Now and again, we find ourselves doing something in SL that a ‘reasonable’ person might find a little strange, even bizarre. I’m not talking about any of the crazy and ridiculous activities that most of us find ourselves embroiled in on a regular basis, but the sort of things that might lead a casual observer to scratch their heads in bemusement.
It happens to me quite frequently and is one of the dangers of the lines between the real and virtual worlds becoming a little too blurred. Where any less-involved person might recognise the point at which the line should be drawn and let common sense prevail, I forge ahead, having lost any sense of normality.
It was the annual Halloween bash at my regular Friday night venue. I dressed for the occasion of course, ensured that I was well furnished with refreshments, and settled down for an enjoyable evening of fun and frivolity. Closing time came, and went, as it frequently does on a Friday; the time crept onwards to midnight and beyond, and then even the diehards and party animals began to throw in the towel.
Not me… I, and a few foolish others – some of whom occupied time zones far more conducive to staying on than my own – decided to stick it out to the bitter end, no matter when that might eventually turn out to be!
As it happened, the bitter end, when it came, was the unholy hour of 3am. And although you might contend that we were having fun, it wasn’t a ‘school night’, and there was no harm in it, you still have to question my question my sanity just a little. I could try and justify it by arguing that I’m generally a bit of a night owl anyway, but sitting in front of a computer for seven hours straight, until stupid o’clock in the early hours, just to listen to music and exchange drunken banter with a few, equally bonkers friends, has to make you wonder about my priorities, surely?
It’s even weirder when you consider that I’m not a party animal. I avoid those sort of things like the plague in RL, and – unless I’m surrounded by people I know well, in a familiar setting – I’m not that comfortable with that scenario inworld, either. Although, when it comes to holding out until the last possible moment, I’m afraid that I do have form in both real and virtual settings. Outside SL, if you do manage to get me along to a party – and that’s no easy feat – the chances that you’re going to be stuck with me all night, either that, or leaving without me, are pretty high. I’m frequently amongst the last to leave, if not the last person out of the door at the end.
The same is true inworld – on many occasions I’ve found myself the last avatar standing, wondering where the time went, and where has everyone gone? I really don’t know why, it’s just one of the more inexplicable aspects of my character.
Perhaps I’m just not as capable as others when comes to moderation… Where any other reasonable person might say ‘it’s late, I have a warm, cosy bed waiting for me and I’ve enjoyed myself immensely, but it’s time to call it a night’, the thought doesn’t even come to mind. I don’t worry that 4 hours sleep is an unreasonable amount of rest at the end of a long and busy week, and the fact that I’m no longer at the age – and haven’t been for a very long time – that pulling an all-nighter is no big deal, scarcely crosses my mind.
Maybe I need a inworld chaperone, who will gently suggest, at an appropriate time, that I’ve had a good night, but now it’s bedtime and I should think about saying my goodbyes and logging out?
Or maybe I should just accept that there’s life in the old girl yet, and it may be wrong, it’s certainly not wise, but nevertheless nothing is likely to change for the foreseeable future, so I may just as well accept that this is the way I am.
And if I do happen to fall asleep in the middle of a conversation… You’ll know why!
Let’s dance in style, let’s dance for a while,
Heaven can wait we’re only watching the skies.
Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst,
Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?
Alphaville – Forever Young