Vancouver
3 min

Dinner at six

In dreamland by 11

I was recently delighted to receive a dinner party invitation. Sure, I like the hosts well enough. Who are we kidding? I’m up for dinner at any time of the day, but what I was really excited about was the invitation time: six o’clock. Does anyone else remember dinner at six?

I don’t know how it happened but the world has become far too late of a place for me. While I like to stay up into the wee hours of the night, I don’t find it necessary that everything take place at that time. Apparently I am in the minority, however, as everything now seems to be scheduled by vampires.

I hate to be thought of as an antisocial person but, frankly, if things don’t start happening a little bit earlier I’m just giving up on going out altogether. I work during the day and, once I get home and get my comfy pants on, it’s nigh on impossible for me to leave the house again. If there is cat cuddling involved the chances are even slimmer that I will do anything else until I have to clock-in the following day.

I am only too aware that my aversion to late night events masquerading as regular events is due to the simple fact that I am aging. I’m fine with aging in a general sense but I seem to be doing so at an astonishing rate. Apparently I have jumped directly from the age of 30 to 75 in just a few short years. I find myself referring to people under the age of 30 as “kids” and being scandalized by their outfits (which, yes, I sometimes refer to as “getups.”) Other indicators that I have become trapped in some kind of queer femme version of Back to the Future include my frequent repetition of the sentences: What the hell ever happened to customer service? You’re welcome (when some Rude Rodney can’t be bothered to say thank you). And, Does it have to be so loud? Why is it so loud?

While I readily admit to my curmudgeonly ways, I know I’m not the only one who remembers when shows started at 8 or 9 pm. Was there some kind of problem with that?

Recently the wife and I and a friend of ours went to a live show. Publicity for the event said the doors would open at 9 pm. (Remember when we all assumed that doors at 9 meant show at 10? It seems like another lifetime now.)

So we went out for dinner and managed to keep ourselves awake until then. When we arrived at the venue we were met by a locked door; a door that did not open until 9:40 pm. I tried my hardest not to grumble but Grandma Morgan was having a hard time staying pleasant. We got ourselves some drinks and sat down to enjoy each other’s company until show time. Unfortunately, conversation was impossible over the volume of the music. Our exchanges all went something like this:

“Hey, did you hear about…”

“What?”

“Did you hear that…”

“What?”

“Did! You! Hear! That…”

“I can’t hear you!”

“NEVER! MIND!”

“What?”

Repeat.

After an hour of this I began to consider leaving. After another 20 minutes (that’s two hours after we got there, for those playing along at home) I was ready to kick someone in the box.

Long story somewhat shorter, the show started at 11:40 pm.

Now, I’ve waited in a long line to see Eddie Izzard perform. I’ve been patient when the Kids in the Hall made the audience wait before they took to the stage (I suspect it was Scott Thompson’s fault). And should Janis Joplin ever rise from the dead and come to town I would quite happily sit tight until she was good and ready to perform. But to wait two hours and 40 minutes to see local performers in a bar is simply not worth it at my age. With all due respect to the evening’s performers, it just wasn’t.

At least this particular event was on a weekend. Last week I came across an advertisement for an interesting live show and thought I might be willing to stay vertical long enough after work to go see it. When I noticed that it had a start time of 11 pm on a Wednesday I will admit that I shook my fist at the air and mumbled something about whippersnappers. Who are you people who are attending these shows? Don’t you have jobs? When do you sleep? Why is it so loud?

People are continually complaining about the lack of a strong social scene in Vancouver but I have the solution. Forget being badass and rebellious and staying up past 11. Forget this fashionably late nonsense. Let’s get back in line with the rest of the world and try doing things at a reasonable hour, for crying out loud.

So I’m laying down the law: from now on, dinner is at six, all events are at eight, and everyone is home in their jim jams by 11. Trust me, you’ll thank me when you’re my age.