Obviously yours gets the bigger laugh. Your friend shoots you the injured glance of the rightfully vanquished but you know natural selection makes the world go around. Not your fault you’re eminently the more natural entertainer.
Uncomfortably, you quash the trifling voice reminding you your anecdote was entirely fabricated. Really, your only altercation with tequila was in the booze aisle at the big Sainsbury’s in Clapham, where you were buying a fruity sauvignon for a Saturday night in front of The X Factor. The bit with the policeman was actually a nod from a copper presumably commending you for being such a stand-up citizen by carrying the vino in a bag for life.
You just played the “weekendvy” card: fibbing about having had a big one because you’re terrified everyone else is having a better time than you. It’s embedded in the culture of the office; indeed, in some offices, weekendvy is virtually legitimised as policy.
At Moo — a Shoreditch start-up that prints custom business cards and stationery — there’s a Monday morning ritual in which employees compare their weekends.
“The product team here at Moo start their Monday morning meeting by comparing weekend stories to see who has had the most interesting weekend,” says Teresa Pereira, VP Brand and Communications at Moo. “The winner sits at the top of the leaderboard until Monday rolls around again and the top slot is up for grabs. Previous winning stories have included, top fancy-dress worn to parties (ketchup bottle), yummy food stories, and then of course the mercy win for when things go terribly wrong. This idea was introduced to engage the Moo Crew with a fun way to start the week, and to highlight the importance of switching off at the weekends. We find that integrating fun into work makes for a much happier more engaged place to work.”
It’s endemic. Research by Travelodge states that three-quarters of adults worry that everyone else is living it larger than they are; a third of us lie about our weekends. The most popular lies include telling everyone you had a massive Saturday night, saying you did something wacky and adventurous, pretending you were on a mind- or body-enhancing course or training programme, eating out somewhere famous and claiming you spent the weekend romping from dusk till dawn on a sexy mini-break.
Weekendvy is from the same stable of feelings as FOMO, but instead of sitting at home scrolling through Instagram, fat tears of exclusion and inadequacy splashing the screen, you’re getting creative. If you said it happened, no one has to know it didn’t.
Presumably, it’s persistent in offices becauses everyone spends all day being strait-laced and thus feels a fierce compulsion to prove that, out of that nylon MS trouser suit, you’re actually a total wrong ’un, mashing, lashing and bashing every night of the week. It starts with the competitive hangover and escalates into tales of dissolution, fibs and oneupmanship. After your own tale you direct a challenging stare at an outdone colleague. They adjust that grey grimace into a clumsy smile.
Obviously, there are rules. For example, don’t play the romantic mini-break card if everyone knows that you’re single; at best you’ll look silly, at worst delusional, conjuring images of yourself at home on Saturday evening dressing up your cat while slugging sloppily from a bottle of red. Make sure you keep your ears primed on Friday afternoon so you know what colleagues are up to: if you’re pretending come Monday that you had a big one, you don’t want to pick a club that your deskmate was actually dancing at. And pay attention to your social footprint. If you say you went to the country for the weekend and then realise you posted a picture lamenting the London deluge on FB time-stamped for Saturday pm, you’re going to look like a berk. Fail to prepare, prepare to be ostracised.
Indeed, weekendvy is time-consuming. With any luck being a fantasist will eat up all that time you’re actually home alone, doing nothing.