Middelagedmum.com: The one where I get FOGO


Baddie Winkle

Anyone that knows me IRL (in real life) knows I am a lover of a party –  a good time girl who in her hey day would go to the opening of an envelope. Never one to turn down an invitation and always up for a night out, I spent most of the 80s in the gay clubs of Soho, the 90s bringing up children, but still managing the odd mad one every now and then – and the early 2000s celebrating being middle-aged with as many parties as I could manage on a school night.

But recently, either I’ve lost my mojo (what does that even mean?) or I’m getting old (we all know, thats no excuse), but I just can’t get as excited about a wild night out as I used to. Perhaps it’s the fact that the Christmas tree is twinkling in the corner, the fire is lit and there is The Affair/Luther/The Bridge and numerous boxsets to watch, but I can’t seem to summon up enough energy to do anything more than pour a glass of  wine and retire to the sofa.

In the last few months I’ve gone from FOMO (fear of missing out) to FOGO (fear of going out) and there’s no sign things will change any time soon.

If I do make the effort to go out, I need to know its going to be worth it and in order to be sure, I have developed a strict set of rules.

  1. Does the event require a lot of public transport or a long (expensive) cab journey – and if so, will I be able to get home without enduring a night bus/mini cab from Hell, or even worse a sleepover on someones uncomfortable spare bed.
  2. If it’s an after work event (especially in the run up to christmas) will I be the oldest person there – therefore the only one that wants to eat/sit down/be able to hear a conversation.
  3. If it’s a party, will I know anyone apart from the host – meaning I will be either a. awkwardly making small talk with someone I once met five years ago at their last party or b. drunkenly bending the ear of afore mentioned person, as I have nervously drunk too much too soon.
  4. Also if its a party, will everyone be nipping to the toilets every 10 minutes and talking animatedly (boringly) about themselves all night!
  5. Going out on a week night is potentially ok, as I can go straight from work and blame a breakfast meeting for an early departure, but weekends are different. Will it be worth taking off my sweatpants, putting on lipstick and leaving the sofa for? If this isn’t 85% guaranteed, I’m afraid the lure of a jacket potato and back to back Rue Paul’s Drag Race is too much for me.

Maybe its the menopause and my body is telling me to slow down and chill, or maybe I’m getting boring – but increasingly my idea of a good time is dinner with old friends, dancing to 80s music in someones kitchen (I’m looking at you Paula), or even an early morning long dog walk with mates, followed by breakfast.

So this holiday period, I won’t be swinging from the rafters of a basement in Dalston, or screaming with queens in Bethnal Green, I’ll be firmly ensconced on the sofa, in front of the fire, with Tony Soprano.

2016 however is another story ………




  • Osnat says:

    Jane I’m totally with you here. I was recently invited to an office Christmas party of my other half with a James Bond theme, no expense spared. I felt miserable throughout…almost all the girls were younger and glammed up some looking more like playmates than Bobd girls or maybe thats the same thing. The music was too loud to have any meaningful conversation and in any case no one was really interested to get to know the real me…most stumbling on trying to get beyond the hurdle of pronouncing my name,
    I hate to say it and it is against my better judgment but I did feel old, and invisible. I don’t think there was anything I could do differently but I know for sure I will not be attending these kind of shallow superficial parties anytime soon;
    there are many better things to do this time of the year.

  • Harriet Forde says:

    That’s my life!!! Brilliant article.

    Wanting to do sensible bedtimes used to worry me as it indicated I was becoming like my parents…but now I just don’t care – another sign of middle age?

  • Amanda says:

    Last night I ended up hanging around on the pavement OUTSIDE the event with another person over 40 because a) it was cooler for our menopausal bodies b) we could actually have a conversation where we could hear what each other was saying, inside it was like shouting into a black hole of noise. I had one drink and then made it home in time for Luther on catch up TV. Ax

  • Helen says:

    Jane, you just described my life too. And you know what, I don’t think I’ve ever been happier. xx

  • Yes, this is me! I have to implement a 3 Day Recovery Program from any night out where I get home past 11 before I can feel vaguely human again.

  • Jane says:

    Me too Helen!
    J x

  • Jane says:

    Love the idea of a three day recovery programme Jane

    J x

  • Jane says:

    Lol A

    J x

  • Jane says:

    If Im not in bed by 10pm Harriet I’m no good to anyone – I don’t of course sleep all night (show me a menopausal women who does) but the point is, I’m trying.


  • Jane says:

    That sounds hideous Osnat and never to be repeated!

    J x

  • sally says:

    Brilliant….and people talking about themselves particularly resonates with me right now.

    Doing the ‘right thing’ by keeping up with old friends I went to old flame’s mum’s 90th lunch the other day where he and everyone else there (who I knew) talked about themselves and how brilliantly they/their children were doing (ugh).

    I’d asked about everyone’s health, work, family, dogs, cats, houses and holidays; I admired outfits, and passed the sausages. In a final desperate bid to get some attention/feedback I said to old flame ‘you’re looking well’ to which he replied ‘thank you’….felt like running to Ladies to check face. Maybe I’d put wrong one on?

    I continued paying attention to main guest, who, BTW was mostly being ignored!

    Life’s too short not to really engage with all those lovely people out there…a brilliant article Jane, thank you.

  • Nareen says:

    Yep. Only the place names for Sydney ones are different. Sad for my former party self, but also relieved.

  • steffi says:

    Love it Jane! Can so so SO relate. Have lived through that already here in Switzerland (prematurely maybe, but it IS Switzerland after all, and NOT London) but have to be honest, am currently being knocked sideways by a surge of energy and feel about 25 – what’s that about? LOL x

  • Jane says:

    I love your 25 year old self

    J x

  • Claire says:

    I hate going out now . Except by myself to the flicks or standing at Covent Garden . I developed a sudden mystery viral illness preventing attendance at the works Christmas do this year. Feeling similarly oppressed by a Boxing Day invitation . Seems strange as was previously quite gregarious .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *