Tweeting Away

A Single Girl’s Guide to Friday Night

(A story in an as of yet undetermined number of parts)

A note - I thought I'd start writing again, and came up with this. My attention span was never long enough to allow me to finish a story, but seeing as I'm in my 20's and more mature now, I thought I'd give it another try. To be safe, I'm doing it in parts, so I don't lose interest quickly. I have ADHD like that. Hehe.

Friday, 8:00 PM

Saturday nights are for friends. Sunday mornings are for curing hangovers from Saturday nights with friends. It’s not difficult to fill up a weekend itinerary if you’re a twenty-something living in the city. There’s so much to do, so much to see, so many other twenty-somethings to hang out with. But what I could never figure out, is what to do on a Friday night. Correction – make that what to do when you’re single on a Friday night.

It’s the end of another workweek, and I arrive home from the office, home being a tiny studio apartment I rent from an old lady who lives next door to me. We live in a modest, moderately sized building, a mere four floors amidst towering skyscrapers at the heart of the city. A cozy, homely brick building amidst a sea of impersonal, often pretentious, level upon level of metal and glass. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world. Well, except maybe back in my family’s house that’s unfortunately an inconvenient, traffic-laden two hours away from my workplace. Or maybe in a remote island, in a hut on a white sand beach, where it’s summer forever and everyday is a Saturday. Or maybe in Paris, in a tiny room in the attic of a 19th century bookstore right beside the coffee shop where I work as a waitress. Okay, so I could think of plenty other places where I’d rather live, but whatever. This tiny apartment is home, and has been for a year now, ever since I started working.

I plop my things on the kitchen table and sit on the beanbag in front of the television (the former being a prized antique from my college dorm era, the latter a major purchase from my very first month’s salary). Remote in hand, I surf through fifty or so channels, hoping for at least one that could keep me occupied for the rest of the night. To my utter horror, there isn’t a single channel airing anything remotely decent.

Fine, then. Watching Bad TV it is - What To Do When You’re Single on a Friday Night, Item #1.

Friday, 10:14 PM

I’m not one for preaching, but here’s a lesson I think every human being should learn – when it seems there is nothing else to do but watch bad TV, have the courage to grab the remote and turn…off…the…television. It’s not as easy as one would think. Tonight it took me a good two hours to veer my eyes away from mud wrestling, fake slapping in telenovelas and celebrity gossip. Watching bad TV is a lot like super sizing a fast food meal or eating one too many slices of pizza – you know you shouldn’t do it, but you do it anyway, and by the time it’s over you feel nothing else but regret. Curse bad TV that’s inexplicably fun to watch on a Friday night – that’s two years of my life I’ll never get back.

In any case, the night is young. And I refuse to believe there is nothing worthy to do on a Friday night. I decide to bug Em, friend and fellow single, by giving her a call.

Friday, 11:02 PM

So despite my efforts, I still ended up not leaving the house tonight, but at least Em, ever the entertainer, managed to keep me company over the phone for almost an hour. I had called to ask if she wanted to go out and maybe have a few drinks, but she turned my offer down on account of respecting the Friday Night Curse on the Single Twenty-Something. And for pretty much our entire conversation, she lectured me on just that.

What is the Friday Night Curse on the Single Twenty-Something? Well, since you asked…

In order to explain her point, Em had to first narrate a preamble. “Trin, if I were to describe you and the life you’re living now, what would I say?” she asked me. Of course, as with most of Em’s questions, this is rhetorical. “You’re a twenty-something living in a nice apartment in the city,” she continued. “You’re a yuppie or a corporate sellout, depending on who you talk to, how many episodes of “Globe Trekker” you’ve watched, or the amount of alcohol in your system.” As an aside, the whole issue of my work and my real passion is one Em and I often discuss – over a couple of drinks, as you might have already surmised. “You’re intelligent, fairly good-looking…” I had to interject a cuss word in there matched with a rolling of the eyes. It’s not like she was a freaking supermodel. “…independent, and hilarious. You are fabulous, except you have been Single Since Birth. With a few exceptions over sem break ’03 in Boracay and the summer after we graduated from college.” She managed to hastily interject the last sentence before I could cuss some more and defend my relationship status.

“My point is,” she continued. “These are all the criteria that make you a perfect victim of the Friday Night Curse.” Silence from my end of the line.

“Think of it this way, Trin. It’s Friday and you and your colleagues are starting to leave the office. You ask what their plans are for the night. The committed ones would say they’ll be out with their boyfriend or husband, which you already expect. The single ones would say they haven’t thought of it yet. They proceed to make a rundown of possible options – go to this party a friend of a friend’s having, watch a movie with someone they haven’t seen in years, go for some retail therapy, or give themselves a treat by going to the spa. The list can go on and on. But notice that after they’ve completed the rundown of their list, they don’t proceed to invite you or anyone else to join them on their plans.

