The air is crisper. There’s an extra pep in your step as you get ready to call it a day. Spotify Premium is on shuffle, and although you started out the day feeling melancholy listening to The Best of The Smiths, you’re now air drumming as you close out of that spreadsheet and listen to “Be My Lover” by La Bouche.
Did you have an especially good day at work? Hell no.
Sex life in the black? No matter how good it’s going, it can always be better.
Second half of that Adderall XR kicking in from this morning? Okay, maybe.
But the unexpected enthusiasm you’re feeling is more likely due to the fact that it’s Thursday night. As Nas would say, “the world is yours.” Gone are thoughts of mind-numbing conference calls, Monday morning deadlines, and that bitch Kathy from accounting who won’t go home sick despite her nagging cough and constant sniffling. Booze is on the brain. Firewater. The elixir of life.
The smart play would be to head home, hit the gym and then make a nice meal, all before falling asleep around 9:30. But you’re not smart, and you cancelled that gym membership last month because you’re totally going to start doing IAW’s (in apartment workouts).
The siren call comes in the form of a text. Whether it’s from a good friend you see every weekend or just a casual acquaintance, you’re jumping at any and all invitations that come your way. Cocktail bar that you definitely can’t afford? Totally in, that’s what you have that Chase Sapphire card for. Basically free money. Birthday party? I don’t know the birthday girl but I’ll roll with. A dive down the street from your office? You’ve been waiting for someone to ask since this morning.
For me, it’s damn near impossible to turn down an invite for drinks on a Thursday night. Unless I’ve got a date or by some divine miracle, a booty call– I’ll double, triple book plans because I still think I’m a spry 22-year-old with energy to do things. But I’m here to tell you that the difference between 22 and 24 is staggering. Too many times I have thought I was ’01 Tiger. You know the guy in the prime of his career? The guy who got his Grand Slam three years after joining the tour.
The reality is I’m way closer to ’12 or ’13 Tiger. A guy in the twilight of his career, at least when it comes to Thursday nights browning out. Yeah, I’ll have a random Thursday out where everything falls into the place, but for the most part, it’s an act of futility. I’ve learned the hard way that parlaying happy hour beers into an eight-hour conquest for a random hookup does not equate to a great Friday morning in the office.
Sure, in college it’s no big deal. Thursday night might as well be Monday night. The days blend together and there’s always a drink special at one of the twelve bars on campus. But once you’re out of that college bubble, the opportunities to go out get widdled down to Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. At 22, 23, even 24 years old, you’re still not a real person. I’m 24 and I do not have my shit together. I know a couple guys my age that are respectable members of society. I see these types of people like once every 2 months despite them living in the same city as me, but they’re all on the fast track to getting married. Every other single 24-year-old I know is still getting dangerously close to blacking out on the weekends and chasing ass. Girls and boys alike.
Thursday night is the most divisive “going out” night of the week. Two little versions of yourself sit perched on either side of your head, whispering pros and cons about going out. I can’t help but listen more intently to the little guy who says “So you’re just going to go home? And do what? Watch some porn and maybe get through half a movie? Get a life.”
23-year-old you starts their weekend on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (possibly earlier) with Bud Lights at a bar down the street from the office, while future 28 year old you haughtily laughs, already knowing that redemption is coming in the form of a hangover early Friday morning. Because it’s never just three Bud’s and home for dinner, is it? No, no. You’re out at 6:00 p.m., which means dinner and maybe the crab dip as an app for the whole table. Before you know it you’re 4 domestics deep and moving to hard liquor. An inner monologue creeps in as your drinks after work become a mini bar crawl-“Tomorrow’s Friday, dude. Bossman isn’t even coming in tomorrow.”
A hangover from a Thursday night out on the town is different, from say, a Saturday night out. There are no repercussions for a Sunday hangover. It’s a foregone conclusion that I’ll be out of sorts on a Sunday morning. But your boss doesn’t let you sleep through work on Fridays. You’ve got to power through that crippling hangover, and the only thing that gets you through the day is the promise of more booze when you get out. At what age do Thursday nights out become a problem? I’m worried about getting side-eyed at the bar and I’m 24. I don’t think I’ll have the energy when I’m 26 to do this shit anymore. It’s fun, but I’m at a point where I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I went on a date with a 22-year-old a few weeks ago and when she asked me how old I was I answered truthfully. Her response? “That’s a relief. If you were 25 I would have gotten out of here. No joke.”
For a successful night out following work on a Thursday, the stars really have to align in the perfect way. No one member of your group can be out of sync, and if you dance with the devil that is known as shots you’re going to feel His wrath. Is the devil’s gender specified? Doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you’re functioning at a normal level come Friday morning. I wish I knew how to quit Thursdays. But for now, as PGP All-Star Will DeFries would say, I’m going to Ride The Wave.
Like reading David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest” or watching The Godfather Part III, not going out on Thursday nights is going to be something I eventually get around to doing. .
Image via Foodies Feed