RIP Party Animalus

My writing partner Gillian who is @misssym on twitter made me laugh today when she tweeted: I have had a shocking hangover today. Should your actual hips hurt?

That statement just about sums up the perils of geriatric boozing. For example I am nearly fourty but I always go out on New Year's Eve and this year I was gearing up for another night of skimpy dresses, high heels, dancing the night away at a party doing salsa and ending up with the mother of all hangovers. But my husband but the kibosh on those New Year's Eve plans by pointing out that since we had plans to go out on the night after 'you won't be able to handle it since if you go out New Year's you'll want to go to bed at eight o'clock the day after.' Fair dos, he was right. So I will be going to bed at 10 pm on New Years after a few quiet drinks with friends - how sad is that? Sad but absolutely necessary. Because these days drinking is so dreadful the day after that it's almost not worth it.

When I was young there was no thrill like it - Friday night, getting dolled up with the girls, listening to Wham! - going out in London, pub crawling, chatting up the lads, falling drunk out of a taxi, drunken snogging or not etc, analysing the highs and lows of the night out to death with the girls the next day over a fry up and then doing a hair of the dog Saturday lunchtime. But I remember even when I was young, in my twenties, I knew there was going to be a sell by date on these kinds of excesses. I remember once seeing this woman at a party who I thought was really old back then but was probably only in her late thirties going upstairs with a bloke and getting off with or shagging him and coming down an hour later all dishevelled and it looking like it was a kind of 'one off' thing and I thought - No Way Jose am I going to be in my late thirties doing the sort of thing we all do in our late teens/early twenties. Sure I've come down some stairs at a party with my trousers inside out wondering why everyone's laughing but I was fifteen and surely we've all done something similar in our salad days?

So just as drunken sex with some bloke upstairs at a party no idea what his name is pretty much reaches its sell by date by the time one hits one's mid-twenties, hangovers become worse and worse as time goes on. And when you have kids, frankly it's just not worth it because looking after kids with a hangover is akin to listening to a stand up comedy routine by William Hague.

Recently I read a really intresting post by From Marketing To Milk about the Brits relationship to booze and it did make me think. Do you think Brits have an unhealthy relationship to alcohol even taking into account that until recently most UK flats were drafty and had poor heating, plus it's dark for six months of the year so filling up with booze is a cheap and cheerful way to keep yourself warm? Maybe, I'm not sure.

Nevertheless I never thought I'd embrace sensible drinking on New Years. So that's it then - RIP Party Animalus. I'm officially no longer a party animal. What about you? Are hangovers just not worth it any more for you and what are you doing on New Year's Eve?