The last few days of this week at work have being rather hectic. Things were just flying at me from all directions and I found myself slowly falling into that rut where I pick up paper to put it down to pick up another piece of paper to put it down and everything remains only half done. So, getting myself into a little bit of a tizzy, and taking far too many cig breaks, I declared it a fabulous idea to go out for a few drinks after work. Just a few mind you, because I know what happens on these 'after work drinks' nights out if I have too many glasses of wine, and besides, I have a reputation to uphold. Or so I would like to believe.
So, at 5 on the dot, a few of my work colleagues and myself ventured out to the pub just around the corner and I ordered myself a tall glass of white house wine. I knew it was a mistake even before I ordered it, but the idea of just sitting back, relaxing, and chilling out with work mates was far too tempting, and white wine, in my experience, is the fastest way of getting there. It really doesn't matter the shape or colour it comes in.
By the end of the second large glass, I was ready to hit the Manchester social scene HARD, and so at my insistence, we left the pub we were at and went to another. I felt seriously tipsy, probably more like 'somewhat drunk' but not so much that I didn't realise that it was time to quit the wine and go back to old trusty Soco (Southern Comfort) and coke. Even though I was seriously adoring the taste of the wine (any wine) by that stage, Soco is my 'safe' alcoholic drink. Don't ask me why, but I can drink that all night long and stay sober. Its great if you want to impress someone with your drinking ability, but sucks if you are in a 'dancing on the tables' kind of mood. We weren't ordering them one at a time either. No way, the place was so busy and the bar 5 people deep that we had to stock up! One, sadly ended up on my lap (not my fault!) as it was placed on the table but as we were all so happy, everyone was only too happy to share.
For some reason new people started joining our party. I do not quite know how this came about, but hey, everyone is friendly when they are drinking right? And I was talking to anyone who even looked in my direction. I have to add that it wasn't just me, one of my colleagues must have thought he was in some sort of popularity contest with me and was definitely turning on the charm to all and sundry and the conversations were following and introductions were being made thick and fast. I met a couple who were up in Manchester just for the weekend from Newquay. They did explain why they were here, but I forget now and I suddenly took it upon myself to insist that we show them a little bit more of the Manchester night-life scene(as you do). I suggested Deansgate and everyone thought it was a brilliant idea and off we toddled.
Deansgate wasn't as busy as I thought it would be. Perhaps it was the wrong side of payday I do not know, but we went into a pub where the service at the bar was instantaneous and we chatted to this Newquay couple like we had known them forever. Around about this time, the effects of the wine was starting to dwindle and I found myself starting to wonder who these people were and perhaps I should think about heading home? Of course, everyone else was not quite on the same 'going home or back to the hotel' station that I was and I certainly didn't want to seem like a party pooper, especially not after I told them we would show them a few excellent places and the one we were at was rather boring.
Next thing, one of my work mate's phone rings and he announces that he has friends over at the Northern Quarter and we should go there. What a brilliant idea I agree and practically drag everyone out of the bar.
We walked all the way back to the Northern Quarter, I, who had sobered up quite a bit by now, was directing the way and probably acting a little too much like a mother hen. We were approaching a bar called Bluu just outside the Northern Quarter when it happened.
I crossed over the street and called back to them to follow. It was, I believe, when I looked back to see where they were that my foot slipped down the side of the pavement and wham! Please keep in mind that this is about 5 steps outside the door of Bluu (which is one of my favourite places to go for drinks) and there must have been hundreds of people hanging around outside.
I didn't go down gracefully. Oh no, I went down knees and face first. My bag went flying and it was almost like, for a split second, everything just went black. Naturally, I jumped right back up again, or tried to, except that around 10 people surrounded me asking me if I was OK, picking up my bag for me, trying to help me up. I truly saw concern and not scorn in their faces, or so I would like to believe, but I put on my biggest smile and said, Oh yes, I'm fine, absolutely fine, don't worry about me. (as you do)
I gathered my things up in supersonic speed and proceeded to make my way to the door where the bouncer just shook his head and said 'No, sorry' and looked at me.
Oh My God. He thinks I'm so drunk i'm falling over! is what I automatically thought and of course he did! Who wouldn't? Everyone in my party went in regardless and left me standing at the door. Charming eh?
'It's ok' I said, 'I understand' and proceeded to pull up my pants leg and check out the damage. It was messy. The knee of my leggings had a big fat baggy hole in it and I had grazed open half of my knee cap. The other knee took a battering too, but not as horrific looking as the first one.
'Oh shit' I said, 'This isn't good.' and I looked up at the bouncer.
He pointed to my chin and said, 'It seems you may have bruised your face too' My face did hurt a little, but not so much that it should be bruised over already?? I asked where and he pointed and I started to rub at it.
'Oh no, its only dirt' he proclaimed and I rubbed harder to get my face clean.
I stood around for a few more minutes. By now, actually chatting a little to the bouncer who wouldn't let me in, but I had this awful need to clear my name! 'I'm not pissed, honest I'm not' I told him and looked up at him again with pleading eyes, just begging to be believed. Whether he did or didn't I will never know for sure I guess, but he eventually nodded and said, 'OK, yeah, you don't appear to be drunk.'
'Great! Can I go in then?' I asked, but he shook his head again and said that it was policy and he couldn't let me in if I had fallen over in front of the bar. Policy my arse!
But I was going to retain just a little dignity and smiled and said that it was ok, I understood. I really didn't need to go in that badly, and prepared myself to wait until my friends came out at which time I would inform them that I was going home.
I didn't have to wait too much longer. My even drunker-by-now friends came out and one of my colleagues suddenly felt the need to defend me to the doorman. He started shouting abuse about the fact that they wouldn't let me in and the inevitable name calling began. Was I mortified by this? Nope. Nothing could top my earlier face-plant and I just told him to knock it off. It wasn't necessary and we were leaving anyway. The bouncer turned out to be even worse than my work colleague and was actually goading him. I agree with my work mate. He was a dick!
The night however, wasn't quite over yet. We headed opposite the road where the one whose friend had called on the phone earlier was apparently hanging out and so more people were added to our merry party. I tried, but the party spirit had more or less departed from my soul for the night and I knew I had to make my excuses and find a bus. Quickly! Ten or fifteen minutes later I did just that.
This morning I woke up - the hangover was more or less non-existent which was certainly a bonus considering I couldn't bend my damn knees! Hubby was downstairs so I made my way there, slowly, and proudly presented my shredded knees. I knew he would think exactly what the bouncer and everyone else had thought, and he did, so I found myself trying to defend myself all over again, until I realised it really didn't matter. It really didn't.
Why should I never be allowed out? Simple, I am an accident waiting to happen. You may remember me blogging a few months ago of an escapade in London which was a client's Christmas party where I managed to get my finger trapped in a door to the extent that it exploded and I spent most of the night in an A&E. I promise you never a dull moment when you are out with me. It may be blood filled and we may need to call an ambulance, but it will be interesting. The problem is, I really don't want to be that person. Who would? Last night was certainly not in the same calibre as the finger episode, (I've still not fully recovered the use of my finger yet) but it's yet another incident that will be discussed (at length I'm sure) in the office for the next few days and I will just have to grin and bear it.
The problem is, I probably will never change. I do like to go out and let my hair down every now and then. It's not something I do often, but when I do, I do tend to do a proper job of it. And I am also not ready to be that person who always goes home and doesn't join in. The problem, I truly believe, is the wine. :)
I'll leave it there now. Hope I brought a smile to your face.