A ‘pass’ out for the night? It’ll never happen.

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I wish to venture into your private life today. Yes, I want to know something about your closest personal relationship, especially if you are male.

Pass, pass out, socialising, going out for the night.
A scene from The Hangover. This is unlikely to be the result if your other half goes out for the night. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

When you arrange to leave your family and go out for an evening, how do you go about it? Do you simply inform your partner or do you enter into a protracted period of negotiation to secure a few hours away from your offspring and other half?

I ask because there’s a phrase I hear people use in such situations and it does my head in. There are a few different variations, but it generally goes like this:

“I have a pass to go out tonight.”

When I say “people” I’m afraid to say I can be very specific. I’m referring to us men. I may be mistaken, but I don’t think I have ever heard a woman say she has a pass to go out and visit friends.

I’m always left feeling slightly baffled as to how the process works between couples that use such language. I have a vision in my head of a 15-page document that has to be completed and submitted, along with two passport photographs, at least 10 days prior to any social engagement.

The details of all people that are going to be present, the destinations visited and transport arrangements are to be confirmed before any pass is issued. On successful completion and checking of all documentation, a visa, or pass, will be issued allowing free passage to the Mermaid’s Elbow pub, Peacock of the Raj curry house, Big Bella’s Lap Dancing Club and finally a journey home at one am in Jimbo’s seven-seater taxi.

The bit about the lap dancing club? Yeah, I made that up. I was simply being facetious for dramatic effect.

Maybe it’s just me, but I just don’t do the ‘pass out’. My wife doesn’t either and if she ever used that phrase, I’d be mortified.

I just find it a bit wrong.  It may very well be meant in jest, but to me it suggests a slightly unhealthy relationship where there is a lack of trust.

In this household, we simply consult diaries and politely inform. Well, I say that, with my wife being the one in employment she sometimes goes out with work colleagues and I may get no more than an hour or two’s notice.

Not that it bothers me. Marriage and long term relationships are one, big, long exercise in diplomacy. If Mrs Adams gets to see her friends and work colleagues at short notice then she can hardly complain if I want to socialise from time to time (or, indeed, spend several days in Australia as I did on one occasion).

Issuing each other with passes, however? Even talk about issuing each other with a pass? Absolutely no way. It’ll never happen.

11 thoughts on “A ‘pass’ out for the night? It’ll never happen.”

  1. Welcome to the feminist revolution John! Having a pass to go out is a sad hangover from the days when all wives were regarded as the old ball and chain, something you brave men put up with, y’know despite being henpecked and all that. I had a colleague who used it often, and he was younger than me so I think it isn’t something that might die out in a generation’s time.

    Smash the patriarchy!

    (Only some of this comment is in jest…)

    1. I think I can spot the bits that are in jest Sue! You’ve kinda surmised my feelings. It seems a bit disrespectful to everyone. The wife is made out to be controlling and the man henpecked. I ain’t gonna present myself that way to the world as henpecked and hard done by and I certainly wouldn’t want my wife seen as controlling either. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I think it’s something said in jest. In our house, my husband informs me if he’s going out, whereas I ask him if it would be convenient! It’s a given that I’m always at home for when he works late, goes out, has to stay over for work etc. If I want to go out, I have to check that he isn’t doing any of those things.
    I genuinely think it is a year since I last went out with friends 🙁

  3. I used to get one night out a week. Being a SAHM with anxiety, bipolar, and high stress, we as a couple agreed that the one night we can go out I can go relax unwind and then get back to my Daily Grind the next day. We don’t do the whole pass thing. if you get invited out and we’re financially able to and the kids aren’t being extreme Terrors, then you’re free to go out. Just inform me, don’t ask just informed. But I do like to have a bigger notice because if the kids are being really bad and I’m stressed out and waiting, and anticipating his arrival and then he tells me he’s not coming… that’s a little nerve-wracking. With our littlest little, youll want to buy a stock in alcohol..

    1. Everyhitng you say makes complete sense and I understand it. I’m a bit more liberal on the notice I like to receive but that’s a personal thing. Just delighted ot hear you don’t issue passes to each other!

  4. We just ask eachother ‘do you mind if i pop out this Saturday for a few drinks admittedly it’s my husband asking because I don’t go out like that it’s not my thing but then I go away twice or once a year for 2/3 days to a friend up country alone we just give eachother a bit of notice to check work and plans then go for it.
    I thought you’d be talking about hall passes 😉 haha now that’s not gonna happen haha

    1. You’re the second person to have mentioned hall passes. This is an entirely new concept to me! Anyway, glad you don’t ask for passes. It just seems to suggest a lack of trust I feel.

  5. We don’t really even discuss here. Nov to Jan is shooting season, so every other Saturday the OH wlll be in the pub for dinner, and might be out a bit longer. I have dancing once or twice a week, and I tell him the night before or the day ‘I’m dancing tonight’ and that’s it. If I’m going out for another reason it goes on the calendar, and I mention it to him, check he’ll be in (more than likely). If it’s calving time of year, then he needs to know the day before so he can get someone else to check the cattle at 9pm. If he’s going out (very rare), he just goes out, presumably checking the calendar or on a day I’m not dancing.

    We’ve never had a ‘pass out’ and neither have friends. It’s a bit odd to me as well.

    1. Hurrah! Glad I’m not the only one. I’ve had a few people comment on Facebook saying “it’s just in jest”. Is it though? It suggests a lack of trust and seems a little disrespectful to the wife (seen as controlling) and husband (seen as henpecked). Not my thing at all.

  6. My mates say this to me all the time and it pisses me off. I am the only one that has kids. I never ask to go out I can if I want. But most of the time I choose not to as I have more important things to spend money on now. And bigger priorities.

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