Horrible Realization: I’m Too Old for Cheap Beer

When I was in college, I could drink like a fish.  I put huge douchey dudes to shame with my incredible ability to chug, handle, and hold my cheap liquor and beer.  I preferred nicer beer, even in those days, but I wasn’t about to turn down a few dozen free cans of Natty Light or PBR.  You just don’t do that in college.  You drink what you are given… You know, if it’s not from a very shady source.  Hell, even if it is shady, you might consider it if it’s totally free.  I mean, you’re supposed to be poor in college.  Why not enjoy cheap-ass bear?

College students love beer.

Everyone loves beer.

However, not everyone can drink cheap beer like 20-year-olds.

Once graduation occurs, and you move on graduate school or perhaps a real-life, grown-up job with benefits and a salary and everything, your lifestyle inherently changes.  It just does.  Life is very different after college.  Now, instead of just wanting to get drunk and maybe get a date or two out of some dude/lady, you are actually talking about relationships and even….  MARRIAGE.  Well, maybe just long-term or like… living together or something.  You’re still figuring that part out.  Anyways…

Life after graduation is quite an adjustment.  It takes some g.d. time, y’all.  And that’s okay.

There are many lessons a post-graduate must learn, and one of the first I learned…  Nah, actually the most obvious one I learned, was that I cannot drink the way and the crap I once could.  I’m a grown-up now, and Natty Lite ain’t gonna cut it.

When you start to get old, your body can’t handle the vinegar/acid/gasoline contained in cheap beer.  At least, the body can’t handle it at the same level.  When a body is young and virile, it can fight off the poisons of cheap beer – the pee in Busch Light or the dirt in Natural Ice.  When a body gets older, it starts to give up on dying and it wants to live.  Cheap beer wants to kill you and your body.  Old bodies know better.  They demand good beer.

Older bodies also don’t want you to make them suffer with yucky beer.  I learned this the hard way.

I have now learned, once and for all, that I am now too old to drink a whole bunch of crappy beer.  My body hates it.  My body wants to be a temple instead of a garbage can.  I must obey.

Until very recently, I was entirely immune to hangovers.  I had only once had a hangover, and it was after a week of no-sleep and then heavy, celebratory drinking.  You can read about a lot that night in the post, “When Kate and Patty (Almost) Got in a Bar Fight.”  With that one exception, I have been a total boss.  This has annoyed many people.  Understandably so…  Hangovers suck.  Now that I’m a little older, I’m starting to catch them.

After a night of drinking… we’ll say “some” beers, I have started to feel a little less-than-great the next morning.  Therefore, I must accept that I’m now too old for drinking cheap beer like a college-kid.

Damn.

When Kate and Patty (Almost) Got in a Bar Fight

When Kate and Patty were seniors in college (yes, we both have degrees – with HONORS, y’all), we wrote theses on various portions of English literature.  Kate’s thesis was really, really amazing.  Patty received credit for hers.

To celebrate finishing their behemoth essays, aka mini-books, aka hundreds of lost hours, the girls through a party.  They invited everyone in their cohort – all 11 people!  Kate drank some reasonable amount of alcohol, Patty had seven flasks of cheap whiskeys before they left the house, and she held it like a boss.  Everyone got pretty shitty and it was great.

This is what Kate and Patty wore.  They did not plan it, but they both wore skinny jeans, tanks, and black blazers.  Why?  Because they were so tired and skinny jeans with blazers always look good.  ALWAYS.  Plus, blazers force a person to stand upright more than they might otherwise; this is very helpful when tired and/or drinking.

kate and patty

 

At one point, one of the amazing ladies of the cohort left and brought everyone burritos.  She smuggled them in her purse and the group ate them gratefully, greedily, and a little sloppily.  She even knew to make certain ones vegetarian.

At some point after Patty forced Kate to take shot called a “Blowjob” (she was very mature at 21), the girls realized that one of their friends was missing from the table.  The signs were all there…  A sleep-deprived English major without Irish blood had been drinking all night.  They knew she would be barfing somewhere.  But, where?

(suspense builds)

Turns out, she was in the first place they looked – the bathroom.

Kate and Patty bravely walked into the bathroom and promptly saw two cute little strappy heels sticking out from a stall.  There she was.  “Are you okay?” we asked with genuine concern.  She apologized and told us to leave, but we stayed and kept trying to convince her to let us help.  “Open the stall.  We’ll bring you some water.  Come one, let us in.”  She kept telling us to go.  She was embarrassed and largely coherent, but we pressed on offering help in our adorable blazers of questionable dressiness.

Here’s the scene: Kate is standing outside the stall, trying to reason with an intoxicated friend.  Patty, the far drunker of the two, was sitting on the ground, rubbing the calf of their friend, and also trying to gain access to her.  They just wanted to get her some water.  This was not a clean bathroom.  Oh, and it was a MONDAY.

Then, the weirdest thing happened.

Two young-ish women burst from a stall from the other side of the “Ladies” room.  One was clearly the alpha-friend, while the other had been marginalized to the “hype woman” of the pair.  The louder, more boldly dressed of the two began yelling quite aggressively at Kate and Patty.

She screamed, “Why don’t you care about your friend?  You shoulda been down here, taking care of her.  You don’t care!  You’re bad friends!”

Kate and Patty were like… “Uhh… We are here taking care of our friend…”

Screaming woman: “You’re bad friends.  She’s alone.  She just barfed!”

Screaming woman’s hype woman: “Yeah!”

