Relax

2 04 2012

There are few greater pleasures in life than being relaxed.

Playing a game of football with friends in the backyard as a kid is fun, but it is not relaxing. In the long term the health benefits are easier relaxation due to a reduced heartbeat, but the work associated with getting to this stage is not relaxing. The reason it is not relaxing is simple, you’re doing things at a million miles per hour. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, relax means to slacken and become loose. When playing in sport, one cannot play in a lackadaisical manner without being considered a party pooper. This will then upset the victim and encourage them to achieve greater things than what their mates are doing. When making a harder tackle or scoring more spectacular tries then someone else, the adrenalin surging through one’s system is immense.

At this stage, one could question the difference between being calm and relaxed. The Cambridge English Dictionary says that a state of calm is to be composed. One can be composed while playing a game of football; this is how all the best players operate. However, they are still never relaxed. This is because one has to remain alert to be at their best and perform well.

Therefore, to be relaxed, one must be free of stress. There are numerous places in society nowadays that require the same approach. The one place that really baffles me though, is clubs. The majority of adolescents look forward to the day that they are legally allowed to go ‘clubbing’. As mentioned earlier, to be relaxed is to be free from any stress. After having my first clubbing experience, I found it mighty confusing to see the joy that my friends got out of going to such places. This was one of, if not the worst thing I’ve ever had to endure. Now, I don’t have claustrophobia by any stretch, but I honestly felt like a sardine in that place. I don’t know about you, but I have never seen a relaxed sardine. In my mind, I pictured ‘clubbing’ as something that involved dancing, and this place was that cramped that I found it hard to even lift my arm without hitting someone in the face.

Prices of drinks in the club were ridiculously expensive, and when you’re paying over ten dollars for something in a glass no bigger than your fist, you want every drop you can get. But I’m sad to report that this is impossible, as you have to manoeuvre your way back to your seat and your friends, not against the grain, but against multiple. And when you’re not very tall or big even, this is very hard. Normally, transporting a glass of drink less than ten meters is easy, but I ask you, have you ever seen a sardine go one meter without spilling his drink? Thought so.

These aren’t the only things about going clubbing that get me scratching my noggin either. I’ll admit here now, I like my music loud as much as the next person, but I’ve never played music that loud that I’ve gone death. I have no idea what the legal limit for how loud music can be played is, but I bet clubs surpass this, by miles. I know that I am picky when it comes to listening to music and that given the generation I have grown up in, my tastes are considered ‘ancient’ by some, but how the hell can you be relaxed when the music is so loud that, when standing no less than a centimetre from someone else’s ear, shouting at the top of your lungs trying to talk to them when they can’t here you? I just found that frustrating. The music today is also very in your face. The music that I enjoy could be described as just as bad in the themes that are sung about, but at least it isn’t as obvious what that is. It is true that some songs were banned from the radio during the seventies and eighties, but you had to really listen to them to work out why, prime example, Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night”. But now, the vulgar words are the emphasised ones. You don’t really have to do much listening at all. Better yet, read the title of the track on, I would suggest CD cover but, iPod or computer screen.

I know that alcohol is classified as a depressant and is supposed to, key word there, make one relaxed, but how can this be true when there are so many reports in the news about young people getting into brawls and some needing to go to hospital while others end up with charges laid against them when under the influence? You get unspeakable amounts of alcohol in you, and do you really feel relaxed in an environment that is ridiculously cramped and loud? If when hung over, one hates loud noises and bright lights, why don’t they hate them the night before? The decibel shattering in clubs and the mini laser shows are spectacular, yes, but they are not natural. So it gets really annoying when people complain. Suck it up bitch; you were the one who got plastered, not me. So why should I clean up after you and keep the blinds closed just for you?

It is for these reasons why clubs are not my forte. For me, being relaxed involves having a lower heart rate, and there is only one way of achieving this quickly, easily and free of charge; closing your eyes and not moving overly fast. Think about it, why else would we close our eyes when we are asleep? Or have what parents with young children call ‘wind down’ time? Because we want to relax. The next time pressure gets to you, try closing your eyes.

