There’s something about the heels of Monday morning that force you to tell yourself that you’re not going out during the upcoming weekend. That “something” is the influx of beers you put in your system the weekend before mixed in with the overflow of anxiety you felt all Sunday while dreading going back to work. For every time I’ve told myself that I’m staying in on a Friday night, there’s another time where I’ve talked myself into going out because I’m, well, a mental midget who loves giving in to peer pressure.
Sticking to your guns becomes more difficult in the face of adversity, which is why you must understand the five stages of staying in on the weekend if you actually want to stay in on the weekend.
When assessing any of the stages, one must not always apply the emotions to themselves. As with any situation involving heavy drinking, one person’s actions affect the squad as a whole. You’re only as strong as your weakest link, so once you send out that initial “Nah, I think I’m staying in this weekend, boys” text, it’s game over. Well, for a moment.
They won’t believe that you’re actually staying in. They won’t admit to themselves that you don’t just want to go to the same bar at the same time and talk to the same girls while drinking the same beer and listen to the same jukebox. Yeah, that’s tight and all, but variety is the spice of life and it’s natural human instinct to evolve. Plus, you got too drunk there last weekend and you can’t stand facing the bartender again so you’re hoping a weekend absence is long enough to make him forget that he cut you off.
Despite your friend’s thinking you’re pissing down their boots and telling them it’s rain, you tell yourself that you are staying in. Their denial is temporary.
At 3 o’clock on Friday, that’s when it hits – “Alright, what’re we doing tonight?”
forgotten denied your request to stay in for the night and have assumed that you’ll be joining in. But after you explain to them that you are, in fact, staying in, you must prepare for the anger that ensues.
“Dude, are you seriously not going out?”
“Seriously, what are you gaining by staying in?”
“What are you even going to do tonight?”
They’re not mad because of the decision you’ve made in the effort of inspiring your own personal growth; they’re mad because they want to drain some beers with you. It’s a compliment more than anything, and it’s something you have to endure. No one said staying in was going to be easy, and getting beyond the anger stage is one of the hardest parts.
“Okay,” they’ll begin, “Why don’t you just come out tonight and stay in tomorrow? Will it really be that big of a deal?”
And they’re right. It isn’t that big of a deal. But at this point, you’ve put up such a fight that you have no other choice but to be defiant. But while they bargain with you, your inner demons come out and you begin bargaining with yourself. You look over to the kitchen and see that unopened bottle of red. “One glass with dinner,” you tell yourself. You forget that the entire point of staying in is so you can feel responsible and refreshed come Sunday, and slow-dancing your way into drinking an entire bottle of wine while a Netflix documentary plays in the background isn’t the way to do that. At least, that’s what you tell yourself.
Suddenly, the excitement of the pre-going out text messages dies down. What you decided to go all-in on for the night all of the sudden doesn’t seem as exciting or relaxing as you’d hoped. You’re about one glass of pinot away from pressing your forehead against your glass door and watching the raindrops trickle while Alanis plays in the background wondering what could’ve been had you just. gone. out. You check your phone and it’s still early enough to go out. A quick reapplication of deodorant, some extra pomade in the hair, finish that last glass of wine? You’d be gold. But, you’re already in. Alone. With nothing to do. While everyone else is out. Laughing. Having fun.
What was once your Everest is now just silence in the solitude of your own apartment. You know what you’ve done. And though it isn’t one of the stages of staying in, you experience regret. Was avoiding having a few beers about it really worth the anguish it’s caused? You had a tough week of work and you’ve got some forgettin’ to do. You reach down and grab your phone only to see what you dread: zero texts. Again.
With a hesitation pulsating through your hand, you enter your passcode (*6-9-6-9*) and click the iMessage icon on your home row. You reluctantly enter your group text and begin typing.
“You guys still out?”
Because yet again, despite your efforts to stay in for the weekend, you’ve accepted that you have to go out. Plus, that jukebox ain’t gonna feed itself. .
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