As we reach each knot in the rope that is adulthood, there are milestones such as birthdays that end in ‘0’, weddings, births, championship games, elections, Jeremy Renner movies, you name it, that endure to the end of our days.
These are the memories you can mark on the calendar and paste in scrapbooks and post to facebook and when you sit in the old folks home holding your pee in a Dixie cup you can tell your third nurse of the week that “I remember in 2015 when I bought a new shirt and told the clerk I was a large but he said ‘nope, you’re an XL.’”
This is the important shit.
Then there are the inconspicuous life changes. The subtle maturations that develop over years like inch-long black hairs growing out of the mole on your back.
For instance, recently, I realized that none of my friends wives will let their husbands go out drinking with me anymore.
This kind of hurts.
I used to take pride in the fact that I was the one dude the better halves trusted for a guys night out.
Why was this?
A) Because they knew we would have a good time.
B) There was a decent chance we wouldn’t get arrested or in a fight.
C) We wouldn’t chase after girls.
It got to the point where my friends’ wives would have the guest room ready for me, or at least a comfy couch with blankets and pillows and the remote control.
But recently, I noticed a change, that in hindsight, began to occur around the age of 30.
That was the last time “Lani” let me hang out with “Mack.”
I remember it was the Saturday before Super Bowl XLII. The first time the Giants beat the Patriots. The night started out safe enough. We went out for pizza, billiards and beers and then we went to watch a friend’s band play. What could go wrong?
The V.I.P. room. That’s what went wrong. Since we were on the guest list, we were given an all-access pass to all of the free beer and booze we could handle. This included shots of snake bites, Cuervo and Jack.
I am embarrassed to say, but one of us drove home that night. And that same person puked all over the bed and had to sleep on the floor of the baby’s room.
The baby’s room that used to be my room.
I was relegated to the basement. With the dog.
Since then, Lani only lets Mack and I have supervised visits.
This new development really hit home last month. That was when I went out drinking with one of my new co-workers Joe. The day started at the company barbecue, which ended at 4. Well, after four hours of drinking, Joe and I weren’t quite ready to hang it up.
So we went to a bar near his apartment and drank for three more hours, including sake and Suntori whiskey. I somehow got on the correct train home and Joe stumbled back to his place.
Though we had a smashing good time (he’s British), neither Joe or I have suggested hanging out again.
Why? Because we are both 33 now. We know that one night of rowdiness will lead to a week of misery. Or longer depending on what we say to our wives when we get home (or in Joe’s case, his wife’s best friend).
Now usually, Lisa (my wife) doesn’t worry about my ventures out about town. But I think she is starting to get a little nervous now that I have starting gaining the courage to patronize local Sasazuka bars after work.
Twice this week I went to the okonomiyaki joint down the street. They have
cheap beer and cheap okonomiyaki. I have made friends with the cook and the waitress, who both speak a little English and who help me with my Japanese.
When I left last night they wondered if I was coming back tonight. It’s good to go to a place where they know your name.
My point is, I have reached the age where it is no longer cool, or safe, to have wild benders with my buddies. And pretty soon this lone wolf might get leashed.
At least I will always remember Super Bowl XLII.