If New York City nightlife was a person, it would be that hot girl you love to hate because everything that seems totally unsustainable to you comes totally naturally to her.
She’s smart, successful, beautiful. She drinks endlessly without ever barfing. She smokes without coughing up brown stuff and gets whatever she wants for free because everyone else wants her around so much that they’re willing to foot the pricey bill themselves. She’s the kind of girl you end up exhaustedly staring at from across the room, lipstick smudged on your teeth, just waiting for her to run out of grace and turn into the hot mess you know she is on the inside…but it never happens.
People love her, and sometimes that bums me out.
A friend of mine recently said: “When I moved to the city, the first time I heard of someone ‘going out for the weekend,’ I thought it was unbelievable.”
“Going out for the weekend, like leaving town for a trip to Vermont? Mmm, cute,” I said. And she went, “No, like going to a party Friday night and staying out until Sunday.”
Suddenly, there was a lot of screaming in my head, but I played it cool.
“Oh, right, right. Yeah, some people are real intense. New York City, huh? Ha…ha…I would die,” was all I said.
My friend said, “Oh, well I’ve done it plenty of times now.”
I don’t know how I responded.
I think I momentarily turned into Cher from Moonstruck when she looks at Nicolas Cage and screams, “Snap out of it!” Partying from Friday until Sunday?! Someone has to tell this city to get a grip! Go drink some water! Take a good hard look at itself in the mirror! That’s my knee-jerk reaction, anyway.
I’m painting a geriatric picture of my 20something self, I know, and the fact is I do still go out sometimes (though never all night, and I do wish I could take one of those old lady walkers that has the built-in seat with me for convenience).
I think late-night partying started bumming me out, though, when I realized I actually am getting older.
Somewhere between ages 23 and 26, it happened:
I stopped being cool. No longer the flask-carrying, bong-ripping, party butterfly I was in college, I now get drunk and sleepy at 10 p.m. after two beers and can hardly wait to curl up in my own bed with my man and my pup.
It’s easy to feel pathetic comparing my current sleepy self to the 21-year-old me, and it’s easy to let my ripe feelings of lameness marinate in bitterness till sour, but the truth is, I need to stop hating on the hot girl that is NYC nightlife, because she just represents the larger, natural progression of aging.
She’s in the club, and I’m in bed, and it’s perfect.
The young hotties of the city will always be running around bars, doing shots and secretly cry-puking in bathroom stalls at 4 a.m. Those of us, like me, who’ve somehow found ourselves out of the cry-puking stage of life and sleepily arriving at our mid-to-late 20s, will have to look at them and learn to nod wisely.
Being sleepless and plastered was fun…sometimes. But having a bed, a man, a dog, and maybe some cookie dough to which we want to retire is pretty dope, too.