Kate and Patty: “When she left to go to the restroom she didn’t announce, ‘I might barf!’, she just went downstairs.  She hasn’t been here that long.”

Screaming woman: “Ahhh [I feel like yelling at strangers, and you’re the only people here.  I heard a girl barf and now it’s your fault.] Ahhh!”

Screaming woman’s hype woman: “Yeah!”

Kate: “Back off!  You’re not involved in this.”

Drunk Patty: “Why is anyone yelling?  You don’t need to be angry.  We’re all just concerned about our friend.  It’s all good.  It’s alllll good.”

Screaming woman (likely to Kate): “Why do you think you’re so gangster?  Why do you think you’re Eminem’s sister?”

Screaming woman’s hype woman: “Mmm Hmm!”

 

Kate: “What the … ?”

Screaming woman (likely to Kate): “Why do you think you’re so gangster?  Why do you think you’re Eminem’s sister?”

Screaming woman’s hype woman: “Mmm Hmm!”

Drunk Patty: “We’re wearing blazers!”

IMG_0403

 

Kate: “No one thinks we’re gangster.”

Screaming woman (likely to Kate): “Why do you think you’re so gangster?  Why do you think you’re Eminem’s sister?”

Screaming woman’s hype woman: “Yeah!”

Kate and Patty: (sensing danger) “We don’t want to fight you.”

Screaming woman (likely to Kate): “Why do you think you’re so gangster?  Why do you think you’re Eminem’s sister?”

Screaming woman’s hype woman: “Yeah!”

The quietest person alive/Kate and Patty’s drunk friend: “SHUT THE FUCK UP.  THIS IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.”

Kate and Patty and everyone: “Holy crap.”

Screaming woman:  “You wanna go?”

Screaming woman’s hype woman: “Yeah, fuck you.”

Kate: “Fuck this.”

And then Kate climbed under the stall and pulled Drunk Patty in to safety.  Everyone was okay and we got a great story out of it.

Also, those burritos were good.

A Hobo is not a Halloween costume

Halloween: the chance, once a year, to pretend to be someone you’re not. I like to think Halloween costumes say a lot about a person. They also say a lot about what we think but never say.

Take this, for instance:
I saw a picture recently of friends of friends of friends dressed up for Halloween. They were supposed to be homeless, complete with “Will Work for Food” signs, tattered jeans, and worn out flannel. Similarly, I see people every year wearing sombreros and telling people their costume is “A Mexican.” Or folks who stick some feathers in their braid and throw on a pair of moccasins to be “An Indian.”

Not okay.

Halloween apparently is not only a time to “be someone else” for a day (or two, or three, depending on how many times you celebrate), it’s time to let our collective, offensive, racist American id run wild because it’s hopped up on too many Reese’s peanut butter pumpkins and Four Loko. Do I think these people mean to be offensive? No, likely not. Really they just want to shotgun some Busch Lights and hook up with the cute guy in the “Where’s Waldo?” costume. Being an historical figure (who is, perhaps, Native American or Mexican/Latino) would be one thing, but to say “I’m (ethnic stereotype – regardless of negative, neutral, or positive implications)!” is short-sighted, foolish, and–well–racist.

There’s a certain responsibility that comes along with picking and putting on a costume; any costume you wear inevitably says something about you and your attitude toward other people. Choosing insensitive costumes matters. Just ask the employees of Steven J. Baum’s firm in Buffalo, New York. These geniuses thought that it was a good idea to dress up as homeless people and create fake sections of foreclosed homes at their office Halloween party. Are you outraged? Yes, you likely are. And so should you be. At the same time, however, these people dressing up as homeless people for Halloween is not much, if any, worse than when people who aren’t legal actors in the foreclosure crisis do it.

This Halloween, dress up. Go out. Drink Four Loko to your little heart’s content, and stuff your face with Kit Kats, Snickers, Reese’s pumpkins, and everything in between. Just try not to be your own id.

The World Needs Boring People Too

It took me a long time to realize that the world needs boring people too, even while the world parties.  It really is the case.  If there were only excitable, excited, loud-mouthed, dancing party animals, this world would collapse.  “Boring people” as I used to call them are the responsible ones at parties.  They are actually just quiet people.  Sometimes, even the loud-mouths take a night off to observe, or just read.  Quiet people are important.  They read the room.  They see all the drunkies being drunkies and can preemptively give out water and bread.  They are party-medics.  I want to make sure we’re protecting and supporting these sweet, quiet people.

I didn’t used to understand the quiet people at parties, though I was occasionally one of them.  I used to be annoyed by the hushed folks in corners, those drinking water and forcing it on others, and those who would shy away from vulgar dancing during beer pong, but they’re great.  They’ll bust a move if the song is good enough.  They’ll bring you water.  They’ll bring you blankets when the night is over.  They might even drive you home.  Don’t hate on the quiet people.

That said, party poopers are jerks.  If you don’t want to drink, cool beans.  If you don’t feel like dancing, also fine.  If you want to drink water, you are a smart person.  However, if you are going to a drinking party, don’t judge the people around you for drinking.  The party is focused around drinking, everyone is playing a drinking game.  You’re not above it.  You’re at the party, so don’t be all weird about parties.

Not all quiet people are boring.  Not all quiet people are party poopers.  I just hope our drunk selves can remember that and protect the innocent sober people who would rather be reading, but are sacrificing their Saturdays to take care of their friends.

Thank your DD again, and maybe buy them a taco.