Let me start this post by saying how much I love my friends. Truly, deeply, more than words can describe. I am so lucky to have such an incredible circle of friends, whether they be from school, work, university or just friends of the family. I know some of my friends check in on this blog from time-to-time - if any of you are reading this, you're amazing and I adore you.
But good lord, do you people know how to wind me up!
Ok, so before I launch into it, a little back-story....
My parents divorced when I was about nine, and I stayed with my mum in our house in Essex. When I got to around twelve, I had the inevitable mood-swings and tantrums that come with puberty (I wish all the young mums reading this all the luck in the world...especially if you have daughters). My tantrums were added to by the fact that I hated my school and was deeply resentful of my dad and his new wife living in a lovely big house while I was living in a grotty terrace with my mum. After two years of this I decided to take myself off to Kent to live with my dad and new stepmum in aforementioned lovely house. I started a new school that I adored, made a great deal of fantastic friends who I am still very close to, and everything was hunky-dory.
Then, a few months ago my dad and stepmum separated. I know, right? This is the example my parents are setting to me. I will clearly never have a functional relationship (they sound boring anyway). Dad has moved back to Essex, mum still lives in Essex, and the long and short of it is that I no longer have a bolt-hole in Kent for when I want to see my school friends. It takes a lot of organisation to get us all together, I have to stay at a friends house and we have to co-ordinate work/uni/college schedules and lord knows what else.
This weekend, we finally managed to get organised for a night out - me and two of my best friends from school, Danielle and Lianna. The only issue I had was...alcohol. I knew that both of them would be expecting huge amounts of alcohol to be consumed. Normally this is fine. In fact normally I'm the one heading up a convoy to the bar and shouting for more shots. My conversation in a Wetherspoons pub normally goes something like this:
Me: Can I have a jug of Woo Woos please?
Barman: Did you want the two extra shots of Vodka in that for another £2?
Me: *snorts* Uh, yeah!
Barman: How many glasses?
Me: I don't need any glasses, have you got a straw??
I shit you not.
Anyway, after careful consideration and assessment of the situation I decided that I didn't want to drink this weekend. This is hugely out of character for me, but my decision was based on the following -
- I weighed in this week (after missing last weeks meeting) with a 1lb gain. Better than I was expecting, but still not great. I'm determined to lose it (and then some) this week, and I knew that if I went out on the lash it wouldn't happen.
- I am so skint! I have to pay rent, and fares, and for my trip to New York - I can't be shelling out for drinks as well.
- I didn't want to make a dick of myself last night (its been known to happen after I've had a few drinks...), nor did I want to spend all day today with a hangover.
All pretty decent reasons not to be drinking, wouldn't you say?
Yeah, try telling that to my friends. They're not the type of people that depend on alcohol for a good time, and we've spent more hours than I like to admit to lounging around, sober as Judges, laughing hysterically at nothing in particular, or else enjoying a nice meal and a trip to the cinema, or shopping...you know, stuff that girls do. By the same token, they don't do half measures. If they're going out for a drink, they're getting drunk. That is fine, its their decision. But if I'd said I was only going to have a couple of drinks for any of the above reasons I would have been laughed out of town and they would have made it their mission to get me as drunk as possible so I could 'lighten up'.
So, I didn't explain. I lied.
I didn't give them any of the above reasons for not wanting to get 'too drunk'. Instead, I told them that I was on prescription antibiotics and the Doctor had forbidden me from drinking, and that I was already breaking his rules by having a glass of Sex on the Beach and a vodka and diet coke (which was a double, by the way. After I specifically asked for a single. See what I mean?) So that was that. I had a couple of drinks. I didn't get hammered, spend silly money on shots or tell the cab driver that I love him. I had some drinks, laughed with my friends, danced like an idiot and had an amazing night. I even got chatted up by a younger man (although I didn't realise it until Danielle told me later in the night. Apparently I've forgotten what flirting looks like - at the grand old age of 20. How pathetic).
It was easier to lie to my friends than to explain to them why I didn't want to drink too much. Has this happened to anybody else? I don't want it to sound like I'm slagging off my friends here, because I'm not. If I'd taken the time to sit down and really explain my reasoning to them then they would have understood. But it would have been a long and convoluted conversation and saying 'I'm on tablets' was just so much easier. I can't just say 'Weight Watchers' or 'money', it would have to be a whole thing. The Weight Watchers reason doesn't fly with them anyway because they don't think that I need to lose any more weight. I guess they see me now as so much slimmer and happier than I was 4.5st ago that they think I can stop now. They don't think about how I'll be even slimmer and happier and more confident in another 3.5st time! As for the money thing...'don't worry Lauren, we'll buy your drinks...'