It is remarkable how people assume certain things and categorize others. We all have specific understanding about what a standard “night in” means for a couple; “night out” for boys and the same for girls. We assume that if boys get together outside of pub, they either do it for some sport activity or take some beers to hang out with mates at someone’ s house when the girlfriend is out. The same way we assume that girl’ s night means painting nails, braiding hair and sharing the latest gossip. Right?
What I love about our modern society the most is its ability to simultaneously approve and discard something in one go. To slowly accept gay marriages, but being paranoid about some religious disruption that might lead to terrorist attack at the same time. The psychology of the modern world is a complex little system that seems to get more flawed by day. What we learn and master in is hiding and operating behind the closed curtains. Tell me, who would openly admit something out of standard and ordinary? It’ s not only shopping, a bad movie or some heavy dessert we consider being some sort of guilty pleasure. Now, there is one more addition to the list – the activity.
What bumped me to think about this was an invitation to a dinner party on a lovely Saturday afternoon. Everything about the invitation was ordinary and safe. Dinner, friends, some wine…even the fact that I was the only female in the small group of friends. That happens a lot and I’m not even sure why. Either because of majority of my friends are male or because I am what they call to be “one of the guys”. Whatever the reason for that is would be irrelevant in this instance. The only thing I didn’t know about this evening was that boys had cooked. Everything from scratch. Beautiful ravioli out of freshly made dough and specially prepared filling with some spicy pork sauce that had slowly been cooking for 3h. It’s well known that men are often better cooks than any female could ever be and there is nothing funny about the fact my friends had prepared this amazing feast. When I entered the kitchen filled with aroma of freshly made pork sauce, I found 2 of my friends sitting in the kitchen, sipping pink bubbly spritser out of delicate wine glasses. I assumed it was a lovely way to greet the summer, so didn’ t think that was outrageous, maybe slightly unorthodox for men only. Not long after I arrived, another guy showed up. We dined, chatted, opened another 2 bottles of champagne and started playing extreme Jenga and build Domino track forts and turned into bunch of kids. Baring in mind, the average age of the group stayed between 28 and 35 years and that it was Saturday evening. Beautiful, warm and breezy summer evening in North West London. 3 guys (all straight) and a girl (also straight) having a “night in with friends”. No sports, no painting nails, no gossip, only cooking, bubbly and boys. Now, what does not fit in the picture?
We are all young, full of life professionals who’ s life should be all fun and games, yet we decided to stay in and leave the wonders of London to other groups to discover. The boys had pink drinks and champagne. Boys. Men really. Strong independent and good looking guys who did something “so gay!” according to certain standards. They didn’t find it odd, I didn’t find it odd. But someone did and asked me: “ Are you sure they are not gay? Not even little? Or heartbroken? This cannot be!” Why would that be so surprising? Had we really spat on a shoe of the modern Saturday night out for the young and vital?
Later on in the Tube I found myself thinking if we had broken some rules of how things usually work in our modern society. Did we stir the comfort zone of assumptions, generalizations, preconceptions and gender roles? Did we really threat modern society with new subtle terrorist attack or is this one of the few indications about how we are slowly letting go of an ancient bias of how “things usually work”?
Whatever that evening was, it certainly felt like a real quality time and made me think about how open the society and modern people would be to situations like this. What if masses of men all of a sudden start going for those Fashionista afternoon tea events in some 5 star hotels or pamper themselves in a spa for a day (not specifying that they might just have massage and other wellbeing treatments opposed to facials and etc). Would it be acceptable without us trying to categorize and label those men metrosexual or gay? Is it possible that actually guys do not want to throw rude jokes around the table and get piss drunk on beer every single weekend of the year? Would this change someone?
I think its wonderful how the society is changing and slowly shifting the borders of what is acceptable and what not. We are breaking the law every single day already. We just don’t notice doing it. Playing with the good old ancient law of gender roles. This is the act of “Saturday, Boys and the Bubbly”. Legalize it!