Where were you on Monday 12th April? Maybe you were settling down to a covetable table in your local beer garden with friends, sharing the first proper pint of the year. Or maybe you’d managed to score an appointment at the hairdresser and were busy broadcasting your shiny new ‘do on Instagram. Or maybe you were just like the rest of us: sitting on your sofa at home, because you missed the boat when it came to the impossible task of getting a table or appointment, well, anywhere.
On what has come to be known as ‘The Glorious 12th’ – in other words, the day pubs and restaurants, salons and shops were finally allowed to open in England – it seemed as if every terrace, manicurist’s chair and bar hastily set up on a street corner was packed with happy customers. But if you hadn’t planned ahead and booked in January, there was no hope of a spontaneous day out. Thinking about meeting up with mates this weekend? If you haven’t been organising the night with the rigour of an army general for weeks, it ain’t gonna happen.
During lockdown, we all knew at least one person who qualified as a Smugsolater: someone who quarantined in a luxury location with their hot boyfriend, adorable pets and plenty of outdoor space, who proceeded to broadcast their #blessed experience on social media. Oh-so relatable, right?
Now that lockdown is gradually lifting, we’re faced with a new, even more irritating hybrid: the Hyperplanner, who started making plans the minute the roadmap was announced. Easy to spot by their diary packed full of engagements from now until September, the Hyperplanner has triple-booked prime spots on every terrace ‘to give them choice’. They spent Monday showing off their haircut, manicure, massage, eyebrow tint and spray tan in a series of irritating Insta posts about being ‘ready to get back out there’. Meanwhile, everyone else is left frantically scrabbling for a pub table by the bins and wondering whether it’s even ok to leave the house with hair that’s more Chewbacca than chic.
If you’re thinking about booking a staycation, rest assured that the Hyperplanner has got there first, blanket booking every room in the Cotswolds over every summer weekend – and you know they’ll only turn up to two. When restaurants finally open for indoor bookings, the Hyperplanner will have secured every good table on a Saturday night. And clubs? Don’t even think about it: the Hyperplanner is on more VIP lists than Kendall Jenner.
If you’re unlucky enough to follow a few Hyperplanners on Instagram, get ready for an onslaught of ‘going out-out’ posts, complete with stories of them and their mates quaffing rosé at a rooftop bar while you’re re-watching Bridgerton for the fifth time and secretly hoping it rains. Your social media feed will be split into two halves: those who have got bookings, and those who are still making sourdough and wondering if they can be squeezed into Pizza Express in September.
It might be hard to summon your sympathy, but spare a thought for the Hyperplanner. Lockdown, while tumultuous and testing for many, has given most of us an opportunity to revaluate what matters to us – including who we want to see when we’re back to normal and how we want to spend our free time. The vast majority will have found that there are friends they don’t miss, nights out they’d rather skip and social stresses they’d be happier avoiding. The Hyperplanners, meanwhile, have jumped straight back into pre-lockdown life without a thought for what they’ve learnt in the meantime. If you’ve missed out on bookings for now, remember that coming out of lockdown will be just as much of an adjustment as going in – something that the Hyperplanners may not have realised. Taking baby steps back towards normality is no bad thing.
Besides, there’s plenty of fun on offer that doesn’t require a booking made months in advance – this summer, you can hit the shops with friends and have ciders in the park, no matter how little you’ve planned. So if you feel like you’ve missed out on the grand reopening this week, don’t worry: we’ve all got a date with a great summer in our diaries, no booking required.