Last week, I turned 37, and boy did I live it up.
I’m talking brunch at Russell’s on Macklind followed by some cake and treats at my house. Bloody Mary’s were consumed, more alcohol was deposited down the pipe, and the floor started to move by late afternoon. I felt pretty good on my deck in the backyard as I smoked a cigar and built a fire. Like I said, living it up.
That’s about as much as I party. Brunch and drinks at home.
I don’t go out with a bunch of friends bar-hopping, getting drunk, throwing up in corners, acquiring nasty beer breath, and making a fool of myself. For the past decade or so, I haven’t acquired the urge to do what so many of my paying customers on Uber do: drink like there is no tomorrow and if it does happen to come, a lot of liquor needs to be consumed. I just don’t.
Why? Getting engaged at 20 years old and married at 23 may have helped. Having to work jobs, handle a rent, and move from apartment to paycheck to apartment for years before finding a house. My wife and I didn’t have a kid until I was nearly 30 years old, so it wasn’t like I didn’t carve out time to be free and merry.
The truth is I never really cared for it. The times where I did go out, drink too much, develop a hurricane headache, and felt like waging war with a toilet always left me thinking to myself, “why am I here and was it worth it?” No is the answer.
What I’d rather do is go out for dinner, layer the stomach with enough ammo to handle the alcohol, and then go home and have friends over to the house. I like getting drunk in my own home, where I know where things are and who the people are. Have you ever gotten drunk in public, looked around, and suddenly gotten as paranoid as a Twilight Zone cast member? I have. Fuck that.
Driving for Uber has sealed the train of thought. The job includes several random and weird encounters with the human species, most of which convince me that drinking at home is a good idea. People act like fools when they party hard, and boy do they apologize often. “I’m sorry we are acting this way!” “We are the worst!” “Pardon us, we are drunk.” When drunk, humans sound like the wrongly accused bully on Donut Friday. Stop apologizing and just own it.
Here’s what I could say. “Yes you are obnoxious, but you just paid $85 for drinks, mixed hard liquor and beer too much, just screamed JEREMY in my car at an empty seat, and keep muttering to yourself …but guess what, it’s okay. You are fucking drunk!”
I don’t want to be that person. No offense to the folks who like spending loads of cash on overpriced and watered down drinks, but it’s not my preferred foray. I’d rather drink like a fish, go out on my deck, and blurt out random shit at people walking their dog past my house or drivers pulling by.
Did I mention how expensive drinks are? Unless you start at happy hour, the price to really get inebriated is drastic. Step into Tin Roof downtown, order a mixed drink, and be prepared to hand over a half-tank of gas that should have gone into your car. A bourbon at a movie theater bar was going to set me back $13, so I said no thanks. Go to Schnucks, get a bottle, and drink at home. Party with your damn cats!
My wife will buy a glass of wine at a restaurant for $9, and then we go to the store and get her a bottle of stuff that tastes just as good for $11. It’s like going to a baseball game, buying seven beers for $90, and wondering why you are late on your rent.
The funniest crowd are the people who get into my car and ask their friends to split an Uber ride that will cost them less than $15 total. They probably spent triple that on drinks, but god forbid if they pick up the whole Uber ride. Hilarious.
Like I said, to each his or her own. I don’t care to go out, party, and get drunk. I do it at home, or slowly consume a number of beers at happy hour before slipping off into the night every once in a while.
I don’t have the energy to do it, or the cash to make it stick.
On occasion, I refer to myself as a proud loser, but it’s not a shameful proclamation. I love my life and wouldn’t change it for anything. It’s just when you juggle three jobs, manage a house as a fourth, have a family, and move at the rate that I do around the city, a comfy couch and television are the best friends at the end of a cold, hard night.
We all have our thing. Partying is definitely not mine, and I’m at peace with that. Some family men get into my car and whine about the loss of the good old days, like someone held them up at gunpoint and made them get married and pump out four kids. I laugh at these poor souls. Don’t get married and settle down if you want that life, or find a deft way to maneuver and make it work.
When you get to a certain age, you must own your actions and know what you want to do, and be content with why you are doing it.
Thanks to the hard drinkers, I get plenty of business. However, driving for Uber has confirmed why partying isn’t for me. In the end, it’s just not worth it.
That’s my take. What’s yours?