We've all been there – the standard night out, that follows the predictable trajectory to a tee.
Here are the 27 steps to those nights that we'll all be all-too-familiar with, illustrated – just to make things interesting, for a change – with some of the weirdest stock imagery we could get our hands on.
Step 1: Get ready
Getting dressed and looking sharp is always the first step for a successful night out. You take out that trilby hat you bought on holidays in Tenerife two years ago but have never felt confident enough to wear out in public. You try it on. Admire yourself in the mirror for a couple of minutes, then toss it back in the wardrobe.
Maybe next time.
Step 2: Getting in the mood
The second step is equally as important. You look the part but do you feel the part?
To set the mood for the night you treat yourself to a pre-going out drink, put on an energising song and dance around your living room. Instant uplift, until the next song on your playlist is Radiohead and you spend the next five minutes curled up in the corner of your bedroom quietly sobbing.
Step 3: Adjustment
As you dance around your living room, you catch sight of yourself in the mirror and realise that this outfit just won’t do. You change clothes. Try on the trilby again, and discard it just as quickly, dreaming of a day when the trilby will be socially acceptable.
With that, it’s time to head to the pub.
Step 4: Time management
You time your arrival to be twenty minutes after the designated meeting time in The Hairy Lemon, as you’re walking in on your own and don’t want to end up standing around on your own like an eejit.
None of your friends are there yet.
Step 5: Stand around on your own like an eejit
You spend the next half an hour trying to make it seem like you are completely comfortable and okay with standing in a crowded bar on your own. You stare blankly at your phone.
Open Tinder, flicking through people until your ex’s profile shows up. Immediately delete Tinder from your phone. Spend the rest of the time pointlessly scrolling up and down your Facebook newsfeed, wondering why your friends are posting on Facebook when they are supposed to be here?
Try to hide your escalating panic and paranoia that this night is all an elaborate prank by your so-called friends who have secretly hated you all these years. You are about to have a complete panic attack when…
Step 6: Your friends arrive
Your friends arrive in the bar. Their eyes light up when they see you. You try to hold back your tears of relief.
When they apologise for being late, you wave it away, it’s fine, you only got there a couple of minutes ago yourself. Still slightly shook, you explain that you’re not sure if you’re going to go clubbing, you’ll probably only have a couple of beers. The drinking commences.
Step 7: Escalation
A wild Jack Daniels and Coke appears. You try drinking it. It’s super effective!
Step 8: Broadening your horizons
You decide to move to P Mac's because the barman here is a prick as he refused to serve you before everyone else who had been queuing before you. You can’t drink here anymore – possibly ever – as every drink would taste of injustice.
Step 9: Deja-vu
You arrive in P Mac's. After several double Jack Daniels and Cokes, it’s time to repeat the conversations you were having earlier in the night.
The key difference being that they are now louder, more incoherent and consist entirely of bullet points.
Step 10: If at first you don’t succeed…
You arrive at the entrance to Workman's. You're refused entry by the bouncer. You take this in your stride.
As you walk away you say, making sure to be audible to the bouncer, that you don’t care as the place is shite anyway. Secretly die a little inside.
Step 11: …try, try again.
You have more success at 4 Dame Lane. You cheerfully enter the club. Your favourite song is playing. You're about to run out onto the dance-floor, when you spot your ex across the room.
Step 12: Success!
You’re still explaining to your friends that you only left 4 Dame Lane because you didn’t want your ex to feel uncomfortable, when you arrive at... Coppers.
No one really wanted to go to Coppers – or they claimed not to, at least – but it was the only club you could all agree on.
Step 13: The Look of love
After 20 minutes, you spot someone extremely attractive across the dance-floor.
You instantly come to the realisation that they are THE ONE. You thought you were doomed to a life of solitude and unhappiness until this beacon appeared in the night. The music swells, the lights go low as you make your way across the dance-floor. Your head swims with possibilities. You just know that you’ll have so much in common, that this person will complete you.
You probably won’t move in together straight away, even though you both want to, but you don’t want to rush things and potentially ruin it. You’ll probably end up getting a house in Naas together soon after the wedding. The commute will be tough but you’ll have more space for your kids, and you’ll want to move there before the first kid arrives, Lucy if it’s a girl, Henry if it’s a boy. You have made your way across the dance floor, and are about to introduce yourself when you spot a ‘YOLO’ tattoo on their wrist.
You turn around and walk away, deciding you’d rather die alone.
Step 14: Acceptance
With your loveless fate sealed, make the most of your last few decades and dance like no one is watching. Everyone wishes they weren’t watching. Grab a trilby off some guy on the dance floor. Wear it for the rest of the night.
Step 15: The other ONE
After a couple songs worth of dancing and dry-heaving, you spot someone else who could be THE ONE. You begin to walk over. They make eye contact, and on realising that they are your intended target, you see them mentally trying to swipe left. A look of desperation and fear crossing their face as the try to will the rules and functionality of Tinder into a real-world setting.
Turn away, unfazed, and go back to dancing, secretly dying a little (more) inside.
Step 16: Reconnecting
Spend the last forty five minutes in the club, wandering around trying to find your friends who you’ve lost and trying to avoid the guy whose trilby you stole.
Step 17: Food
On leaving Coppers you're overcome by an instant craving for the Harcourt Diner.
While waiting to order and subsequently for your food, entertain the staff and other customers by loudly yelling in-jokes only you understand, over their heads, to your friends.
Step 18: Taxi!
Leave the Harcourt Diner smugly stating to your friends that you’re saving your chips until you get home so you’ll enjoy them more. Frantically try to wave down every car you see, regardless of whether they are a taxi or not.
Step 19: Resolve
Start to eat your chips, sitting barefoot on the footpath.
Step 20: My kingdom for a horse
In an act of desperation, flag down a bike taxi. Bundle up your chips to finish when you get home. In your drunken haze, the bike operator’s look of despair when you tell him to cycle to Knocklyon, fails to register.
Step 21: Delays
Finish your chips as you wait for the ambulance to arrive for your bike taxi operator, whose heart gave out somewhere in Terenure village.
Step 22: Inspiration
In a shocking moment of clarity, order a Dominos to your house.
Get the delivery driver to pick you up on the way.
Step 23: Arrival
Arrive home, making as much noise as humanly possible as you get to your front door so your neighbours know you made it home okay.
Step 24: Self-reflection
Eat three slices of pizza. Hate yourself.
Step 25: Weakness
Take out your phone to delete your ex’s number. Text them instead.
Step 26: Reflection
Celebrate having the wherewithal to bring a glass of water to bed so the hangover won’t be as bad, by having a little drink and a sing in the toilet.
Step 27: Resolution
Fall asleep, face down on the couch with one arm out of your top, the other resting on the pizza and with the glass of water untouched beside you.
Oh what a night.