A few weeks back, my boyfriend and I invited some friends over for drinks and nibbles, Nibbles? I know… trying to pass of as actual adults, when really, we moved into the house 8 months ago, and couldn’t recall how many nights we had actually invited friends over, so we decided to have a get-together.
I suppose I’m not too sure when all of this started. We was sitting in our dining room having drinks, chatting, when suddenly one of our friends got up and asked ‘Are you coming to town?’ Another one asking ‘Yes! Are you coming out with us?’ Suddenly a pit forms in my stomach and I’m twiddling my hair in a desperate stall to come up with an excuse, ‘Oh but, I’m up really early for work on Monday…’ The words stumbling insincere out of my mouth as I try and sound genuinely busy, when honestly, I’m just not feeling going out. ‘Oh, but that’s Monday!’ I know, I know. But it’s October. It’s cold. I politely come up with another excuse (read: story) thank them all for the invite and wish them a good night.
After some blank faces and another drink or two, half an hour later, my friends, in dribs and drabs, thanking us now for the invite and telling us to have a good night, start moving towards the door, to catch their train, when suddenly I find myself mid-hug saying to one of them ‘Oh, I’m sorry for being the boring one, hope you have a good night.’ And that’s it. That’s when it hits me. I have just emphasised it and without realising, reinforced it in my own head and to them. The emphasis of the ‘boring’ subculture.
So how and when did this all start? Why do we find ourselves apologising for, and finding the need to excuse saying no? Saying no to something we don’t want to do. And when the hell did that make us ‘boring’? It makes no sense.
We teach children to be independent, to make their own decisions, develop their own interests, to not follow the crowd and do something just because someone else is doing it. And yet, a decade later, we seem to be putting ourselves down and excusing ourselves for the very things that we encourage children to do and praise them for. When did being independent, and having the balls to say no, become so negative? So ‘boring’?
And herein lies the ‘getting old’ mentality of a twenty something intertwined with the ‘boring’ subculture. In school and in life, we are taught, that growing up is a time of great personal development, that in getting older you get wiser and are able to think rationally and make your own decisions. To decide what you like and what you don’t, to do what you want to do, and to choose when not to get involved, if it’s not your cup of tea. Yet this has now all gone to pot, and now in getting older we seem to have reverted back to the shy inner child that goes along with everyone else, and that we start apologising or making excuses for not wanting to do something, further perpetuating the idea that we are being ‘boring’, by not, following the crowd, being a sheep, tagging along or however you want to slice it.
Now independence is synonymous with ‘boring’, like some dirty word you might find written on the white tiled wall of a student club toilet a la 2K15.
But wait, shouldn’t being an adult mean that you are free to do what you want to do, without apologising or making excuses, because you’re old enough now to realise what you actually enjoy doing? Suddenly, getting old means you’re boring. That, wanting to get out of your work clothes after a long day and put on your comfy socks and PJ’s is a bad thing? That enjoying staying in for the night is boring, and that you should actually be fighting your way through masses of people in a bar the size of a living room, queuing for 20 minutes to buy a drink, only to be letched at my some random, as you squeeze past him to get your drink (just no) or that you might actually want to sit down and have a conversation with someone, rather than having to shout over whatever music is playing, and trying to decode your friend is saying, like you’re a trained lip reader?
In today’s world of Instagram and Snapchat, the social networks that perpetuate the ideals that a perfect digital life makes for a perfect real life, the apparent ‘boring’ things get overlooked because they are nowhere near as interesting and will get you nowhere near as many likes. The photographs-or-it-didn’t-happen world we now live in now forces us to capture images and experiences, expressing them in a highlight reel of white, marble and palm print. Oh and not forgetting that pretty #rooftopcocktail (that you’ve actually taken back inside to drink, because it’s October and so freezing cold,) or that oh so perfect latte (that has gone cold by the time you get around to drinking it.) So perfectly arranged, shot and filtered so as to appear by definition not-boring. Because who wants to a boring insta feed? When actually having a night in with the girls, eating pizza and pampering, or watching the newest episode of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix, is actually so much more appealing than having to take your heels off in the taxi home because you can’t feel your feet, or waking up feeling like you’ve been hit in the back of the head, because you’ve realised a little too late, that Tequila is not your friend.
If wanting to remember my nights out so I can talk about them the next day, or putting my dressing gown on when I get home from work makes me a boring twenty something, then so be it.