Your friends that you’ve known from school are a funny thing. After the first wave of chatter about how everyones doing and job enquiries etc, you find yourself back in a cosy little bubble that doesn’t seem to pop no matter how many years have passed since you were passing notes to each other in history. Time or age doesn’t matter in this zone and nobody outside the bubble will quite get the complex web of references spun over a period of years of various eccentric supply teachers, chavs-who-got-expelled and awkward sex education lessons. Everyone else in the pub blends into into humorous insignificance and woe betide the well meaning blokes on the pull who try and infiltrate your giggly reminiscences.
So through many drunken years of very serious research, here is my irrefutable list of all the times when you undeniably know that you are on a night out with your school friends.
- A girl who used to write her name all over a toilet cubicle has had a baby. Talk will inevitably turn to who has had babies with whom and how many. And when I mean who, I mean the people you last saw with their shirts covered in different coloured gel pens on the last day of year 11. You don’t know them as real three dimensional people with adult hopes, aspirations and difficulties. But you do know that they have a baby. Because of your facebook feed, or somebody else’s facebook feed. Talk will eventually take a more scary turn, prompting a discussion about when everyone wants babies. “Oh not for ages” you will say “not for ages and ages”. But you will suddenly be paralysed with fear that you are looking people in the face that you remember playing imaginary games with. Some of your contemporaries now have kids too old for that sort of crap. And you start to hear a quiet but unmistakable clock ticking in your lady parts….
- You will at one point in the night explode with sheer embarrassment. Nobody quite knows how to embarrass you quite like the people who knew you when you were still stuffing tissue in your bra. Sure, you portray yourself as being a normal adult human being but underneath you will always be the girl who threw up in the middle of French class or sang the wrong solo during the Year 6 production of Joseph and His Technicolor Dream Coat. There is absolutely no need to make small talk with your school friends. They know your every dodgy ex boyfriend, baffling crush and perhaps even the time on the first day of reception when you cried because you missed your mum too much.
- Somebody will have seen a teacher. No matter how old you get, you will never get over the shock of seeing your teacher in a public human place such as a supermarket or a bus. Or even, a bar (!). Such sightings will be pored over with the same wondering detail as a yeti spotting. You will be thoroughly amazed that even after so many years the same people who tortured you with algebra and cross country are still dominating your conversations and, weirdly, how fond you are of them after all. Although, you will be completely astonished at the realization that you have never gotten over that totally unfair lunchtime detention….
- Remember that arsehole who was a complete arsehole? Well, sources have confirmed that he is still a complete arsehole. There will always be that little weasel who everyone agrees on the stoat like nature of; and somebody will have seen him a bit ago and he was up to his old prattish tricks. All involved in the conversation will agree that it is just so typical and horrid.
- You will laugh one hundred times more than you ever will with anyone else. Proper, full on getting sent out of biology for laughing at cartoon illustrations of reproductive organs kind of laughing. Friends you make at uni or at work are brilliant, but they will just never tickle your funny bone the way that people who sat in the same dreary assembly hall with you week after week, where you absolutely aren’t allowed to laugh but you can’t help it, can. It still only takes momentary eye contact to set you off. They got you good then and they got you good now.
Have you been out with any of your old school friends lately? Think that there is anything else that should be on this list? Let us know!