This is probably an accurate representation of how I feel right now after celebrating 26 years on this mortal coil in the style to which I have become accustomed (read: dinner at one bar and grill last night, and moving to two others before last call.)
I miss my late teens and early 20s so much more now, because my constitution was literally indestructible when it came to intoxicants and vices (while my brain was not, thus accounting for the fact that I cannot recall bits and pieces of my sophomore and junior years in college). I’m guessing this is why people are more and more hesitant to celebrate birthdays the older they get: not only do all the fun rights-related celebrations end when you get past 21, but every over-the-top, drunken celebration is a reminder the next day of why you can’t do that as well as you used to.
Still, while the increasing recovery times from the nights out on the town are annoying, they’re not depressing — it’s just another unfortunate bit of adulthood to accept. I’ve gotten good at this.
So, you’ll actually get content from me on a weekend, because right now, I can’t think of anything I want to do to celebrate my 26th birthday more right now than drink water from my new filter pitcher. That’s the other thing about birthdays now: I prefer practical gifts. My mom sends me a Pur filter pitcher and I’m fucking psyched. I get clothing gifts? Hell yes — that’s another shirt to wear to work that I don’t have to pay for. This is a massive change from when you’re a kid, when gifts of underwear, socks, and sweaters are the LAST things you want on your birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other holiday where you get a gift.
One thing I have gained as an adult is an appreciation of the little stuff, the practical things — because you wind up having to fucking pay for them all the time. Parents cannot prepare you for this adequately, because every time you are griping about wanting more freedom (more! more! more!) as an insolent, bratty teenager, there’s absolutely no reconciliation or ability to conceive of how goddamned expensive such “freedoms” are in terms of your time and wallet.
I don’t even mean rent, utilities, bills, food, or student loan payments. I mean the stuff you really don’t think about — like having to buy Drano when various plumbing gets a simple hair clog, stuff like that. No one can adequately prepare you for trying to balance a checking account and strategically timing checks around the two or three times a month you get paid. Oh, and if you want to stay in any sort of shape, but hate running outdoors, there’s more for the gym membership you don’t use nearly enough. Now I know why all my friends and co-workers go running and train for marathons: it’s a damn sight cheaper to buy shoes and running gear every so often than pay $20-$35 a month to run in place. (I, however, value air conditioning while I sweat like a pig.)
Anyway, I understand and appreciate this a lot better than I could at 16, 18, or even 22, fresh out of college and waiting tables (now that was a fun six-month period; having to wait on people sucked, but tips meant I never went to an ATM for those six months.)
So, I’m going to celebrate with my filter pitcher, a baseball game or two on TV, and also, by cleaning the bathroom. I can think of no better gift to give to myself right now, particularly because I already bought myself a new cell phone last week. (I am still head over heels for this LG Decoy; for anyone who only wants to use a Bluetooth headset when s/he HAS TO and no more than that, it’s perfect. I doubt I would have bought this phone had California not passed a hands-free cell use while driving law, but it’s really nice to have the headset built in. I refuse to use it outside the car; I hate looking like I’m talking to myself. Mac lover in exile that I am, I considered a new iPhone 3G, but remembered just how much I loathe AT&T as a cell provider and it would cost me at least $90 a month to have the services I want. No thanks.)
I apologize if this meta shit isn’t your speed. More sports coming, promise — but I’m going to try and diversify the topics here a bit when I can.