There are nights when you’re just making up the numbers, when you’re just a bit-part in the frivolity. Maybe you say something memorable or name the Bond film that everyone else has forgotten. Perhaps you shout someone a couple of pre-pay day beers and everyone considers you a good egg. There are nights when really you were too tired to go out but it was so-and-so’s birthday and you kinda had to. So you sit there quietly nodding and smiling along, secretly longing for a cup of cocoa and your bed. There are nights when you knew you were too mopey but you inflict yourself on everyone anyway. They persuaded you there in the first place so, fancying a drink and a whinge, you went.
And every once in a while there are nights when everything falls in to place.
From the moment you put Shine 9 in the CD player and take your first swig of pre-party JD and Coke, you can tell it’s going to be a good one. Not only is your hair behaving, it’s actually doing as it’s told! Your best shirt and jeans are clean, pressed and ready for compliments. By the time you’re dressed and ready to go, you look and feel so good that you can’t resist giving your reflection the finger guns.
Having got to the Jaguar Garage, you don’t mind that the others are late to meet you and haven’t yet been to the cashpoint. You know exactly the right witty comebacks for the taxi driver. You even impress him with a little-known but wonderfully direct shortcut across town.
When you walk in the room, everybody notices you. You know pretty much everyone there and have a bit of banter for all who come your way. You get the bit-parters involved, the tired ones talking and cheer up the mopers. Everything you say is full of humour and intelligence. Your charm and confidence surprises even you! You drink just enough that you stay on the right side of cheeky and risqué, making everyone feel safe and warm in your company. Your outfit has hit just the right note and is raking in the expected interest. You’re the centre of attention, the life and soul of the party and you haven’t even taken anything! You leave with more friends than you went in with and even a few phone numbers.
Why these rare occasions happen, no one knows. Maybe the planets aligned or that itchy palm signalled the onset of a good night, not a lottery win. Maybe laundry day, your monthly cycle and wakefulness just happened to match up this time round. Who knows? And, quite frankly, who cares! When your finger gun nights arrive, don’t question it, just go with it.