It’s interesting; the difference between ‘shy’ and ‘anti-social’. The actual difference is good looks. If a good looking guy announces sheepishly that he is a bit shy, girls will regard him as cute, endearing and even outright brave for openly admitting it. If an ugly quiet guy mumbles it, people scowl, jeer and look generally disgusted. Ugly person hasn’t hurt anyone! Ugly person is still the enemy. Simply being quiet is an act of war. Surrounded by loud drunk people, trying to logically explain you don’t enjoy drinking is like trying to batter down a brick wall with bubble bath foam. You will be drowned out by yells of “CHUG! CHUG! CHUG!” and elongated incomprehensible vowels.
I don’t really regard myself as a shy person, but by god am I regarded as one! Now entering my twenty-somethings, the volume has been switched up. Talking is off the table. Is has to be yelling now. Your average group of people now blare incessantly. I’d have to visit a vocal coach to maintain that level of volume. They literally ‘blare’. A verb that used to be reserved for the horns of cargo ship is now used to describe your average – not a select subgroup, but your average – twenty to thirty year old. It seems once you reach twenty if you don’t add ‘fucking’ at random points in every sentence you aren’t a real man. “Can you pass the remote please?” are the words of a pissant. “Change the channel” is for when you’re in a good mood, like once a year at Christmas perhaps. “Gimme the fucking remote for fucks sake” is a step in the right direction.
I consider myself a fairly regular, inanely normal person. I wake up. I read the paper. I drink coffee. I eat food. I go out. I come home. I study a fairly bland degree. But no! – this is not normal, it’s become apparent. Wild, selfish and reckless is the new black, people! Hearing the previously quite reserved people are now frequently visiting the pub, normal has angrily raised the bar. Anything short of frequent drug use, drunken one-night stands, pregnancy scares, broken bones, bricking policemen, bottling your friends and stabbing your enemies is now considered fairly prudish. You have to up your game to be normal now, I’m afraid. Class A drugs are the new tipsy. Threesomes are the new twosomes. Casual sex in the car park is the new snogging behind the bike shed.
One of my greatest curses is my brutal honesty. Many attempts from people to banter with me have been victim to the cold knife of grim, dull logic. Thus I recall soon after I moved to this country, being in a club, talking to a girl.
“Me and boyfriend weren’t really sure about coming out tonight,” she said. “Sometimes it seems an effort to come out, know what I mean?”
I replied: “My social life consists entirely of coming here once or twice a week and I hate it. I dance to music I despise, trying to drown it out with good music in my head. I drink little, pretending to be drunk and enjoy myself to fit in, pray that something interesting happens to me so I can at least take with me some kind of anecdote to recall later, other than the usual ‘I was too drunk to remember anything!’ default option.”
And to my great surprise she said “Yea me and my boyfriend feel like that all the time.” That was nice to hear. Clubbers-who-hate-clubbing, hear me – you are not alone!