I sat outside a coney island style restaurant in the early hours of Saturday morning with a cigarette and some cheese fries as I thought about where the last six hours of my life had taken me.
It was just after 4:00 a.m., and I had gotten dropped off in front of this particular food spot by my Uber driver because I knew it would be open and what’s more, I knew they sold cigarettes.
I had walked at least five miles since beginning my night at a birthday party where I knew absolutely no one, and as I flicked the remains of a Camel Blue into a nearby sewer, I knew that what I had just experienced only happens on the rarest of occasions.
You know that age old cliche about how people find significant others when they stop actively searching for one? Well, the exact same thing can be said for a night out on the town when there is no definitive plan in place. The best nights out are oftentimes the ones that we have put absolutely zero thought into.
The spontaneity of the whole thing makes it way better than that some intricately planned event you went to a few weeks ago where every hour was accounted for.
You don’t know where the alcohol-fueled rampage is going to take you, and the fog that surrounds your future makes the night fun – mysterious even.
Sending out feelers on a Friday afternoon at work is something we’ve all become accustomed to in the age of the iPhone. Everyone’s got a core group of friends that they text or e-mail intermittently throughout the day on Friday. Whatever your choice of communication may be, we all know that those last few hours at work on a Friday are a slog.
You can find any mid-level employee in their 20s watching YouTube videos or reading something on Thrillist about best places in [insert city here] to eat. Friday afternoon is when you make plans for the rest of the evening. Now, most of the time you can find at least one or two other people that want to go out and have a few drinks.
There are, however, some occasions when you’ve simply scraped the bottom of the barrel and nothing is coming to fruition. You’ve texted anyone in your contacts list that you can stand being around for more than a few hours and everyone seems to be busy.
This, my friends, is what people in some circles call the critical moment. You’re now faced with two options: you can either stay in and watch something on Netflix or you can roll the dice and go out solo.
Sure, it’s risky. But you and I both know you’re drinking either way on Friday night. Plus, it’s a little less sad when there’s a crowd around you – even if it is a bunch of strangers. There’s freedom that comes along with a solo night out. You’re not shackled to any one plan. This means that even if you are hanging out with what I like to call “fringe friends,” there’s no real obligation to stay in any one place. The solo night out is sort of like college in that it’s what you make of it. You could end up in a Ritz-Carlton suite with a bunch of people you met a seedy dive bar. You could also end up in a fistfight or throwing up in an alley. My point is that the unpredictability of it all makes it fun. You simply don’t know what’s going to happen.
I started my night out at a birthday party and polished off something like seven or eight Michelob Ultras. Two hours passed before I decided that the party was dying down and I should try somewhere else.
I proceeded down the block to a bar by myself. I chatted up three girls, convinced them to come to the dance floor with me, and cut a goddamn rug for the next three hours. I got shut down by all three of those nice young ladies by nights end, and I ended up on an empty bench at 4:00 a.m. with cheese fries and cigarettes.
Best night ever? Certainly not. Worst night ever? Not by a long shot. The solo drinking session is not for everyone but if you can muster up the courage to do it, you might just end up eating some cheese fries with a huge goddamn smile on your face. .
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