A lot of what I write about is expectation vs. reality, mostly because I believe that the best comedy comes from bad assumptions and the consequences of learning the truth from those bad assumptions. In a macro sense, there are a lot of things I thought I’d be doing right now that I’m not, for good or bad – having a normal office job, salary, health insurance, a newish car, and possibly a steady girl were all up there. But there’s been enough written on all of that. I’m more interested in the things that are sort of small, but were nonetheless things I assumed I would be doing on a regular basis that I simply don’t.
1. Going to concerts
I’m a person who loves music of all kinds. So I always assumed that once I moved to a large city and had disposable income, I’d be going to as many concerts as possible, but I haven’t. This actually has very little to do with money. Sure, spending 80 bucks on a ticket to a A-list level concert sounds like a lot, but it isn’t really much more than a couple of bar tabs in the grand scope of my entertainment budget. It’s a lot more about the effort. It’s not like I just walk in, sit down and enjoy the show. I have to drive through serious traffic, find parking (or pay out the ass for it), get there early if I skimped and got general admission, try to drink enough beforehand so that I don’t have to constantly go through the crowd to buy beers once the concert starts, have a mediocre view of the stage, take the risk that the artist I’ve chosen is actually good live, spend nine years waiting to leave once it’s over, and be too tired to do anything else other than go home afterwards. So at this point, there are really only two ways I’m going to a concert, either someone gives me a ticket for free, or it’s one of my favorite bands of all time. There’s no, “I like a couple of their songs, let’s go see them live” type of thought process coming from me. So bands, if you want my hard earned ducats, step your game up.
2. Having actual dates
I legitimately can’t remember when my last real date was. By “real date,” I mean meeting up with a girl in a situation where both of us are acknowledging our attraction for each other, in a venue or activity somewhat more substantial than, “getting drinks.” Getting drinks is not a date. It works, and it’s fun, but it’s not a date. Dinner and a show is a date, going to a museum is a date, visiting the park and creating secret handshakes with homeless people is a date. I think I might have had dinner with a girl at some point in college, but it was probably sandwiched in between blackout nights with the guys, so it’s hard to trust that memory. Going out, getting drunk, and hooking up is acceptable in college. Hell, it’s preferable. But that game gets very old when you’re coming back to an apartment furnished by movie posters and IKEA furniture and not a house where you live with a bunch of your fraternity brothers. I’m not saying that I wanna go out and drop a hundred bucks at a restaurant owned by a celebrity chef who has never cooked a single dish there. I just figured there were a lot more opportunities to DO something. I was lied to. I don’t remember by who, probably because I was told this in between blackout nights with the guys.
Yeah, I know. Money invested in your twenties is much more valuable than money invested later in life. I get it. But there ain’t no way I’m parting with any of my hard earned cash that could be spent on luxuries like new boxers, trips to the movies, and go kart racing. Suck a dick, Old Knox.
Much like concert attendance, this isn’t really about money. Traveling is not all that expensive if you do it right. Hell, my job only requires that I have a computer, an internet connection, and a reasonably not hungover brain. I have the perfect occupation for traveling. I could browse cheap flights, and just choose them when they pop up, as long as I’m not picky about the destination. If I really felt adventurous, I could save up for a year or so, buy a motorcycle, and just tour the country. As long as I stopped often enough to pound out a few columns, I’d be golden. So why don’t I? Effort. If you have a lot of money, traveling is easy. You just pick where you wanna go, leave whenever you feel like it, and stay wherever you please. When you’re doing it on a postgrad budget, however, you have to be a lot smarter about it. You have to actually plan, and do math. So for someone like me, I’m only as adventurous as my laziness allows me to be. I’ll blame it on my pocketbook, but in reality, I’m limited by lack of effort meeting imagination. My sense of adventure for the foreseeable future will continue to be trying out new Mediterranean food places that are within a 10-mile radius of my apartment, in search of the perfect shawarma.