I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been texted about how I just need to get out there and cut loose.
These days, most who make this suggestion actually mean well. Which is an amazing turn about from years ago, to be honest. These days, when someone says this, it typically refers to my tendency to withdraw and isolate myself.
I appreciate those people a great deal, jokes aside. The truth is, if you were to ask my idea of fun, it would probably involve being dumped in a secret Vatican vault of files and information. I would also likely die of dehydration or starvation, whichever came first. That’s how much fun I think my nose in a book is- my nose in the rumored secrets of The Church? Holy shit. All the dopers at a damn Grateful Dead backstage party wouldn’t have as much fun.
Right, so. I mean, total stick up my ass. That’s true, but I’m not sorry.
The thing is, the shit that passes for fun with most people were things I had already gotten bored of by the time I turned 17. And oh, trust that I did them to the fullest extent of my being. And hated every goddamn minute of it.
My ex, my eldest’s father, once confronted me about this. He wasn’t being particularly kind about it, we were fighting about god knows what. He was, however, as he often is: infuriatingly right.
I don’t understand why you try so hard to do this, you hate this. You don’t like crowds, you hate drinking, and you really can’t stand bars. Why are you doing this? Why are you so fake?
I’d love to say that I was a big person, took it under advisement and recognized how true it was- but no, that very night, I believe I went out and drank with my buddies from the tattoo shop I was working in. I would down I don’t even know how many shots, go barf, down some more. And I tried that shit all the way up until about mid-2006.
Was I giving it my all and going caaaaaaa-razy? Shit, ask Tab. Ask Suz. I did fucking ballet on the dance floor, man.
I tried it once after my middle child was born- again, because people said I “needed” to. I got alcohol poisoning and a knot on my head from the toilet at Pops Nightclub in Sauget. I explosively vomited all over the girl I was on a date with and my then husband.
It is not, lack of experience or an open mind. I am simply not into it. I love my friends. I love being with my friends. I can say the most fun I ever had was out drinking with Tab and Suz in the Burg or whatever. Except, it was the company I was keeping and less the exposure to what passes for a drunken, tedious episode of Wild Kingdom: Humanity Edition.
I’ve got a lot of nostalgia that revolves not around “Them partyin’ days” and more the people I partied with…well, a couple of them anyway. But mostly I hated the people I attempted to have fun with, didn’t find what I was doing fun at all and tried quite hard to drink away the growing understanding that relating to most people just wasn’t gonna happen for me. When it does, it is bliss, it is magic and they are fuckin’ unicorns.
And I am kind of an asshole, so, goes both ways. Recent attempts at making healthy friendships have shit themselves and I figure, yeah. It’s probably me. I gave up on wondering why a long time ago- not because I am averse to introspection: nah, I figured it out. I mean, I change perspectives as often as I think a lot of these people change partners- but, there are a few things that are just kinda intrinsically me. I never quite saw the logic in changing those things out of a sense of needing to belong- because frankly, why the fuck would I want to, with those conditions?
I’m going to tell you something here and now- I would take one Suz, one Tab, one Jill, one Sid, one Ashli, one Amy (Ok 2 of Amy would be a blast. Bad dog. Bad, bad.) over like a million of these people who expect me to be someone I am not. Gimme Jen, Nikki or Petra. Beats the hell out of the alternative- and, even though I consider the alternative’s bar quite low: the thing is any one of those people or the people I am closest to but didn’t mention? They can’t even see that bar. Like looking at an ant from space, they’re so far above it.
I like people who expect me to be my best.
I don’t like people who expect me to be their worst.
PS: Before anyone even asks, I absolutely have been the sober one and went out that way, without drinking until I pickled my liver. Most cases, I think the close to alcohol poisoning was preferable to being the sober one in those situations.