The day you turn eighteen, people hope for some sort of instant enlightenment from you- as if your entire life is expected to be sorted the minute the clock strikes twelve. But the year I turned eighteen, I did get a lot of time to introspect and think about what lies ahead in this adult world and I came to realize one thing- I hate people. Or to phrase it better, I hate going out and meeting people.
Call me lazy or socially awkward or whatever is the new term Tumblr users are trying to make ‘lit af’ this year, but there is something about going out and meeting tons of people that actually scares me. For starters, you get a message inviting you to a plan to ‘hang out’ and your mind goes into overdrive. What will I wear, who all will be there, will there be food, will there be alcohol, will there be dogs, can I play with the dogs, and can I just play with the dogs? You instantly try to think of excuses to avoid going there- the most common being, “I can’t ya. I have a thing.” Now the word ‘thing’ is easily the most ambiguous word in the English dictionary. It could range from staying in and watching cartoons all day to even going on a date with one of the members of the Fantastic Four (Comic Nerds, please appreciate the joke). I believe you can truly judge how creative a person is by the excuse they come up with. It would make a great writing skill for the future generations in schools. But if you are one of the unlucky ones and do decide to go out, then hats off. Because what happens after that is what should be declared an Olympic sport- getting ready.
It starts with finding the right outfit to wear which doesn’t work out for people like me because I have precisely three pieces of clothing I can wear when I go out and there’s a limit to the number of times you can wear it in front of people. I am not a cartoon character who has that one signature outfit, I just don’t like going out. The struggle is real when those clothes fade as well and they become your home clothes and soon they become sleepwear and soon they become Holi clothes and soon they become the piece of cloth your mom uses to wipe the kitchen counter. Once you have your outfit for the night decided, you do your hair and makeup. By the time people get ready to leave, it’s my bedtime. To all the girls who have their whole routine pat down, you are the ones who should be awarded the Bravery Awards at Republic Day next year. It takes a million YouTube tutorials to go from looking like a peasant to a queen.
Once you’re ready, you leave the house. You reach a location and the ambience just reminds you of those music videos. Here, you’re left with three choices:
- Actually have fun- Meet your friends, have something to eat or drink, take selfies for social media gratification and leave
- Hate it- Sit awkwardly in a corner, AVOID EYE CONTACT OR MAKING CONVERSATION, use your phone to look at memes, think eating or drinking will help, end up getting too drunk or full and throw up and then leave
- Look for the dogs- they usually help with everything
By the time you leave, you just want to go back home and sleep, something someone who hasn’t gone out that night has been doing for hours.
Going out is like an Imtiaz Ali movie- it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m not looking down on this life at all. Sure, it’s a great way to meet people and have fun with your friends. You make a great amount of memories like this. But since when is friendship all about partying? We all like to be popular. Whether it’s the number of people in our social circle down at the pub or the number of entries in our mobile phone address book we would all like to feel as though we have a good number of friends.
However, when we analyse our so called ‘friends’, just how many of them are true friends and how many are, more or less, acquaintances?
There are many people you would like to go out with but there are very few you would actually call in time of need? There are people you would dance the night away, but who would you want to spend days and nights talking to about everything and anything under the sun? So why don’t we go back to finding and developing friendships stronger than those bands they put on you when you enter the club?