“You know, maybe I’ll just stay in this Friday,” I’ve thought to myself every Monday morning for the past five years. “Imagine how good you’ll feel about yourself if you have a responsible weekend.”
However, come Friday night after a long week of work, “I’m not going out this weekend” turns into “Hey, can you pass me that other bottle of rosé?”
Sure, I can stay in tonight. But we all know what’ll happen. I’ll just end up going to the grocery store after work to buy some USDA certified organic steaks that I’ll plan on tossing on the grill. Then I’ll grab some lettuce because I haven’t mixed in too many greens this week. I’ll go to the wine section and pick up two bottles of cabernet to pair with my steaks, but only after debating between the “$” bottles and the “$$” bottles. I’ll buy one of each thinking, “Just drink the nice one first and the shittier one later when you don’t care.” I’ll wait in line at the store avoiding awkward eye contact with one of my friend’s parents who I don’t feel like making conversation with because they’re just going to ask me a bunch of questions about the state of my life.
Then I’ll just get stuck in traffic on the way back to my place while listening to a podcast because I’m too afraid to listen to anything that will make me want to go to a bar. I’ll try to take another route home and get lost before Siri tells me to take a U-turn that extends my drive by 25 minutes.
When I finally get home, I’ll unpack all the groceries before sitting on the couch to scroll my TV guide to see what college games are on. After seeing that Utah is playing Utah State, I’ll hammer the over on an illegal betting site that will never send me a check for my winnings. But then I’ll just realize that assuming I’ll ever have any “winnings” is wildly optimistic in and of itself.
Seven o’clock will hit and I’ll field angry texts from all of my friends, ranging from “You never come out anymore,” and “Stop being such a pussy and just come out.” I’ll attempt to ignore them for 45 minutes but eventually give in because they all know I have read receipts on. After trying to explain to them why I’m staying in, I’ll bargain with myself on why it doesn’t actually make sense.
“All that’s going to happen is that you’ll stay in tonight, you’ll drink all day tomorrow for the football games because you’re feeling 100% while everyone else is tired from their Friday, and then you’ll do it all again on Sunday which will render tonight useless. If anything, tonight is like a governor for the rest of the weekend. It’ll keep you honest.”
I’ll shake my head and say, “No, Will, just stay in. Your wallet will thank you later.” And then after pouring myself a glass of wine as a reward, I’ll fire up the grill that will leave my steaks all too rare. But, I won’t care because firing the grill back up after taking that first cut into my steak is way too much effort. Besides, the game is about to start.
After I eat the steak, I’ll slap my hand to my forehead, remembering that I didn’t use the greens I bought well-knowing that they’re going to sit in the refrigerator until Monday when I’ll take them out for lunch and they’ll be wilted or slimy. I’ll think, “Eh, fuck it,” before putting my plate on the coffee table instead of bringing it to the kitchen with me when I go to pour myself an overly-full glass of wine.
Sitting there dejected, I’ll get another text from my friends. “Woodrow’s. Ten minutes. See you there.” I’ll think to myself, “Man, I fucking love that place,” and daydream about how good it would feel to shoot the shit with everyone while finishing off a few pops. I’ll queue up Uber and do a fair estimate, you know, just to see. After thinking about how small of an amount $7 is, I’ll tell myself, “Make a decision at halftime.”
Sorting through Snapchats from everyone that’s already out, I’ll justify staying in by saying, “At least Stew didn’t go out either.” And then Stew will text me and say, “Where are you? We’re all here.” My head will tip back to look at the sky while I mouth, “Fuck.”
“Maybe I’ll just put on ‘Atlantic City’ by The Band and see what happens,” runs through my head before I’ll promptly pour a stiff whiskey before heading into the bathroom to brush my hair and teeth.
“Put your makeup on fix your hair up pretty and meet me tonight in Atlantic City,” my iPad will ring as the song winds down and I, yet again, pull up Uber on my phone.
Because, let’s be honest, I’m clearly not staying in tonight. .
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