I think I've been having Girl's Nights since junior high. Then, our "Girl's Nights" would consist of going to the movies and sleeping over someone's house. Occasionally, there would be a party or some sort of school function--all of which ended in a sleepover. In high school, it was similar, until I got a boyfriend and then I rarely participated in Girl's Night, because having a boyfriend was a new, marvelous experience! College, post-college and even now, in my middle years, Girl's Night is always a spectacular event, which requires heavy levels of planning!
It is different for men, I think. One, my husband would never call going to a game "Boys' Night," in fact if he did, I'd assume there was something unsavory happening or I'd think he was being dramatic, as if being a man is so hard and I'd probably say "EVERYDAY IS BOYS NIGHT, YOU JERK! DOWN WITH THE PATRIARCHY." And when my husband does do any sort of "male" centered outing, his planning is very minimal. He went to Alaska twice to fish and, while he was not the one planning it all, he never seemed to be on the phone for hours for days at a time planning his outfit.
He just left and went to Alaska.
But, for me, Girls Night and any night out has so many nuances and opportunities for error, that planning is required! I mean, what do you do with the children? What if they have homework? Or what if they miss you? What do you wear? Where do you go? Which handbag?
These decisions are critical and sometimes stressful! Here is my guide to how to plan girls night:
1. Build in planning time.
For one night, you will put as much time as you put into planning your wedding. There is so much to consider, schedules to juggle, interpersonal conflict to manage, decisions to make, eyebrows to wax and chin hairs to pluck.
I suggest blocking off several hours a day the week prior and the day of, taking off completely so you have time to respond to text messages and hydrate.
2. Be the first to suggest outfits!
I love clothing and outfits and accessories. And I love the opportunity to play around with the things in my closet and as I get older, I no longer always shop for something new for every occasion, but instead dig through my "vintage" and old stuff to come up with something new. Clothes are my jam! BUT, sometimes I plan one thing and then someone texts and says, "Let's keep this casual!" or "Sundresses?" or "Jeans and heels?" and as a result all my planning and time goes to hell.
The early bird catches the worm, so screw your friends over and be the first one to dictate the dress code. (and then change your mind and mess with them! They've got the time! )
3. Your children may not be fine. But, it's okay!
Once, I went out for happy hour and in less than an hour, someone (named Nicholas. It is always him!) had broken the TV with a piece of the vacuum. A responsible adult, would have perhaps come home. But, it was GIRLS NIGHT and I had spent 700 hours planning 3 hours out! So, I stayed, ordered a new TV and remembered to hide the vacuum next time!
Another time, someone broke their arm (named Chloe. Breakages are always Chloe). She is fine, now, and great at predicting the weather with her magic arm!
Note: Mike was not home in either of these situations. The person in charge was my mother.
But most times, they are somehow miraculously in bed by 9pm and my husband is playing video games or watching strange wilderness documentaries waiting for me to return. So fine or not, it's all okay!
4. Be prepared for interpersonal conflict (just make sure it does not involve you!).
I like to keep myself out of drama; by this I mean I like to watch, discuss and NOT GET YELLED AT OR BLAMED! I like everyone, even the people I don't like! But, just like you know your toddler will scream at the top of their lungs during a serious moment at church, GIRLS NIGHT will include drama and intrigue! Usually it will be a quiet, low humming drama that will give you anxiety all night (take a pot lozenge or pre-game to take the edge off!). Or maybe you'll witness a crime and have the most exciting night of your life!
Plus, you know your friends--there is always the one who will cheap out on the bill, one who will wear something strange, another who will be texting all night, one who will cancel last minute and another who is writing a judgmental blog (her name is Trish).
BUT these pain points are what makes everything interesting, so laugh it off. (and pre-game! always pre-game!!).
5. When it is time to go, RUN.
Do not look back. Forget your children and their homework and their meals and your spouse and your dog and the laundry. When it is time to go, run like you are catching the last train out of the city about to be blown up by a nuclear bomb! Run like the temple is crashing! Run like an avalanche is coming.
If you walk or even just jog, you won't make it. And all that planning and your fabulous outfit will be nothing! Plus, if you don't make it or are seriously late, everyone will talk about you (and you want to be the one doing the talking!).