You’re Not 21 Anymore, And It Sucks

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You 're Not 21 Anymore, And It Sucks

Getting older sucks. Your back starts hurting, all of your mail goes from fun things from Grandma to not-so-fun things from gas companies, and eventually you concede that you actually need to eat better because you don’t you actually feel like dying. There are a lot of perks to adulthood, but I think if most of us could go back to being 20, we’d probably do it for at least a couple of weeks.

When you’re fresh in your early twenties, everything seems exciting and shiny. The dive bar with the two-star Yelp rating known for dollar jello shots seems fun and eclectic, not sketchy and sticky. You don’t see the E. coli that’s probably swimming on the pool table in every questionable stain or the homeless person passed out next to the ATM. You just see the fact that you’re allowed to even be inside the establishment in the first place, and that’s good enough for you.

Besides the change in your own physicality that seemingly happens over night, there’s a major removal of those rose-colored glasses. One day you’re dancing on the bar and the next you want to tell the girls on the bar that they need to put on a sweater. You’re heading towards becoming the “mom” or the “dad” that came out with the kids, and it’s kind of the worst.

You pass on the live show.

It’s going to be full of college kids because a band that’s probably a poor man’s FUN is playing and it’s only a five-dollar cover?! Hard pass. The idea of stomaching watered down vodka-crans in 8-ounce plastic Bud Light cups while a bunch of girls try to catch the guitarists eye sounds like a the actual third level of hell. I care barely handle my own sweat, much less that of 150 strangers. Nope.

You leave the bar if there’s no where to sit.

There are a couple of open spots at the bar rail, but they’re all strangling singles and your anxiety is stopping you from just asking the people obviously on a first Tinder date if they’ll scoot over one. There are no tables with chairs, so you’d be forced to just awkwardly stand and lean while working on your pitcher. No thanks, I’m gonna go ahead and walk down the street because I’m wearing really expensive shoes, worked nine hours today, and need to rest my feet while I happy hour it up.

Sitting at home and drinking sounds way more fun.

Hmmm…go spend at least $50 between the inevitable apps and eight-dollar glasses of Pinot Grigio, OR rock a $7.99 entire bottle of wine while you re-watch the drama unfolding in Dillon on Friday Night Lights? Yeah, it’s such a tough choice. See you never, tapas; see you now, Tim Riggins.

Your hangovers make you want to die.

Once upon a time, you could drink an entire bottle of Smirnoff on an empty stomach, go to bed at 5 a.m., and wake up feeling fresh as a daisy and ready for breakfast burritos a mere four hours later. Those days are gone. If you did that now, you would either (a) be hungover for the next 72 hours, or (b) end up in the hospital and, let’s be real: your health insurance isn’t good enough to cover a night of getting your stomach pumped without you also pumping out some serious cash. Besides, three-day hangovers are for Vegas and the beach, not Monday through Wednesday when you have actual work to do.

You start to snob out about alcohol.

The only time certain kinds of drinks are allowed is if you are by the water. Boats, lakes, and pools give anyone a free pass to drink whatever they feel. But if you’re at brunch and someone has the audacity to attempt to pass you a brass monkey? THE HORROR. You don’t contribute bi-weekly to a savings account to look that ratchet. Second tier shelf or higher, thanks.

Today’s 21-year-olds look like jail bait.

They can’t be 21 — they have to be 15 and someone gave them a fake ID. Oh, they’re totally 21 and 22? Great. You’ll just go ahead and move your blazer somewhere they won’t spot it and think you’re somebody’s mom who got out of the suburbs. Also, you just thought the words “jail bait” in a non-funny way, in an “I want to offer them a ride home because I’m responsible” kind of way. You also just want to get them out of the bar because now you realize you have to compete with 21-year-olds. Oh well, at least you aren’t throwing up in the bathroom anymore. It’s the little things.

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