Since I am officially over 40 by a few years, I feel qualified to share a few things that I have learned in the last while. I am probably the most immature 40+ person you will ever meet in your life, but there are a few standards that I feel are universal to the happiness of my generation when it comes to going out for a night of debauchery. And don’t fret, this is definitely not the type of list that tells you that you can’t write cheques using pens with purple ink (which I do) or wear a mini skirt or glitter make up after 40.
- Dress for comfort. Everyone’s version of comfy is different, but this definitely doesn’t mean that you can go out in public wearing pajama pants. Comfy, but still put together. My outfit of choice is a dress (because I don’t have to match anything to it), cardigan (in case I get cold like the 75 year old woman I often feel like), good support bra to lift everything back to where it should be, a dress and pole/yoga shorts underneath (I’m not a lady and sometimes I forget to not bend over, etc… – plus I like my bum to be warm when I sit down) and shoes that you can dance the night away in. If you put on a super cute pair of shoes and they pinch just a little at the beginning of the night, you are going to want to cut your feet off by 2 a.m. I am now officially past the point in my life where I will wear uncomfortable clothing and I wish I had learned this 20 years earlier. I will also fight a bitch who tells me that leggings aren’t pants. I am actually intrigued by cutting out even one more step and moving straight to bants. Little concerned with the washing/sizing though since they’re made of leather and you buy them according to your shoe size. Pretty sure that although Gwen Stefani and I both wear an 8.5 shoe, we probably don’t fit into the same size of pants!
- Good Service. In your 40s, you have developed a majestically high tolerance to alcohol due to twenty plus years of drinking. Waiting 2 hours between drinks is not acceptable. Also, it is not acceptable to have to order 3 at once just to cut down on your wait time (it is illegal to serve one person over 3 ounces at a time in Canada, FYI so this isn’t even possible if you drink doubles). On the flip side, if you give someone in their 40s good service, you will most likely be tipped extremely well! We have finally reached that point in our life where we actually have some disposable income and we are willing to pay well to ensure that the drinks keep flowing.
- No free pouring unless it’s in my favour.
- Mini bottles. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere that you don’t get a full on cavity search at the door,you may want to have a back up plan should you be somewhere that you have to flash someone to get served. I don’t like to condone bringing your own drinks into the bar (and should you be caught, you will be kicked out), but I have not been above going out to the parking lot to share a mickey that was purchased from the neighbouring cold beer and wine (drinking in a parking lot can also get you arrested, so you didn’t get that advice from me).
- Journey. You know the saying: When you’re a few drinks in and Journey comes on, we’re all just a small town girl, living in a lonely world. Or whatever your jam is. Good music makes your night. If you play house or techno, I will officially hate you and everything that you represent.
- I need to be able to hear! This one is tough. How can you not like loud music? I LOVE loud music, but if your speakers are shitty then it is officially the equivalent of nails on a chalk board to me. Maybe me and my circle of friends just have voices that are the same pitch as a collie, but I can’t hear a fucking thing when my friends are talking and crappy music is wailing away in the background. We need to hear some high quality bass! If you have good speakers blasting out some good, loud, floor shaking music – I will love you until the end of time.
- Stress Free Ride Home. Being 40 means you can no longer ‘wing it’ when it comes to finding a way home. If you’ve done things right, you are no longer obligation free. Whether its dogs, kids or attending to your own personal affairs (cleaning house, prepping food for the week, catching up on work, etc…), the days of sleeping in until 2 p.m. are generally long gone. If we have to rely on the cab system in our town (we do not have Uber), we know that we will most likely have to call a friend in the middle of the night to pick us up or wait up to two hours, so generally one of us will be the designated driver. Which is usually not fun but super nice of whoever’s turn it is that night. They in turn appreciate you holding your vomit in until you get home.
- 0 Drama (bar brawl optional though since it sounds like hella fun)
- FOOD! If I’m drinking, I know I will want to eat. If I’m smart, I will usually order myself a nice healthy appy plate near the beginning of the night while my willpower is still good. If I wait until I’m a few drinks in, it’s loaded nachos and hot wings. We are super lucky where we live that both bars in town have amazing food. If you’re not so lucky, pack yourself some crackers or something in your purse. You’ll thank me later.
- Friends who look after each other. People who know your quirks and won’t judge because you like to dance the Carlton after you’ve had a few drinks are hard to find, but once you do, it’s important to never let them go. It is also important to know that your friends will be there to look after you and vice versa. #1 Rule: Know where your friends are at all times! It also isn’t unheard of for one of us to get a call 2 hours into our evening and have to go home due to sick kids or some other calamity that requires us and only us. It’s also okay to just want to go home because you’ve had a shit week and you’re just not feeling it after all, because despite the best laid plans, sometimes you just can’t get in the zone.
In the end, a small get together with friends at one of our houses will always be my go to. Everything is just the way I want it. Playlist is right up my alley, drinks are strong and the conversation is in a language I understand. Not once will you hear, “Don’t worry about me baby… I’m just gettin’ some measurements, cuz I’m about to lay some pipe!” from someone you used to babysit.