“Now I’m going to sound like a jerk of a boyfriend, but unlike those guys, I mean it when I say it’s not you, Trin. It doesn’t mean that your officemates don’t like you if they don’t invite you to hang out with them on a Friday night. More than anything, it’s self-preservation.”

“Em, have you been drinking?” I asked, completely lost in the (one-sided) conversation now.

Em sounded annoyed, in a funny kind of way. I think she thought I wasn’t taking her seriously. “As a matter of fact, Trin, I was enjoying a nice glass of wine while reading ‘Invisible Monsters’ before you called, and I could easily go back to doing that. So do you want to hear about the curse or not?”

I had to stifle my laugh by attempting to convert it into a cough, and Em seemed to buy it. She continued with her theory.

“As I was saying, the Friday Night Curse does not allow singles to hang out with other single officemates on a Friday night. Corporate people want other people in their office to believe they have a life outside of work, you see. And some people really do have a life outside of work, while others really don’t – either way, it has to appear to their other colleagues that there is more to their existence than their stable nine-to-five jobs. So if you’re a single girl who invites your other single officemates to go out with you on a Friday night, you are giving the impression that you have no other friends, and that, is a no-no.

“The Friday Night Curse doesn’t end there, of course. Its potency lies on this second angle – it keeps you from hanging out with your real friends as well.”

“Em, I think that tonight, it’s not the Friday Night Curse that’s keeping me from going out with one of my friends. I think it’s you, saying ‘no’ to my offer that’s keeping me from having a great time,” I reason with her. Really, Em is a bit eccentric and all, but she had never been this…weird. I was almost compelled to drop by her place and pry that bottle of wine from her hands and check it for other substances.

“Oh Trin, you just don’t get it! If I go out with you tonight, and we go out again tomorrow night, it means I’m the only one you have in your life. And that’s…”

“Pathetic?” I finished the sentence for her. “But Em, tonight, you are the only one I have in my life. TJ is out on a date and Pam is probably making out inside a cramp restroom with Evan or whoever is her boyfriend for the week. And if I had to choose between you and Jinky, I’d definitely choose you.” (As an aside, those are just people that make up our “Saturday Night Party Gang”. We’re all friends from college, but I won’t dwell on them here – you’ll meet them soon enough).

“Besides,” I added. “You’re all alone in your flat tonight, too.” I imagine her sitting on her fancy recliner (stolen from her dad), glass of wine on one hand and one of Chuck Palahniuk’s books on the other. I was merely stating a fact and not trying to insult her, really. I knew she knew that.

“True,” Em answered, unemotional. “But I intend for it to stay that way. Unlike you. You can’t break the Friday Night Curse, Trin, believe me. Many have tried, and they have all failed. A single girl going out on a Friday night spells drama.”

Em and I talked some more about other things, like plans for tomorrow night and movies we want to see and the usual round of gossip, before we finally said goodbye.

Friday, 11:25 PM

Now I’m left to think about the supposed Friday Night Curse on the Single Girl. I can’t say Em’s theory about it is completely untrue or without basis, which kind of sucks. So a single girl can’t have fun on a Friday night? That’s bollocks! A single woman can vote, can have an amazing career, can play sports against men, and she can’t have fun on a Friday night? It just didn’t add up.

Next Friday, I will break that curse. Next Friday, I will show Em that her theory on the Friday Night Curse is inaccurate. Next week, on Friday night, I’m going to have me some fun.

For tonight, however, the fun would have to be confined within the four walls of my tiny apartment. The thought of Em having a glass of wine reminded me that I still had a bottle left over from my birthday dinner a few weeks back. I check the cupboard and find not a bottle of wine, however, but instead, a bottle of tequila. No problem, then, tequila it is – What To Do When You’re Single on a Friday Night, Item #2.

Friday Night, 11:47 PM

I’ve plugged my iPod to a pair of speakers and have started a listening party for two – and by two, I mean me and Jose Cuervo, or at least the minute portion that’s left of the tequila. So far the songlist has included:

“Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” – Jet
“Whoo! Alright – Yeah…Uh Huh” – The Rapture
“Lovefool” – The Cardigans

I now find myself swaying indiscriminately to “Love is Colder than Death” by The Virgins. And before I end up singing along to “All By Myself” like in Bridget Jones’s Diary, I think I better go to bed now. A fairly good time for a fabulous single girl on a Friday Night, wouldn't you agree?

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