Harriet Walker: 'I'm forgoing hedonism for a night of Chinese goo

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The Independent Online

It's bad enough spending a Saturday night in, without 1,000 gurning ravers making you feel even worse about it. But how was I to know that – as I spent yet another evening festering in front of a generic entertainment show which starts with 'X' and ends in 'Factor' – a bunch of hedonistic hooligans had taken over a disused office block in central London and turned it, for 18 hours only, into a quantum leap back to 1992?

When I saw it on the news, I felt sick and jealous by turns at the thought of how much fun my (slightly skanky) peers were having and how much they all loved each other. Patting strangers on the back and telling them they're beautiful; watching cheap lasers as if they hold the secret to the origins of the universe; throwing beer cans at the curmudgeonly police trying to break up the love-in. The most interaction I had all day was a phone conversation with the local Chinese takeaway that sounded like it had been amplified through a sock. And I had to call them back when they delivered a polystyrene vat of nuclear lava with absolutely no vegetables, pork or sweet and sour anything floating in it.

"It sounded like you just asked for sauce!" the woman crossly muffled back at me. "But why on earth would I do that?" I reasoned, fully aware that I sounded like a sauce-loving loon who should get out more.

Relaxing on the sofa of a weekend, I'm constantly beset by demons quoting good weather, the need not to let my limbs atrophy and – worst of all – being cool as reasons to haul myself up out of the moulded-to-fit dent I have carefully cultivated in the left-hand cushion. In the apogee of domestic bliss, my boyfriend has moulded the right-hand one.

Sometimes I tell myself that it's actually cooler not to bother going out – that's what everyone would expect me to do on a Saturday night, right? Be conspicuous by your absence, yeah? So it's bohemian to stay in on the weekend; intellectuals don't care about getting their quotient of fresh air or making sure their friends still remember who they are. I bet Heidegger never went out on a Saturday night.

But this approach only works if you can completely convince yourself. Had my red sauce contained meaty lumps in it, I might have been able to believe that a night in was just what I wanted. But actually it felt as empty as my polystyrene cup – slurping crimson goo off a prawn cracker isn't anyone's idea of fun.

So next weekend will see me marauding around office blocks in a skimpy outfit. Or it would do, if my boyfriend hadn't invited some friends round. Well, someone needs to make sure they don't mess up the cushion dents, don't they?

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