I’m not doing so well today.
Last night was an atypical Wednesday night. Normally, I’d get back from the office around 6:30, eat dinner, and then watch the Rangers blow a five-run lead. But as most companies do, my employer held a happy hour. Me being a company man, I attended. And I refused to leave. But I regret nothing.
Things went smoothly. We took an Uber downtown because 1) I drink responsibly, and 2) fuck parking. Things got going around 5, so naturally I showed up at 6. There’s nothing wrong with being there early, but I just wasn’t in the state of mind to shake hands and converse with people I don’t interact with on a daily basis. I couldn’t risk it. Plus, it was hot, and sweating through a Tommy Bahama is only recommended on certain occasions. I sweated through it anyway.
It was about 10 p.m. and things were still going strong. Nobody was completely hammered, and if they were, they didn’t show it. My fiancée, sensing that I was one more ranch water from setting the bar ablaze, leaned over and said that she was calling an Uber. I didn’t disagree with the move. Even though my company opens the office later than usual after happy hours, I knew how worthless I’d be if I didn’t get my usual 6.5 to 7 hours of sleep. As we stood to leave, I assessed the scene. Much to my surprise, there were coworkers everywhere. Big dogs to the left of me, hitters to the right, and a few key players scattered in between. I was stunned. Not only were people still going strong, but their wives and husbands were still storming along, too.
That’s when I made the executive decision. I looked over at the future mother of my children and said, “I’m going to stay for one more drink.”
She wasn’t even shocked by my declaration. She knew it was a very real possibility from the moment we walked into that bar. She didn’t stick around to see what kind of damage would be done, though. I walked her out when Laura in the black Subaru arrived, and then I walked my ass back into the bar and ordered another ranch water. Am I paying for it now? Maybe. There’s really no way of knowing whether I’d be operating at 93 percent rather than the 89 percent I’m sitting at now. I got up early, did some work, crushed a 15 minute sauna session at my gym, and now I’m here burning through a mix of Pantera, T-Pain, and Huey Lewis. It’s a great mix — you should look into it.
Rather than dwell on what could’ve been, I’d much rather focus on what was. That last drink was worth it. As I stood by the bar, I ended up mixing it up with some interns about “hitting up dirty 6th.” Did I go? Absolutely not. Did I even consider it? Nope. But did I make them think I was actually considering it? Yeah, I think so. Sixth street is rarely a good choice, and it’s never a good choice on a Wednesday. I was just happy for the invite. The sweet bird of youth is no longer circling over my head, but I’d like to think that if I wanted to make a reckless decision, I could have.
Conversations like that make sticking around “late night” completely worth it. For every episode of drunken banter you have with a coworker, you create a bond that will carry over into perpetuity. You may not remember exactly what was said, and you may get a serious bout of scaries trying to piece that together. Don’t worry; it’s never as bad as you think. But when you see that coworker the next day, you’ll both be wearing a pirate’s smile that says, “Good talk last night.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, makes that last drink worth it..
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