There have been a lot of reasons lately that are making me think “I’m an old guy now”: Another birthday, moving in with my girlfriend, everyone getting married and having babies. There’s also more responsibility at work, hangovers that last for days, muscles strains from moving furniture (or doing anything really), and perhaps most troubling one white nose hair that won’t stop growing back. Trust me, he’s a real stubborn asshole. But beyond all the factors that are telling me that I’m getting too old for this shit it’s simple: I don’t want to go to the bar anymore.
Now let me clarify. If you want to go meet for a drink in the middle of the day, preferably in a place where actual old men go to commiserate, or play darts, or hide out because they’re too afraid to tell their wife they got laid off, then count me in. It would really be better if there was no one there at all, but I’ll tolerate the maximum of one old guy who can’t stop talking about the first time he saw Yaz hit a home run. Also, if you want to grab two lawn chairs and a cooler and call it a bar, I won’t argue. I’m just done with the crowds, the costs, the blackouts. Basically the weekends of every 20 something year old. I never thought the idea of standing for a few hours drinking would seem so unpleasant, but guess what, it does. I’d rather grab a margarita… with my girlfriend… on a Tuesday night… at a chain restaurant… that has servers wearing pieces of flair than go out drinking at a swanky bar on Saturday night. It’s time for me to stop pretending. I’m throwing in the towel on my youth.
When I stop and think about it, it’s hard to see why I ever enjoyed going to the bar at all. I wasn’t pretending when I was younger, I really did have fun. But I shouldn’t have. Sure that whole “standing” thing wasn’t so hard back then, but dancing was. Girls always wanted to go to the bar so they could dance. Even though I’m pretty sure their definition of dancing was screaming at every friend that comes in like they haven’t seen them in years, taking a million pictures of themselves, and drinking your drink when they finished theirs in 4 seconds so they wouldn’t have to hold the glass. Dancing for me was getting so obliterated that by the time the last half dozen songs came on I didn’t know that swaying around like an asshole while clapping off beat was not dancing. I can’t fucking dance. I don’t like to dance. Especially not to the same 80s songs every drunken weekend. Newer songs were even worse. Holy shit, bar music is trash. Why would anyone in their right mind have paid even five dollars to see a bar band play “Save a horse, Ride a Cowboy” and “Crazy Bitch”? What the fuck were they lacing those $4 Coors Light bottles with?
It was fun because we were drunk, and doesn’t everything just seem better when you’re drunk? (No, you have a problem!) When you’re young you get shitfaced and everyone finds the nearest friend’s apartment and just crashes there. You take over strange beds, are unaffected by spending the night on the floor, and if you were me you found that a couch kept in someone’s kitchen was not weird but a welcoming space to sleep it off. But… people grow up. And they move away. And as their apartments get nicer they are a lot more nervous when you look like you may piss yourself while inhabiting the first piece of furniture they bought as a couple (awwww). You need to drive yourself home, so you can’t get tanked. That’s fine. Being sober is OKAY. But being sober around drunks at a bar is about as fun as punching yourself in face 103 times. Give or take.
The cost of travel (gas, parking, cabs) and growing out of dives and into nicer, more adult bars (cover charges, fancier drinks, clothes to replace your ratty Blink 182 shirt from 8th grade) begins to add up as well. I have no money. But worse than that I’m always tired. If I had enough money to take a limo straight to the bar and then back home when I wanted then the bar would still be great. But the thought of driving somewhere, taking a train, STANDING and drinking expensive drinks, nursing them so I’m okay to drive, paying for a cab back to my car, so that I can drive home, hopefully before I fall asleep, well, it just doesn’t seem like a great time anymore. If I feel like drinking then I think I’m better off just drinking at home. Yes, you miss out on seeing other people, but I don’t like people much anyway, especially strangers. Never have. And I’m not going to pick up chicks. I like my girlfriend. I’m actually going to marry her. And only in part because she would rather sit on the couch and drink instead of going out. And let’s be honest, even if I were single no ladies were ever coming running; in 8 years of going to bars 3 people hit on me, two of which were guys. So no, no amount of booze ever helped me at a bar. So I’m calling it a career. You know, as far as drinking with your friends in public on the weekends can be considered a career. Catch you guys on the flippity flip.