It’s Friday night and your friends have been talking about going to this new bar all day. They can’t wait to try the cleverly-named drinks, which really just give the bartenders room to upcharge you for a simple cocktail. They are so excited to stand in line and wait 30 minutes to be served all while fighting their way in the crowd. Yay!
When they first mentioned the idea, you were genuinely and truly excited. But now that your friends are actually on their way, there’s nothing more you want to do than throw on your sweatpants and melt into your couch. The antisocial wave swallows you and you wonder what happened. You’re not alone, this a real thing. Allow me to break down the five stages of trying to go out (when you really don’t ever want to).
When that group text first starts popping about tonight’s adventures, you’re so ready for it. You mentally prepare your outfit. You spend the day reading up on the spot and share all the tidbits that make it appealing. You might even invite other people who were not originally in the group chat. You’re pumped. The bathroom selfies are already fire and you haven’t even made it home from work yet. This is going to be a fabulous night.
Now that you have everything planned out, you inexplicably suffer a mild freak out. All of a sudden you decide that your lipstick is completely the wrong color. Three strands of hair are sticking out and it feels like you have to wash and twist your hair all over again. You stand in the mirror and realize your outfit does not look exactly how you had pictured it in your head. Random thoughts start swirling: What if s/he shows up? I bet s/he will show up. S/he would go to something like this, just to spite me. S/he knows I would be there. S/he better not look at me.
At some point, you convince yourself that it’s all in your mind. You will go out, enjoy the company and have a great time. You will be able to say you went to [bar] on the night of its grand opening. It will be fun to see group-chat-mates in real life and de-stress from the work week. The craft cocktails will make life better. You might even get lucky and meet someone. This might not be so bad.
All of it is one big lie! Or at least that’s what you tell yourself. You decide everyone will be obnoxiously drunk. You will not get a seat at the bar, if you can even get in. You will have to elbow your way through the crowd just to see the bar at all. Why would your friends even think this was a good idea? Don’t they know the grand opening is just a ruse and everything in the bar will be half the price next month? Only people who are trying too hard go on the first night.
Finally, you give up and binge watch a show you only mildly enjoy — and you are happy as pie. You realize the return on investment for a night like this is just not high enough for you to go out. You’ve found your happy place and it just so happens to be between the right and middle cushions of your couch where the dip is perfectly formed to support you and your bowl of popcorn. And everything is alright. You bear the brunt of angry group texts for a minute until everyone has used all the stern, hard-hitting emojis and they change the topic. Now you are officially free to roam about Netflix in sweatpants heaven.
*F.O.M.O.: a sixth, less common stage is fear of missing out. This might hit you an hour after pouring your glass of wine or the next day when everyone talks about their great night. F.O.M.O usually passes after you’ve experienced too many nights out or you finally realize just how much you love Netflix.
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