Remember when you were in your late teens or early 20's on the cusp of adulthood but you could still stay up all night, drink a ton and eat til' there was no tomorrow? Well, by your late 20's and early 30's even if you're still a strapping lad in good condition (i.e. your liver hasn't completely given up on you) you know that certain things will never be the same. Let's talk about some of the unfortunate realities that settle in as you set a course through the rocky seas of adulthood.
Photo credit: Sam Beebe, Ecotrust, Flickr
Having fun by using your imagination and playing often boils down to going out drinking or doing X,Y,Z....while drinking, as we get older. Okay, it's not that simple, but society has certain expectations of us and the way we behave now. Acting like a kid is usually only okay if we're around kids. But what if we want to draw something cool, eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into squares with the crust sliced off or build a sweet Lego castle just for the lulz? Many of us are so overloaded with work, relationship and other stressors that we can't unwind unless it's a night "out," where we can party and then have no choice but to let loose because that sweet, sweet nectar practically forces us to. Maybe we can just compromise with drunken Lego-building contests.
Don't get me wrong, I like board games and I LOVE video games, but g-damn do I miss playing outdoor games. Not sports like football or basketball (which aren't nearly as tough to get a group together for), but games; the stuff of gym class and summer camp legend that have an entirely different feel to them. Unless you live in a community where you have access to organized leagues it's tough to get your posse together for dodge ball, capture the flag or manhunt. And when you do, you know someone's back is always gonna get thrown out or some crazy not-old-but-not-young-either related shit.
When you're young and at odds with your buddy sure, feelings get hurt and friendships can end, but man can adults hold much more complex and deep-seated grudges than kids can. Not only that, but as we get older people take sides more easily, turn others against you and shut you out from whole circles of friends. Ouch. Let it go, bro!
Here's some advice: find yourself friends who can relate to singles as well as they can to couples. Many couples have a "couple mentality," and while it's nice to have a few happy couples spending time together, they shouldn't forget that, at one point, they used to be single (see: forever alone guy) too and wouldn't like to be left out just because they hadn't settled down yet. Plus, couples are always doing things like leaving the party early to have sex. Have some respect and just do it in the bathroom, guys.
As grown-ups, we often spend so much energy over-doing politeness toward people we don't reallllly care about (though we care what they think about us) that we don't have enough energy leftover for those we do care about. Do you smile and say "How are you?" to almost everyone you pass by until you're so tired of being "on" that you forget to ask your wife how her day was or forget to reach out to a friend going through a rough patch? I'm not saying it's not nice to smile and say "Hi," but save some of that love for those you actually love.
So, you're walking over to a meeting with a co-worker. You don't know each other all that well, so you talk about work every time you're alone and feel forced to talk about something. But, what happens when you run out of work stuff to chat about? It always goes straight to traffic and weather, like a news channel with nothing better to cover. If I hear one more person express thankfulness that even though it's hot as blazes it's a "dry heat," I swear to Zeus I will pray for him to chuck a lightning bolt at me to end my misery.
Childhood relationships... they used to be so simple; you could pass your crush a note asking if they want to "go out," then they'd circle "yes" or "no" and BAM, it's a relationship! Going on a date would consist of sitting together on the bus or going to McDonald's with your parents. And if she's a real slut, then she'll put out right away (i.e. hold your hand). Then poof!, one day it's all over and the cycle starts anew.
Nowadays, there are a hundred types of relationships with a million reasons why they will or won't last. Sure, you get to do fun things like vacation together and have the sex, but it takes loads more planning and dedication to make it work. Somehow, I feel like "Will you marry me, circle 'yes' or 'no'" wouldn't go over all that well.