How To Undo A Healthy Week In One Friday Night
Decide to go out for drinks after work instead of your usual trip to the gym.
Congratulate yourself on this decision, since going out so early definitely means that you won’t go to sleep too late and can hit the gym tomorrow. Meet your friends in your work clothes instead of rushing home to change into a “going out” outfit; congratulate yourself on this as well. Ah, adulthood.
Spring for the fries with your burger. Everyone else is getting them and you don’t want to look like a jerk. Eat all of them even though everyone else just has a few. Get the 22 ounce beer “by accident” and drink the whole thing.
Experience some mild heartburn from the beer and the grease. Tell your friends you have to pop over to CVS and buy two rolls of Tums. Eat both rolls before returning to the restaurant. Get another beer. It’s only 7:30!
Everyone is getting along SO WELL! So much better than usual. Definitely, this should be taken advantage of. Treasured. “What’s life without memories?” you think as you all traipse to a bar down the street.
You’ve really been trying to avoid hard alcohol, but that heartburn isn’t going away and you don’t want to be sober and unable to enjoy the special moments that are starting to happen with your friends. So order a rum and coke. When the bartender asks if you want it “tall,” look confused but also nod. Drink the whole thing through the straw. Enjoy making fun of a bridal party that is happening in the corner of the bar. Laugh with your friends when the only-mildly-attractive groom stops by to visit. Is the groom even allowed to come to bridal parties? Joke about how much better off you are despite the fact that you’ll never be able to afford a house, or an apartment that isn’t dark and full of mice. Get another drink.
Should we hit another bar? I mean, how often are we all together and having this much fun? It’s been FOREVER. Let’s do it.
At the next bar, stick with the rum and cokes. Sit with your elbows on the bar and feel only mildly buzzed and therefore slightly grown-up. Remember the days when you used to get blackout every weekend? What a crazy kid you were. Finish your tall drink and get another.
Your friend is texting with another friend; His other friend is in town! You know, remember that guy from college who was sometimes at parties and weirdly bonded with your dad at a graduation reception? Yeah, we have to see him! Pay your huge bill and pile into a cab. Feel mildly worried about your bank account and then let it go. Chip in $10 for the cab and bound out into the downtown night.
At the dive bar downtown, decide to switch to beer. Get three of them. It’s cash only, though, so first take out $40 from the bar ATM, which charges you $2.50. Oh well! Stay until closing.
Food!! Definitely, you should get some food. The pizza place next door has a huge line — WORTH IT. Wait in the line with your friend and talk about how you never do this anymore and it was SO MUCH FUN. Rather than get a slice of pizza, order something weird and complicated like a greek chicken wrap. Ignore the pizza place employees’ look of hatred. Pay $10. Wait ten minutes. Leave with the wrap. Eat the first half of it in the cab. Get home, turn on all the lights, think about saving the second half for later, and then eat the second half sitting in the kitchen. What is this weird delicious looking bread someone left on the table? Eat some of that, too, with butter on it.
Finally go to sleep at 3 a.m.
Wake up at 9:30 because you can never sleep in anymore. Feel full and bloated. Wish you could enjoy the leisurely Saturday breakfast you’d dreamed about all week, but remember the chicken wrap. Stand up and look at your body in the full length mirror: yup, pregnant. With food. Think about the child you’d give birth to today: rum, turkey burger, beer, fries, greek chicken, oh yeah one of your friends left the bar early and didn’t respond to your texts; probably some of that would get into this child’s psyche. Remember that you stole a bottle of ketchup from the bar last night. Why did you do that? Feel disgusting. Crawl back into bed.
Wake up later and check your bank account. Consider the weekend ruined.
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It started with a right swipe, a little green heart. Tinder of course.
Though I acknowledge and appreciate the differences in human experiences, and while your heartbreak is (and always will be) uniquely and completely your own, I must urge you to consider that I have been where you are.
With his hat cocked back, body tilted away from his cane, and right forefinger pointing directly at his audience, Joseph Ducreux commands the attention of those viewing his self-portrait.
I was born in 1990; he was born in 1973. I’m 23; he just turned 40.