Saturday 20th June
It's 7:45pm and I'm at Moon Under the Water pub on Deansgate in Manchester city centre. I'm holding a beer in my left hand and a glass of wine in the other, drinking them alternately. I'm getting a lift tonight (not driving) so am drinking here, before I go to a party at Revolution later.
The drinks here at a Wetherspoon pub do cost less than most venues. There was recently all the publicity in the newspapers about the 1p pint and pound a pint the Wetherspoon pubs were offering. Publicity is all it was. There wasn't any sign of quality special offers and when I asked the bar staff, the pints are all £3 or more, double shots £3.65 or more.
Me: "How's it going?" I say to a random guy sitting nearby who acknowledges me.
Him: "Good thanks. What are you up to?"
Me: "I'm going to a party at Revolution in a bit. Came here first to load up on booze."
Him: "Good idea. It's cheaper in here. What kind of party?"
Me: "It's a business called city socialising which runs events for professional types to get together."
Him: "That's a good idea. I'm out with friends for my 21st birthday which is tomorrow. They all fucked off somewhere and I can't be bothered finding them, so I'm sat here. Where are you from?"
Me: "I live in Altrincham, it's south of the city near Cheshire."
Him: "I know it. I'm an electrician - I've done some work there. I work all over Manchester."
Me: "That's a good job."
Me: "Where are you from?"
Him: "Bury. Is there anywhere good to go out in Altrincham?"
Me: "Not really. The people aren't very friendly. Lots of snobs. It's a nice place to live just for being at home but that's it."
Him: "There's not much in Bury either."
Me: "Yes although you can go to the pub and have a laugh."
His friend comes over.
Him: "Where have you been?"
His friend: "Around here."
His friends looks as if to ask who I am.
Him: "We've been talking." he says referring to me.
His friend: "I received some missed calls from you."
Him: "I was trying to find where you all went."
A lady comes over to us wearing a pink hen night outfit.
Her: "Do you have a condom on you? It's one of our challenges for our hen night but it can't be from a machine. I've asked 6 people and no-one's got one."
His friend: "I haven't go any."
Her: "Could you go to the machine and buy one?"
His friend: "No. I'm not using a condom machine."
Him: "Go and buy one for her."
His friend: "Why don't you go?"
Him: "I'm not going. I'm sitting here."
Her: "I'll give you a pound."
His friend: "You can give me a pound but I'll give it you back."
Him: "You've only got to go and buy it."
The debate continues.
I've finished my drinks now.
Me: "I'm going to get going. See you later."
Him: "See you later." he says smiling and half laughing referring to the discussion with the hen night lady.
I go to Revolution Deansgate, then find out the party is at Deansgate Locks. I walk along Deansgate which is a nice trip with the warm evening and the booze. By the time I reach Deansgate locks I'm getting drunk.
I arrive at the city socialising event where I'm greeted by an ex-girlfriend. It's the one I dated from the James Bond singles night. Then I notice a guy from speed dating last week. We talk. After that I notice another ex-girlfriend from the La Tasca speed dating event.
It seems the same people go to speed dating and social group events in the city.
I speak to some more people here who are all very friendly to a point. It's a fun social evening. I drink 3 free glasses wine mixed with orange juice in a row.
An hour later I've mingled with about 20 people and Jackson arrives.
Me: "That lady I was telling you I dated. She's over there."
Jackson: "The blonde?"
Me: "Her." I point her out.
Jackson: "She's very nice. Why did you break up with her?"
Me: "She went on holiday, came back and never called."
Jackson: "She looks good."
With the alcohol and Jackson saying how good she looks I go over to her.
Her: "Hi." she says smiling.
Me: "How come we stopped going out?"
Her: "I liked you but you never called."
Me: "You went on holiday and never called when you came back."
Her: "I thought you didn't want to meet again."
Me: "We should meet up."
Her: "Ok, give me a call." she says smiling.
Me: "I don't have your number anymore."
Her: "Have you got a mobile?"
Me: "I've got a pen. Write your name and number."
She takes the pen and is about to write it down, then pauses and says
Her: "You can't remember my name?"
Me: "Frances, Francesca?" I say remembering I heard someone say that earlier to someone around here.
Her: "No. If you can't remember my name I'm not giving you my number."
I've been to that many events and met so many people, that matching people's names can be a challenge. Anyway, I've got a date on Monday with the Italian lady I met in Font so I don't need another girlfriend right now.
I continue mingling with people. However it's different today. Not just because of the drink. I go from person to person having mini conversations and deciding 95% of them aren't the type I want to get to know.
I only want to meet up with people who are relaxed when socialising and understand being a social person is no big deal. The majority of people who are here are overacting confident. There's also a few crazy Facebook types taking hundreds of photos to put online.
It's as if I've reached escape velocity from the mundaneness of socialising. It happened because of all the going out, approaching lots of people. Now socialising is no big deal. It's enjoyment, relaxed, fun, cool.
There's always more ladies at these kind of events. Apart from the guy from speed dating I met earlier, I don't meet many guys. It would be great to have some cool, smart, trendy guys to go to bars with. Unfortunately the majority of guys are metrosexual, or don't take care of themselves at all.
I'm chatting to a lady
Her: "I live in Altrincham."
Me: "I do too."
Her: "Do you go out there?"
Me: "No, it's too many nouveaux riche. The people there have got a few bob on their pocket and swan around thinking they're all that."
She laughs furthermore agrees.
Her: "How are you finding it tonight?"
Me: "Lots of dorks."
She laughs and her friend is listening too, enjoying the controversy."
Me: "Most people here are nervous or overacting. It's better to be relaxed. If someone I meet is ok I'll meet up with them and go somewhere nice. Lots of people make such a big deal of it."
Her friend: "This is the kind of guy you either want to punch or go to bed with!"
Me: "Usually it's the second one."
We swap contact details.
I go over to Jackson. It's 10:15pm.
Jackson: "Do you want to get going?"
We leave the venue.
We go to the casino for more drinks. Then to Odder.
I chat to some more ladies having really fun conversations about what we do, where we like going out and so on. It's the way we're all so confident and playful that makes it fun. They only tell me much later in the conversations that they have a boyfriend.
Jackson: "Why do they wait so long to tell you they have a boyfriend?"
Me: "Because they enjoy the conversation so much they tell me later."
When you get really good at chatting to people. They start to expect you have something more to offer. A product or event. Not just a date or friendship. Something they can buy, share or experience, and connect with the inspiration.
At 11:00 the alcohol is wearing off causing a real downer. It's not worth drinking so much when you feel so bad afterwards.
Me and Jackson go to Popolinos for a garlic bread with cheese. It's now 11:30pm. The last time I was here are Popolinos was this morning at 2:30am!
I get a lift home at midnight.
Summary and venue reviews
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Moon Under Water pub
Busy. Clientele: Smart casual, casual. Décor: 8/10.
Moon Under Water pub
Revolution Deansgate Locks
Medium busy. Clientele: smart casual, smart. Décor: 8/10.
Notes: The venue for a city socialising event.
Revolution Deansgate Locks