will garner a variety of responses, at least two of which will tickle your fancy. My advice: hold off on a decision for as long as possible. You need to feel your way…go with the flow etc. And after work on a Friday night you might not actually feel like cocktails in an underground bar, or a barbecue at your sister’s ex-girlfriends sister’s house. Then again: you might.
I also like to wait to be persuaded. If you’ve been as careful about selecting your friends as I advised in Part 1 – when they want to see you – they’ll want to see you, and will be demonstrative about this fact. I advise always attending the event to which you’ve been most enthusiastically invited. Even if it’s kind of not really your thing. There’s no point in tagging along to an event you’ve been invited to as an after-thought: you are, after all, the centre of your own Universe.
Of course – always remember – respond in kind to similar messages you receive. Friendship works both ways (ignore the MUTUAL part at your peril).
An Open Mind
“There’s this swingers thing that my Mum used to go to – do you want to come?” Is not a sentence I’d be likely to respond to positively (to be honest it’s not a request I’d be likely to hear, but my cab driver this morning told me he used to be a regular at swingers clubs and I’ve been thinking about them all day). Nonetheless, as I point out above it’s good to have options. It’s also good to seriously consider them all, as you would items on a menu – before going with an old fave.
The other important thing about an open mind is that you have to keep it open. Don’t decide on the course of the evening’s events before they’ve happened. Say yes to suggestions made by others. This will mean that you might end up partying with the keyboard player from Savage Garden at Ronnie Scott’s – which means you have to say yes when that weird group of Scandinavian grandads suggest you finish their sweet and sour crab in that restaurant in China town. Then again, you might just go for an Indian, get a cab home and paint your nails scarlet. As I said – open mind. Say yes. Go with flow.
An Instinct for Danger
There is no point going with the flow if it’s going to end up with a dog walker discovering your dismembered corpse in a ravine on an early morning walk. So – you know – if you have feeling that the girl with a mullet and crazy eyes that asks to sit with you while your mate is at the bar is a bit unhinged, she probably is. Just say no. Fear of appearing rude is the easiest way to get yourself into trouble.
Shoes that are both sensible and sexy
I’m not suggesting you over think your wardrobe. Jeans and a t-shirt with a faded turmeric stain on the front are perfectly acceptable attire for an ACHTN. The thing is though – shoes. They kind of say all that needs to be said about a person’s state of mind and preparedness for fun. My advice: if you can’t run in them, or walk without limping probably best to leave them at home. Then again, grey plimsolls that conjure a memory of childhood holidays with your Nan at Cleethorpes are also best avoided.
So that’s it. It isn’t all about wild debauched partying, it’s just about opening yourself up to possibility that this night, tonight, every night has something to offer. But as I said – and I don’t know why – they tend to turn out better on a Friday.