Thursday 23 January 2020

Nightwatch: Dodging St Valentine

Holly White

Being single can be rather wonderful. You can go out seven nights a week with no one to answer to, wear whatever you want and go wherever the wind takes you with no one to check in with. It really is a bed of roses bar one day every year, Valentine's Day.

This year, my single friends and I were once again dreading the onslaught of February 14. The only solution, we decided, was to leave the city for a change of scenery and some intensive pampering.

Galway was calling and Hostess, the Pint-Sized PR guru and I decided were going to be each other's dates.

Our only rule was it had to remain strictly men-free. No drunken midnight messaging, begging or booty calls would be made and no abandoning your mates to hang out with some random guy.

Saturday morning saw the three of us cramming into the Mini and heading west. One quick spin down the motorway later and we were checking in to our plush Galway hotel.

There wasn't a loved-up couple in sight and it already felt as if things were picking up.

After a couple of hours steaming ourselves in the spa, we were back padding about our room in dressing gowns and hotel slippers. But we all knew that this lazing around was only temporary, there was a world outside our bedroom bustling with all sorts of possibilities and the three of us were certainly not going to miss out.

The city was calling us and we agreed that a girlie night on the tiles could do no damage to our pact.

Half an hour later a fashion tornado had torn through our room. Clothes were strewn everywhere and the bathroom resembled a Boots counter.

The skin-tight PVC trousers were on, the fake tan done, the hair mussed just the way I like it and two flicks of black eyeliner adorning my eyes. I was on form and raring to go.

Galway was rammed, so we hit the ground running and made our way to out first watering hole.

Jostling for drinks at the bar with hen parties galore, it seemed that girlie nights were the order of the day. Who needs men?

As closing hour approached, there was something of a mass exodus to one particular nightclub, so we decided to join the crowd.

Once inside, we mainlined it to the bar, where the guy/girl ratio was a lot more balanced -- not that it mattered, of course.

While I was desperately trying to attract the bartender's attention by waving a €20 note, I didn't notice a guy with enormous rugby arms muscling up beside me.

A quick smile and he was immediately served. I was disgusted and gave him a suitably withering look. He gave me a cocky smile in exchange.

"Would you like a drink, seeing as I'm better at getting them than you?" he asked cheekily. "It's the least you can do," was my less than generous reply.

I was already starting to register just how cute he was. Hostess came over and grabbed me aside.

"Super hot," she whispered.

An angel and a devil had placed themselves on my shoulders and the 'girls only' mantra had already started to waver.

It took every last drop of willpower I had to leave him standing there and rejoin the girls. I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas came on and we all hugged each other. This was indeed going to be a good night.

Hours of dancing later, we regrouped outside and Hostess was trying to persuade us that the local chipper should be our next port of call, when Rugby Arms re-appeared.

"I thought you might need a walk home, not being from Galway and all."

I didn't even bother discussing it with the girls. This was too good an offer to miss and I finally gave up the ghost.

After all, it was Sunday morning, which meant it was now officially Valentine's Day. Men -- can't live with them, can't have a fun night out without them!

Irish Independent

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