I pretend to be a grownup an awful lot of the time. I pay bills on time. I take my vitamins and wear eye cream. I get a haircut every 12-16 weeks, new running sneakers every couple of months, and my teeth cleaned twice a year. I show up when I say I will and do what I say I will do.
Well, I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I just don’t fucking feel like being a grownup.
In my early 20s, I relished being an excellent student in undergraduate then graduate school and then landing a solid writing job while knowing I could still go out and party. If you knew me from class or work, you probably thought I was just another overachieving tightass. If you knew me from a bar or party, you probably thought I was just another underachieving party girl.
Then I met Max and I grew up the rest of the way. Be gone, party girl!
My therapist has this theory with me that I sometimes do things to tap back into my life before I met Max on my 25th birthday. It is downright creepy how accurate that can be. For example: me on Saturday night.
Saturday night, I was about 21-24 years old for a few hours.
I had plans with my new friend Tina for a girls night out. (Tina lives in my apartment building, so that in itself feels like college!) She came down to get me wearing tight jeans and open-toed shoes even though it’s March. I was wearing my too tight and too short dress and plenty of liquid eyeliner. (The night before I went to happy hour in my work clothes. Bit of an upgrade.) We looked hot and ready for trouble.
We walked to her friend’s house a block away for a little pregaming action. I don’t know about you, but this 34-year-old never pregames anymore.
Slightly warmed up from our drinks, we walked to a bar I almost never go to – one of those bars where after about 10:15 the DJ starts up and people start dancing and you can’t hear yourself think and you get hit on by guys who will NEVER be your boyfriend. This was exactly what Tina and I had in mind.
Within 30 minutes we did a shot of vodka and obviously took pictures of our sexy selves.
With a glass of wine in hand, as part of my experiment to meet a guy in real life, I practiced talking to strangers. I was pretty good at it, actually. Who knew? In part it was liquid courage, but it was also my knowing that none of these guys would be my boyfriend, so this was just practice for practice’s sake.
As the music got louder, I got drunker on my vino. A decade ago I would have been hitting vodka, beer, or margaritas. Regardless of the booze, some things don't change -- the drunker I got, the more amazing my dancing skills became.
At one point I looked around at the crowd and felt the music and thought, “I never had a night like this when I was with Max. Being divorced is fun sometimes.” I smiled to myself.
Well, the next thing I knew I was dancing or talking or something with this cute guy. Somehow he asked how old I was. He thought I was 25. I told him he was my new best friend. I thought he was mid or late 20s.
He was 22 years old. He was so young that he still had a vertical license meant to show when someone is underage. I had never seen my state’s underage license!
Logically, finding out that we had 12 year age gap meant we started sucking face immediately. He grabbed my hand and dragged me outside behind the bar with the other drunk 20-something-year-olds who were pawing strangers. We started making out like nobody’s business. He was so fresh with his wandering hands. He LOVED how old I was and my ass. I was loving it, but I do remember saying things right out of last week’s blog entry, like:
- “I am not having sex with you. I am not having sex with you!” *more face sucking*
- “I am supposed to be looking for a boyfriend. You’re not it.”
- “I am not bringing you home because I’m not groomed.”
I ACTUALLY SAID THAT, YOU GUYS.
Finally it was closing time. Out on the sidewalk, I waited while my friends got snacks from the grilled cheese truck, so I struck up a conversation with anyone with a pulse, including a couple who might have been homeless. I took a drag on his cigarette (what the hell?!) while he told me he just found out the lady he was with was pregnant and he wasn’t happy about it. I gave him a hug and told him I hoped he would find peace with his situation. Deep.
I walked home fully intoxicated, talking too loud and laughing too much. It was cold but I don’t think any of us noticed. Just like walking home from the bars in my 20s, alcohol keeps my drunk ass warm. I stumbled into my apartment to find texts from my 22-year-old. I pounded a glass of Gatorade and went to bed.
In the morning, I was 34 again.
I woke up with a miraculously only moderate headache and red wine stains on my forehead, hands, and dress. I washed the wine off my face. I threw my dress in the washing machine, made breakfast, then cleaned my apartment. If I were 24, I would have been hanging over a toilet during commercial breaks of a Lifetime movie, not vacuuming.
Then the 22-year-old texted, asking/demanding to see me. Dammit! I just cleansed my phone of people like him! I admit it, I was so tempted to keep him around. But I was 34 again, so I responded, “Last night was fun but the moment has passed.” And Tina had a good point -- the kid is 22, so how good could be in the sack anyway? Sigh. Farewell cute boy who went to prom the year I got married!
So, you see, I can take a break from being a grownup for a night and return to getting my oil changed and filing my taxes. I love that my life allows this.
Do you ever you act younger after your divorce?