I close my eyes all the time when there is no work to be done. I also do it with minimal or no music. By minimal I mean slow moving music that one can easily play on an instrument with no computer input required. On the train, at the beach, on the toilet, in a lecture. Everywhere. Try and attempt this at a club though and you’ll be squashed like an ant, or evicted because security will presume you are too drunk even though there is no cap on the amount of alcohol you can consume. This is one of the only places that you go by choice and without money coming your way that you can’t relax. You have to keep moving no matter what, a bit like a fish, and how many fish are relaxed?

These are the reasons that when offered to go to a club by friends, I become a bit of a recluse. I daren’t go within one hundred meters of a club. The best way of relaxing with friends, is to have a backyard party or get together. This is because a) you can limit how many people come and cater accordingly, b) you can put a cap on how much alcohol is supplied, and c) you control what music is played and how loud it is, otherwise the neighbours rat on you to the police.

One of the best memories I have to date occurred just the other night, or is that morning, at my mates place. We had a BBQ and didn’t get to bed until two o’clock in the morning, but when we did, we could all remember what happened and we all enjoyed ourselves. One of us didn’t even have any alcohol. But when we rose from our slumber the next day, breakfast was spectacular for everyone, except your dietician. We had a bacon and egg sandwich, who doesn’t enjoy that? But we didn’t have it inside; we had it out in the backyard, in the morning sun. A greasy breakfast with four of your mates in the backyard of a typical suburban house in the sun. This is as close as one can get to heaven on earth without a woman being present. It was great fun. No one had a headache and no one was complaining about the light. That’s what I call an enjoyable morning after an enjoyable night.

So for all those people who say that clubs are fun and relaxing, please think about what you’ve just said. Only half of that sentence could ever possibly be true. But for me, none of that will ever be true because, horror of horrors, I’ve been to a club twice, the second time I owed a mate one. On neither occasion was I drunk, or anywhere near tipsy even, but got my head ripped of both times, by the same chick. I’m sorry, but this is not fun. Especially when the second time, you did what you said you were going to do and then left accordingly.

Another thing, when at a house party with a friend’s friends that you don’t know well, you can laugh at anything and everything. If I were to go to a club, or anywhere in public for that matter, and have my chin stroked by another man, I would more than likely step back before punching his lights out. However, because you know everyone at the party, you know that none of this chin stroking that happened is too serious. Nothing will eventuate from it, so we can all have a good laugh about it. If it were to happen elsewhere though, ‘RAPE!’

Only the really seedy and/or desperate go to a club to try and meet chicks. I say the desperate because, a) the guy in question is drunk, b) the girl he wants is drunk, or c) they both are. Now this is a pathetic way of ‘hooking up’ with a girl because, let’s face it, you can’t be drunk all your life. So how are you going to, meet a girl and settle down and start a family if the only way you feel confident is if one of you is drunk. If you can’t chat up a girl when you are both sober, you shouldn’t have a penis. This is why when my friend told me that he wanted to ‘hook up’ with a chick at a club; I asked if he was mad.

Also, I don’t get alcohol. For the first eighteen years of your life (twenty one if you’re in America) you legally aren’t allowed to consume alcohol in public. In that time, you go out with friends and have good times and wonderful experiences that you will never forget. Come your eighteenth birthday, all that goes out the window. Everywhere you turn is alcohol of some sort, and this is what I don’t get. Why is it now, after all this time do we suddenly need booze to have a good time?  What has changed socially? Why is alcohol held in such high esteem by our peers? As with other things in life, if you do not understand it, you leave it alone. Electricity, internal combustion engines just to name a few. So I personally have applied the same theory here. I don’t get it, I leave it alone.

So next time you consider planning a get together with your friends, take all of this into consideration. Do I want to remember everything with clarity? Do I want to wake up human shaped? Do I want to clean up my friend’s sick? Do I want to open my curtains when I wake up in the morning? Do I want to hear the chirping of the birds when I do so? If you answered yes, yes, no, yes, yes, you’ve made the right choice my friend.

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14 08 2012
Hello « Hologram of Baal

[…] the mean time though, just read older posts like this and this. I mean who doesn’t like a good re-run? Seriously?! Noone put their hands […]

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