Sunday, March 21, 2010

How I got old.

Last night I attended a party for a long-time friend who moved out of state and was back for a visit. It was a decade birthday, so quite a do. It was lively – body shots were had (not by me).

On the way to the party I was thinking about how when we’re young, we tend to watch all the movies that are considered greats, for instance. We lap up everything. We’re at a party and we’ll drink whatever is on offer – and likely lots of it. But there comes a point where one says, I really couldn’t give a rat’s arse about that film, academy award nominated or not. It’s not my thing. I’ve definitely reached that point.

So now fast forward to the actual event. Wow. Crazy happenings, lots of “WOOOs” were yelled out over the blaring party-dance music in the back yard of that high-priced suburban neighborhood. This isn’t a bad thing at all – this friend is a true party girl, and it suits her – carefree, flamboyant, youthful. She’s serving her famous “Panty Rippers,” a concoction so strong for a fruity drink as to be dangerous to drink around open flames, and she’s bouncing from group to group, challenging some to do Patron shots, jumping into the arms of her best friend’s new beau and flashing the rest of the party in the process, chatting and flitting, and honestly somehow doing it all with everyone feeling delighted and joyful – including family. That’s how she is.

Now, I have been as brazen and wild and rambunctious. In fact on occasion when we’ve been together, I’ve even outdone her. By a lot. It’s a complete blast to cut loose and just be. Bold. Brash. Ballsy. Confident and fun-loving.

In fact, there were to be further celebrations tonight with a smaller group of ladies taking on a local hot spot and I was invited. At first I thought it’d be great. But then I realized… all this – the party scene – it just isn’t me any more (not that it ever was – I just dabbled). Now, I’m not saying I won’t ever want to get wild and crazy (this was me), but honestly just now it sounds horrid – at least in that way.

As an aside, last night was also the first time I’ve worn heels since my ankle surgery back in October. Previous to going under the knife I quite literally wore crazy-high heels every day (lowest heel was 4”). EVERY DAY. I only owned one pair of flats aside from my sports shoes, and had only worn them on a handful of occasion. I thought heels were the most comfortable thing in the world. Honestly! Until last night. Holy crap! That was rough! Of course, I *did* choose my absolute highest heel – with a platform as well. At any rate, thinking of traipsing all over the area hot spot again in heels wasn’t the most appealing possibility!

So back to my mini-revelation. I was considering on the ride home how I may have inadvertently gotten OLD. I mean, as I write this, instead of being out on the town, I’m sipping a favorite red wine while listening to classical music after being rather domestic all day, doing laundry while suffering through last night’s recorded hockey game then indulging myself in the delights of both creating and eating an exquisite homemade risotto and to-die-for chocolate mousse. And I’m contented (especially my stomach). What’s worse is that I’m looking forward to going to the Farmer’s Market tomorrow and doing more of the same tomorrow evening. (Cooking, chilling.)

I want to think that I’ve just discovered how my dimensions have changed and am embracing them, but really… classical music over popular music at the club? Chill-out evening over a night out? How old is THAT?? Still, somehow it marking me as old doesn’t make me want to jump back to the other way. I’m glad I don’t feel that youthful compulsive need to drink whatever is going. I’m willing to try things, and have a diverse palate, but at the same time I know what I prefer. If it’s not the trendy thing going, and most often my drink selections aren’t fashionable, I don’t care. It’s what I like.

One more thing that is related to this insight is that recently I have been honing in on what I really want from my life, determining that the things that detract from that goal need to be set aside. Spending money to follow in my girlfriend’s wake as she parties the night away, not really getting to visit properly with her at all, isn’t helping me toward my goals. If it were about getting to connect with her, then absolutely I’d be there… but who connects on deeper levels at a club?

I confess it is disheartening to think that I’m not as fun and playful as have been my trademarks. At the same time, it’s really nice to truly know what brings me joy as well as that I can maintain my focus to achieve my goals. So in my dotage, I guess I’ll know myself well. Ugh. I guess my only hope is found somewhere in these two quotes:

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. — Anaïs Nin

My self-confidence comes from the fact that I have discovered my own dimensions. It does not behoove me to make myself smaller than I am. — Edith Södergran

That said, I hope I can manage tonight without the Ben Gay and Metamucil. Might need the walker, though.


Kathleen said...

This is so me, too. Except that I never dabbled in the party scene, but at least I used to be able to stay up past ten p.m.

Miss Eliza said...

I left the party scene once I became legally old enough to drink... it is the young, wanting to try everything, do everything, be everything. I'm with you on the feeling old. We just have to learn to embrace it and make it ours!

Courtney said...

You continue to amaze me with the clarity and insight of your posts. This was SO us last night. With all of my best girl friends from law school, staying in the same hotel as the reception, so we could have just gotten nuts. Instead, we had a lot of fun, celebrating Nat and our engagement, but instead of being about the craziness and the insanity, it was about the conversation between a group of people who truly love each other. I love that your post is neither a lament or a lecture, but a reflection of who you are and the place you are at. I want MORE!

whichwaydidshego said...

Thanks gals! It's so encouraging to get your comments.

Kathleen, it wasn't until I was in my 30's that I "dabbled," so I'm not sure it counts!

Elizabeth, you are hilarious - once you were legal you weren't interested. Classic!

Courtney, you make me blush. I'm so pleased you are having an incredible and memorable weekend! I'll try to live up to your expectations!

gbpackergirl76 said...

I felt too old for the party scene even when I was underage. I'm all for enjoying a drink, but not to get drunk and do stupid things. I have done that a few times, and never again since the last (birthday party that involved sake, NEVER AGAIN!). I'm glad I'm surrounded by other oldies! ; )