Christmas and New Year’s Eve were almost on them, and it was the time of year everyone knew she would party, and party hard. This was the woman known for her parties, whose home was synonymous with pot lucks and crazy gatherings of a weird cross section of people. The sure stop for fun that people made their way to, almost every evening. The one place you were sure to find something happening, every weekend.
“Yeah! Right!” She scoffed internally, “wouldn’t they be surprised now?” these days, she was lucky if she got to go have coffee more than once every six months or so. Dancing? The last time she even thought about going to a pub was at least five years ago. Sad little western party clothes sitting in her closet bore morose testimony to her complete lack of social life. “I suppose I could throw a party at home, like I used to.” But who would she invite? Her entire friends circle, once some 50 people in the core group, had shrunk to one and a half person. One and a half? Yeah… the sole friend who had some kind of regular schedule of visiting had become too encumbered to be able to get out to see her even once in a while. And the half? Well, he was around, officially, but the occasional phone calls were about the size of the interaction these days.
How had this happened? She wondered. Was it just chance? Circumstances? A change of location? Probably a combination of all of those. Moving to a new city had definitely put a dent in the partying, and in the curtailment of the friends’ circle. The old guard from the old city, ready to party at the drop of a hat, had been lost, and contact had diminished. Then there was the “settled” syndrome. She, herself, had not succumbed to it so much, but the other seemed to have. The other was now in the phase where staying at home of an evening, even on the evenings when the offspring was elsewhere, rather than get dressed up and step out on the town.
She, she was bored. Yes, she enjoyed solo time, drinking and dancing and talking with her other. But did it always have to be at home? What happened to the date night? To those evenings at crazy, semi seedy establishments staggering out at the end of the night, after last call, after closing the establishments? What happened to getting thrown out of pubs and discos at three in the morning? What happened to dressing up and going to brunch?
Money was a factor, sure, and going out had become much more expensive than it used to be when they were first together. But surely, they were not broke enough to make it impossible to go out once in a while? Every couple of months or so? How about just meeting somewhere for coffee? Was that too much to ask? Domesticity was nice, and comfortable, sure, but she was getting too much of a good thing for certain. As a result, she was becoming more and more morose, disinterested, disconnected. Functioning perfectly fine as far as anyone else could see, perfectly fine, smiling and laughing and carrying on as usual. But she knew. She knew the disconnect she was feeling, and the dissonance she was experiencing.
Not that there was anything one could do about it. Not like it was possible to wave a magic wand and create a whole new group. Not like one could just turn someone else’s mind around, back to a time when they were more fun, more outgoing. If the other had decided he wanted to become the typical middle class domesticated person, that was a decision she could not get them to change.
Where did that leave her? Precisely nowhere. With the season of holidays and parties fast approaching, she could look forward to evening after evening of sitting at home, alone with the other, getting drunk, and watching TV. What amazing ways to have fun! Throw a party? Sure, she could do that. But as of now, the possible guest list stood at precisely zero people. She had nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no one to invite.