Girls’ Night Out

Friday night found me about to embark on my first “girls'” night out for ages

(Inner voice:  Why d’you think you don’t go out like this more often, Marsha?  Is it, perhaps, because you use words like “embark” when you’re writing about having a few drinks and a bit of a laugh?  Hmm?)

One of the female staff from our parent company had organised the night out in response to the golf outing which most of the male staff had taken part in earlier in the day, the company dividing, as it does, along traditional gender lines.  Anyway, as the only female in our office, I was very touched to be asked.  The women involved ranged in age from mid twenties to early sixties with me sitting  fairly and squarely in the middle of the age range.  So far, so what?  Well, I suppose I thought I’d be well placed to chat to both groups – not too out of touch with the twenty-somethings, but more than able to give a nod in the direction of the older women too.

I had my first inkling that, perhaps, my take on the situation was incorrect when, having decided to order cocktails, one of the youngsters (all of whom are delightful, charming young women) asked me if I would have one.  Nothing remarkable about that, except that her tone of voice suggested that such exoticness might be beyond my ken.  To use a parental analogy, it was that tone of voice adults use to children eating in a posh restaurant for the first time (“Would you like to see the menu, sir?”)  That kind of thing.  I don’t think her intention was to patronise me.  I think she really thought I might be  a bit confused or unsure about the contents of the cocktail menu.

Deciding that my sparkling conversation would soon convince everybody that I had a foot in both camps (and maybe even a little bias towards the younger end of the spectrum), I ploughed on, undeterred.  The youngsters began teasing each other about the male staff and who fancied whom.  After a while, when no-one had teased me or enquired who I might fancy,  I protested, laughing, that I felt left out, only to be told that they were sure SOMEBODY could be found for me!

It gradually dawned on me that, while I was viewing the age range as a contiuum, the youngsters were dividing us into two groups, young and old, and I was definitely in the “old” group and this despite the fact that one of the other women has a SON who’s only three years younger than I am!

Resigned to my classification, the rest of the evening played out in much the same vein (I was asked, at one point, if the music I was singing along to was something my kids listened to).

This morning I had a phone call from one of the youngsters, checking that I hadn’t been offended by her (perfectly normal enjoying-a-night-out) behaviour.  I think she was worried that, as a “mature lady” (her words), I might have been shocked by the sight of someone dancing.  I reassured her that, far from being shocked, I was pleased to see her enjoying herself, as she’s having a bit of a hard time at work just now.  I didn’t add that I love a dance as much as the next person, but, when you sweat like a horse, dancing’s a risky business.  I didn’t mention this because I’m sure that, even if I’d explained that I’ve always been a “hot” person, she would have assumed that I was menopausal.

Really, whoever said “Life begins at 40” should have thought to add “and ends shortly after”!

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6 Responses to Girls’ Night Out

  1. Sylvia says:

    Oh dear – so what was chatting to the older ladies like?

  2. sort of on a par with a recent comment from my (lovely, twentysomething) hairdress:

    “old people are sooooooooo sweet, aren’t they?”

    that said, my gran used to say: “gay people are lovely!”

  3. pleite says:

    I bet the older ladies were much better fun. Gimme the oldies over the youngies any day.

  4. marshaklein says:

    Sylvia: not a great success on this occasion as one of them (there were only 3 of us “mature ladies” ) got spectacularly drunk and told me, in effect, that I was stuck-up and unfriendly. Not that I took offence, it’s hard to be offended by someone who can’t focus, but it did rather limit the conversational possibilities!

    LH: I’m not sure I can do “sweet” but I quite fancy “eccentric” or even “mad”.

    BiB: As a de facto “oldie” I must, naturally, agree with you. However all the youngsters in our little group are sweet, lovely girls and they behaved impeccably (see above). To redress the balance, I went to the cinema with a girlfriend last night and we had a good old moan about the general cluelessness of the young.

  5. Sylvia says:

    Well, now you’ve done it once, you can avoid such outings in future. Sometimes the Mums from school invite me out, and I make a big thing about thanking them – after all, they are being v kind to include me – and making sure I have something else on that evening. Then I ask if they had a good time afterwards. Who knows – maybe they’re relieved I don’t go and they only invite me to be polite!

    Maybe it’s me being odd, but I’m a bit funny about socialising with people from work. I just like to keep things separate. And I don’t like info that I’ve revealed about myself on these occasions being used against me or thrown in my face as has happened several times over the years.

  6. marshaklein says:

    Sylvia, I’m sure they’re not just asking you out of politeness but I do admire your approach. Until quite recently I’d always been worried that refusal of such an invitation would ensure that my miserable anti-social tendencies were the talk of the evening (what vanity!) Iwould certainly get in touch with you if I was ever in London (don’t worry, it doesn’t happen often!)

    As for separating work and home, I work for my husband so have failed on that front too…

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