Are we getting older, or just wiser?

It’s been a while since I last wrote. At the office today, while scrolling through my latest emails, I came across an email from Buzzfeed titled “Going Out in College vs. Going Out Now.” Here’s the article, if you’re interested:

The article showed images of how we partied in our college days – drink in hand, triumphantly sticking our tongues out, boasting about how we were going to “party till dawn” and “shut this club down.” In stark contrast, it presented images of “going out now,” represented with bleak images of us saying things like “But it’s so late though” and “It’s too loud in here, can we find another bar?” Admittedly, we spend more of our time these days feeling especially pleased with ourselves when we don’t have to deal with the parking nightmare that is San Francisco, when we don’t have to pay a hefty cover tab, and when we find ourselves warm in bed, ready to sleep and not in the least bit inebriated at around 12am – at the latest. I’ve noticed this trend amongst my friends lately, and though the change was gradual, it really starts to hit you when you notice yourself hearing the same things over and over again.

“I can’t drink at all anymore. Now I know what it’s like to have a 3 day hangover.”

“I’m so tired. Let’s just stay in and watch a movie.”

“Do you really want to go out tonight?”

And the truth is, I know exactly how they feel, and I share their sentiments. While I used to go out partying at 10pm, a few drinks in before even heading out of the house, now I feel completely satisfied staying in and sharing a glass of wine and a nice meal with a friend. I remember the days I used to start getting dressed at 9:30pm, be dressed by 10:30, out the door and in the bar by 10:50 or 11, and partying till 2am. After closing the bar, I would be in a cab by 2:30, off to a late-night pizza place or late night diner. I’d then gorge myself on carbs and butter until about 3:30am, stumbling in the door at 4am, only to brush my teeth and pass out without showering around then. All this, and I’d wake up in the morning with nothing other than a slight headache and a need for a glass of water. At the very worst, a tylenol or two. I remember a night in college where I woke up with toasted bread in my hair and a trash can cradled in my arms. I felt better by 2pm that day.

Now, that very same night would have cost me my entire weekend. I would have ended up lying in bed til 3pm the next day, feeling like a useless bag of crap. At which point around 3:30, I might muster enough energy to make a bowl of top ramen and spend the rest of the day lying in bed, moaning in agony. The following day would be about the same. I don’t know what happened to all of us, but we might be getting a little older. I wouldn’t say that we’re old…we’re not. But things are changing, and I’m starting to take note more as time goes on.

A perfect night to me now would be a nice night in with a friend (or two or three), a delicious home made dinner, along with a bottle of wine or two to share. It’d include great conversation, laughter, music and warmth. No parking battles, no cigarette smoke, no freezing night air and no pain from wearing heels all night. Perhaps a few would call me old, or worse, “lame”, but as I put the dishes away this Friday night in and smiled as my dog so diligently sat at his post, waiting for his nightly piece of freeze dried beef liver – I felt warm, whole, happy and satisfied. And that’s not something a night of inebriation has ever brought me.

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