I'm a boring old man. I'm not going to fight it anymore. It's time for me to own my new status as an aging, boring individual. I just don't have what it takes to be young and exciting and full of fun and energy. Sure, I can still have fun and I even have fairly frequent bursts of energy, but I just can't sustain it like I used to.
What brought this on?
This weekend was my annual trip to Michigan City to hang out with Dee and all of her friends. We rent a lake house and party all weekend. The days are filled with playing Baggo1 and drinking beer and the nights are filled with drinking games and drinking beer. We usually arrive on Friday afternoon and leave on Monday. For those without "math brains" that's three whole nights of partying - not to mention the day drinking as well. I'm just not physically capable of keeping up anymore.
Friday night I managed to stay up until after 1am - much later than most of the crew2 - and kept a steady buzz going all night. I know that staying up past one o'clock is not that impressive even for old and boring people. In fact, I routinely do this every weekend but that is usually because I'm doing a show that starts at 12:30. However, I rarely do this if I have been drinking. It's such a rare occurrence that one of my friends took a picture of the clock and then took a picture of me to document the fact that I closed out the party on Friday night.
You may be thinking that a truly old and boring person would not be around to close down the party on the opening night of the weekend. Don't judge before you have all the facts.
Saturday was a warm, beautiful and sunny day and the whole crew set up camp just outside our house and organized a Baggo3 tournament. We all put money in the pot to be distributed to the winners4. We also put beer in the coolers and distributed it to winners and losers alike. Despite not knowing the proper name for the game, my team won and took home the cash prize5.
Eventually the day began fading into the night and we grilled more meat than was ever necessary to grill for anyone with a conscience6. After a brief cleanup, the games began. I got sucked into a drinking game called Circle of Death. Of course, I was also the "loser" of the game. This required me drinking from a cup from which everyone had poured various drinks - the kicker was the Everclear soaked cherry in the bottom. The good news was that the mix of alcohol washed the meat taste out of my mouth. The bad news is that it came right back after a powerful vurp7. And still, the night charged on. Soon we were engaged in a Flippy Cup tournament8. Thankfully, my team was eliminated quickly and I was able to spend the rest of the evening drinking at my own pace. This night there was no one to take a picture of me and the clock as the party was still going, dwindling, but still going when I went to bed.
Still doesn't sound old person-y enough for you? Just wait.
On Sunday I was greeted with a hangover. Once I made my way downstairs, I realized that most everyone else was too. The ladies began organizing their shopping trip to the nearby outlet mall. The guys decided that we would get outside and enjoy the warm morning despite the fact that we were all dragging ass. We made our way down to the beach and played some9 football. Afterwards, we went back to the house and showered up before the Blackhawks game. This is the turning point of the weekend for me. I was beginning to realize that once the game started there would be more drinking and gambling and drinking for losing your bets and drinking when the Blackhawks scored and... well, you get the point. I decided to avoid the game and take a nap. As I was falling asleep - or maybe it was when I was waking up - I devised a plan.
While everyone else was busy drinking, I would get a solid plastic cup and fill it with water and keep filling it with water all night. It would look like I was drinking, but I wouldn't actually be drinking. Not really much of a plan, but sometimes the best plans are the simplest. It worked. For most of the evening I was able to avoid drinking alcohol and stay sober. I even chugged my whole cup of water when everyone was doing the same with their beers. Nobody caught on10.
I was able to slip quietly away to bed feeling comfortable that I had put in my effort to enjoy the party. Dee and I got up early on Monday morning and drove home to pick up our dog before we got charged for an extra day11.
I realized on that ride home that three straight days of partying is not possible anymore. In fact, two straight days of partying is probably pushing it. More than that, I realized that I don't even want to party for two straight days anymore. It took all the energy I could muster to get into the party on Saturday night. I eventually did but I wore myself out trying to convince myself to party. I was mentally drained. Sometime during the past year, I became an old man. I'm not sure exactly when it happened but I'm pretty sure it was right around the time I started thinking I should start wearing suits more often.
Thankfully, being an old man suits me. I already have the gray hair and I've been the oldest person in pH for quite a few years. I know the role and will play the hell out of it. Now, what do I do next year?
1. Or Cornhole or Bags or whatever you call it. It's the game where you throw bean bags onto and into a board with a hole in it. It's the portable version of horseshoes.
2. Especially my wife. To be fair, she had to get up at 5am for work.
3. I'm going with 'Baggo' because it's the only name that sounds like a game and not some sort of sex act.
4. Gambling?! Not typical old and boring person behavior, I know. Not including slot machines, of course.
5. $65 a piece, if you must know. I'm looking at you, IRS.
6. I'm not a vegetarian, but this was an obscene amount of meat. If sausage didn't totally gross me out after a few days in the fridge, I could still be eating that meat - and so could everyone else.
7. Vurp: A combination of burp and vomit. Often referred to as "puking in your mouth."
8. Another drinking game where you drink the beer from your cup and then try to flip the empty cup onto its rim. Each person on your team takes a turn and you race against another team. Apparently it was big where Dee went to college. It was not big where I went to college.
9. By "some" I mean exactly two series per team. That was all it took to wear everyone out. Sounds like old people to me.
10. Or everybody caught on and just didn't say anything out of pity for the old man.
11. Not just an old man, but a cheap old man.