Issues  

Boring? I’ll raise a cup of tea to that


What are your plans for Saturday night? Mine is a date with my bed and my book – having said that, the book is an optional extra, it may after all just be my bed. If you’ve ever come across the social media meme of a woman in bed with her laptop and a cup of tea captioned, “I love a wild Friday night’” that woman is me, except not only Friday, I love a wild Saturday and Sunday night too and all the week evenings in between.

To think that only five years ago, dolling up and dressing up to the nines to meet up with friends for cocktails and dinner or on those special occasions even go out to a club wasn’t as far-fetched an idea as it seems now, as I slip into my PJs by 9pm, settled in front of the TV for the night. In fact, only last week, when my niece who’d spent the day with asked for a lift back home, only a five-minute drive away, my answer was, “I have taken off my bra and got into my comfy clothes, and you know what that means for a woman.” “I know,” she said, rolling her eyes, “You’re in for the night.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am not always this boring. On the right evening, in the right frame of mind, I am in fact partial to a dinner date or an evening out at the cinema. And alas, if that makes me a boring person, I am in good company alongside 65 percent of American who worry they’ve become a boring person, according to a new study.

The closer I push towards 40, the more I realise ‘boring’ is underrated. We label as boring anyone we feel that does not partake in what is considered the norm; and for most of us in our twenties and thirties is to be out and about, be heard and seen, be at the right place at the right time and among the right crowd. Go against the grain, and you are easily labelled ‘boring’.

If you are in your mid- to late thirties and on the eve of that era heading-to-the-next-cool-party-with-bells-on, you will know exactly what I am talking about. If you are in your twenties, or have deliberately chosen to extend your salad years well into your thirties always in the quest of the next VVIP invite, what I will write next will probably not make any sense just yet. Just put it aside as advice not sought yet readily cast, perhaps to re-visit in the next decade.

There comes a time as you hurtle through your twenties into thirties, the ever hurried footsteps of FOMO (fear of missing out) begin to fade. A new calm settles over you and the realisation that you do not have to be at every party, honour every invite just because it is happening. Heck, you do not even need to get into a socially acceptable outfit just because it is Friday night and the city’s siren call lures you from one wine bar into another club.

Incidentally, this will coincide with a time in your life when keeping up with the Joneses, being swanned off the red carpet into the VVIP seats, and being featured in the society pages of the weekend supplements and blog posts will no longer have the same lustre they used to hold. Often in a woman’s life this time arrives with the pitter-patter of tiny feet; however, there are of course yummy mummies gracing every red carpet around town. For others, it is not motherhood but a certain age of maturity that makes one embrace JOMO (joy of missing out).

My awakening creeped upon me gradually, so gradually even I missed it. One minute I was the woman hankering on social media after the posts from the party of the month I had missed, the next I was passing the invites on. One minute I was the woman vexing I had not got invites to the awards show of the season, when next I was happy to catch a movie on Netflix instead, dressed in my pyjamas, holding a cup of tea. Boring is not always boring; sometimes it is an act of conscious adulting safe in the knowledge that if something – no matter how much it looks like a gift and comes in glitzy envelopes and glossy packaging – induces any form of fear, perhaps it is not that good for your emotional wellbeing. I’d rather take the joy of home comforts, dinner dates, family get-togethers and weekend getaways. Call me boring all you like, I will be having a wild Saturday night in my comfy clothes, sipping on my tea. Just for your sake, I might jazz it up with a glass or two of Prosecco.

In this article:
Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo


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