Going Out to Find Someone With Whom to Stay In
February 13, 2012 § 25 Comments
On yesterday’s Desert Island Discs lovely, big softie James Cordon admitted that he used to go out so much so that he could find someone with whom to stay in.
He has been lucky. He met his current partner when he was out at a party, I think he said, and it was love at first sight. They have a baby and are soon to be married.
I was already a fan of his after seeing One Man, Two Guvnors the other night, but more so after listening to the programme because I liked his honesty about how he’d fucked up in the past and why he’d been an arsehole for a while, and about love and so on. His words about going out to find someone with whom to stay in struck me.
So often I have walked or driven about Soho at night and seen crowds on the pavements outside restaurants and clubs and bars and wondered how many of those people are enjoying themselves, I mean really enjoying themselves? Often, I have watched them and speculated as to what proportion are playing at having a fun night out? Often, in my youth, I did the same and the genuine pleasure and enjoyment factor was probably outweighed by pain at a rate of about 2 to 1, if that. So often, I was feeling slighted by someone I fancied, ignored by a boyfriend or lover, or full of some kind of misplaced hopes for the evening and beyond, which were invariably thwarted. I used to go out all the time – a permanent fixture at the Groucho, various gallery openings, the Cafe de Paris on Wednesday nights, parties. Sometimes it was fantastic, but more often than not it was far from it. I was young and foolish and felt I had to be there to see and be seen, but did it make me happy? Of course not. There was always some kind of narrative going on, and often some emotional drama with friends or lovers. Those nights, I was playing the part of going out and having a good time when all I was really there for, precisely as Cordon so succinctly put it, was so I could find the person with whom at last I could stay in.
So, the wheel has come around, and it is time to go out again, and again, and again, because a plankton cannot rest on her laurels, oh no. She must be “out there” to have any chance at all, and as much as humanly possible, before it’s too late, even though it already seems too late. She may even happen upon some incidental pleasure and fun with family and friends along the way, nothing to do with finding someone. That does happen and it is a bonus. But she certainly can’t complain of finding no one if she sits in at her kitchen table each evening with a Lean Fucking Cuisine (do they still exist?) and some televisual equivalent of comfort food (Downton?), or a even a worthwhile book, however damned good it may be (currently, Tomalin’s biography of Dickens).
No, she must go out in order to find someone with whom to stay in.