How To Handle Still Being Able To Drink Like You Could In College

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My recent behavior has shown that I am (still) not ready to accept that I am in the wrong half of my twenties. The past few weekends, I’ve been up to my old tricks, subconsciously trying to relive my glory days and being just successful enough at it to not be discouraged from it. No deathly hangovers so far–just some entertaining stories, a few phone numbers, and a couple of drunkenly added Facebook friends. Let’s just hope my current beer goggles are still in tune with their college counterparts. I guess I’ll find out.

There are pros and cons about being the person who thinks he or she can still hang with recent graduates. A few years can make a big difference, especially when you throw in more than 50-hour work weeks and minimal workations. If you’re lucky, you can maintain just enough of your inner debaucherous self to avoid being a homebody grandpa or grandma and have some fun. As a workaholic trying to make it big in this tough economy, you deserve it.

The major pro of being the person who thinks he or she can still hang is that you’re not limited in who you can party with. I’d say about a third of my friends who graduated within a year of when I did are either married or about to be married, and although it’s fun to hang out with them, it’s just not the same. I look like a 23-year-old and I can (almost) party like a 23-year-old, dammit. This, however, also comes with a major con. I can still hold my liquor relatively well, but I’ve lost just a little bit of that edge. You know what I mean. Just enough edge to black out faster than I used to (thanks, Fireball) and I fatigue a little bit faster. I used to stay out until last call, but now I’m in an Uber headed home about an hour to an hour and a half before the bars close. I get texts like, “What happened to you last night?” from younger friends who stayed out that extra hour. Aging is subtle and insidious.

On the bright side, for whatever reason, my hangovers aren’t as bad as when I was younger and I recover faster. It’s probably because over the years, I’ve learned what drinks kick my ass the most in the morning, I’ve found foolproof hangover cures (mimosas), and I know how to properly sweat out the impurities. I’ve probably built up some resistance, too. And that’s the same for every person who thinks he or she can still hang with the recent graduates. Experience and battle-hardened liver and kidneys go a surprisingly long way, and the more you try to hang, the more accustomed your body gets, especially compared to the homebodies who are snuggled up at home having one glass of wine, maybe, and are watching Netflix.

Being the person who thinks he or she can still hang puts you in a major gray area, because others won’t know if you are the old fart who needs to be taken out back like Ol’ Yeller or thrown in the retirement home or if you’re the aging man or woman-child who can still give them a run for their money. I don’t mind it, as long as I don’t get my ass fired. I might as well live it up while I can, because several years from now, I don’t want people to give me weird looks when I tell them I’m 30 and I’m still going to bars with a 23- to 29-year-old age range.

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