1. You see students out having fun and are exasperated.
It starts with the high school kids. You see them out at the mall, scowling at things, drinking their energy drinks and just generally being assholes in front of the Pacsun or the Hot Topic. You think, “God, what irritating little warts. Good thing I was never 15,” and then carry on your boring way to go get a loofah at Bed Bath and Beyond or whatever you are there to do. Then you see college kids, getting rowdy in a bar, potentially using terrible fake IDs but still getting away with it because the bartender is cool and they want the money. Despite the fact that you, too, used a fake ID just a few short years ago, you are filled with righteous indignation. “Wait your turn, you brats,” you long to say, “Go drink 4 Loko in your bedrooms until you turn 21, like God intended. The bar is for people with jobs.”
2. Your idea of fun has become staying home with some blankets and your computer.
There is just something so profoundly beautiful about having a whole night ahead of you with nothing planned but Netflix, perhaps some tea or wine, and chilling out in your jammies under your covers. It is a state of such deep relaxation, it can occasionally reach near-orgasmic levels of joy. Add a little take-out Thai food to be eaten while still firmly in bed into the mix, and you have the makings for a night that would beat a club opening hosted by a nude Ryan Gosling and a snowblower full of free money.
3. The only thing keeping you from being obese is being lazy.
There are so many times when you are overwhelmed with the desire to go a few blocks over to get a big bag of McDonald’s or a Frappucino made out of what appears to be vegetable shortening, or simply a king size candy bar (king size, of course, because if you made the trek out there you’re not going to just get a regular-sized Snickers like a peasant). But then you think, meh, that would require leaving the apartment and turning off this episode of Dexter and putting on something other than a Snuggie, and then it’s just like fuck it, I’ll eat these carrot sticks I have in my refrigerator. Who knows how many potentially-clogged arteries were spared out of sheer will to remain a hermit.
4. Staying within budget is not a problem.
There was once a time during which you were truly concerned about spending too much money on things like extravagant nights at the bar or too many dinners/lunches at restaurants, even moderately-priced ones. It seemed like the most efficient way to burn a sizable hole in your checking account and find yourself unable to comfortably make rent at the end of the month. Then, all of a sudden, you realize that actually extracting yourself from the comfort of your apartment every once in a while and finding something worth spending said money on may actually be the more pressing issue, as you are quickly adhering to your pajamas and learning through real-time evolution how to blend your skin in with your patterned bedspread.
5. You are excited when people cancel plans.
I think we’ve all had a moment or two where you are sitting there, not at all pumped to go to this social outing that you agreed to (it’s not that you don’t like the person, you just don’t like having to go outside right now), when all of a sudden they call you with the thrilling news that they are unable to make it! It’s as though the heavens themselves have parted and shone a light down on your lazy, boring ass personally to sing to you with the voice of a thousand golden angels “Fear not, for you have a few more hours of dicking around on Tumblr ahead of ye.”
6. You prefer to go to the same restaurants, ordering the same foods.
One minute, we’re these adventurous little sprites of youth and excitement, ready to go anywhere and try anything at the drop of a hat. The next, all we have to do is call our local Chinese takeout and, through only seeing our number on the caller ID, they are downstairs in five minutes with the exactly what we want, right down to the extra soy sauces. When I was a barista, there were many customers for whom we could prepare their drink only seeing them walk through the door. I used to think that they were silly, that they should try to expand their horizons. Now I resent the fact that no one knows me well enough to make my extra-hot grande soy latte when I walk in the door.
7. Literally any plans the following day make going out a hassle.
How is it that you used to be able to stay up until 6 in the morning doing crystal meth and running naked through a forest of pine needles and still be fresh as a spring flower for class the next day, and now you have to really weigh your options about going out for dinner if you know that you have to be up by 10 the next morning to go pick something up at the dry cleaners? How is that possible?
8. People are no longer surprised when you don’t do things.
In your transition from “chill person who is down for pretty much whatever” to “boring-ass hermit who has a minor panic attack every time the bar they’re in gets too loud and full of amorous college students,” you will notice a time frame in which people still hold out hope that you will prove to be the social butterfly you once were. They will try in vain to extract you from your home-pod, thoroughly disappointed when you don’t accept. Now, of course, they don’t expect you to come out to their various parties and gatherings — they know that you, like any society diva who is so in demand on her own futon, have a lot of potential nights to choose from, and it may just end up being ice cream and The Price Is Right reruns.