gra-dult-hood n.

1. A stage in life between graduation and adulthood.
2. Gradulthood often involves jobs that don't fulfil a graduate's expectations.
3. A term coined during the recession.

A Gradult and the lonesome pint

As promised, since my move south my blogging has gone that way too. I warned you it would get sporadic and when it comes to promising a drop in production I’m always true to my word. In all fairness I have been very busy; the Champions League wasn’t going to watch itself. When I went to the toilet my pint had to though. For this has been a week of lonesome pub trips.

The solo pub trip isn’t something I’ve been accustomed to in the past, at university there was always a group of three or four willing to go for a drink. In Nottingham if there was no one about there was always the TV. Alas, my sister doesn’t have a TV because she doesn’t want to pay the licence fee. Does that sound like someone who’s forking out for Sky Sports? Infact my sister doesn’t even have a lounge. My hands were tied, so I decamped to the Worster Arms. And by doing so became the first gradult to enter since ’07.

There is a certain amount of etiquette involved when entering a pub solo. You need an air of confidence or you’re finished. I’ve only recently started looking remotely like a man so a couple of years ago the lonesome pub visit was out of the question. You go in looking like a seventeen your old and you might as well order a pack of quavers and wait for the bar staff to start sniggering at you.

If you want to pull it off make sure when completing your transaction with the barman you give him a quick nod of the head and a ‘cheers pal’ from the side of your mouth. If it’s a barmaid why not throw in a wink? Make sure it’s more Eastenders loveable rogue rather than Anne Robinson though. You’re trying to portray an aura that says ‘yeah, I’m in here alone, I know it’s a little strange but I’m comfortable enough in a pub to enjoy it. Now get back to your conversation about Holly Willoughby’s rack and let a man enjoy his pint.’

How you drink this pint is also vital. Make sure when you take the first sip you take more than you usually would. Then exhale audibly and look at it with a grimace bordering on lust. Maybe even start nodding at it approvingly. You want people to think ‘he’s earnt that pint’. The Worster Arms regulars didn’t need to know I’d spent my afternoon rewriting a couple of paragraphs.

When you're drinking solo there’s no one to talk to at half time so get some literature sorted beforehand. I’d read the Metro on the tube to work and the Standard on the way back. I was left with the Camden Gazette. Amateur hour! After reading about library cuts in an area I don’t even live I was forced to turn to the last resort for a lonesome drinker. My phone. And this isn't a smart phone. This phone didn't even get his five A-C's at GCSE. This phone was out drinking cider at the park whilst Blackberries and iPhones were revising. I bet it bullied the iPhone, who's laughing now though eh? Not me, I've still got 9 months on my contract.

You know you’re bored when you’re re-reading your inbox. And when will I learn that my saved photos won’t bring any entertainment! I’ve got 22 in there and I know for a fact four of them are of my old house at varying angles. Is number 16 – the shadow that looked like a dragon - going to lighten up a halftime analysis? No, it’s not. Might as well listen to Jamie Redknapp try and not be controversial and wonder if my stubble will ever look as good.

If you are lucky enough to see a goal whilst watching a game alone, and I saw ONE spread over two nights, then your celebration must be muted. No one likes an aggressive loner. By all means catch eye contact with someone celebrating and smile, that’s standard, but that’s all you get.

So gradults, follow these rules and you too can enjoy the delights of solo drinking. Cheers!

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