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I find myself getting a violent amount of anxiety as soon as someone brings up the topic of calling Ubers and heading out to the bar that we’ve chosen to go to. “Already? I wish we could just stay here,” I say to myself internally.
Most weekends I’ll try to stall for as long as possible, suggesting another drink before heading out or bringing up the extremely unpopular idea of just having the party come to us. But that never works, and then I find myself in a bar with my friends standing around doing the same thing that we were doing at that apartment we were just at. The only difference is that the drinks are more expensive and it’s harder to talk to people.
It used to be that 11:00 p.m. was that golden hour when everyone, including myself, mustered up the energy to get over to a bar where there promised to be dancing, moderately priced drinks, and single girls to talk to. 11 was that perfect time to leave the apartment or house you were partying at and send it on over to a bar that was mutually agreed by upon by everyone inside of said domicile.
I didn’t get excited for the pregame back in those days. It was merely foreplay for the main event – the bar. But with age comes wisdom, and where I used to revel in the conditions of whatever bar we chose to go to, I’m now finding that I don’t have very much fun when it’s time to put my jacket on, call an Uber, and get to the crowded bar of choice for the evening.
I once wrote a blog about how I’m constantly dreaming of a world where I’m exclusively attending ornate cocktail parties, and that remains true. But I’d have to be in a tax bracket far above what I’m in now to make that a reality.
In a way, it simply feels like I’ve outgrown the crowded, hard-to-freely-move-around type of bar that I loved during the first five years of my twenties. Every once in a while a bar where there is music that renders you unable to think clearly is a good time, but unless we’re going to a dive bar where I can sit down and actually hear what I’m saying to another person I’m out.
That’s really the crux of my argument for staying at the pregame spot. What is wrong with gathering a large group and just staying put all night? You save money on Ubers and drinks and you can actually have conversations with one another.
I understand that in this hyper-competitive world we live in that we need to let everyone know how much fun we’re having 24/7/365. Getting that Instagram story up of the entire crew at a popular nightclub looks a whole lot cooler than a pic of that same crew standing around a kitchen counter shooting the shit.
But I’m so tired of the rat race. I’m tired of showing up to these bars, spending a hundred bucks on drinks I don’t need, and then getting home at 2:00 in the morning regretting the last few hours of the evening. The saddest part of this statement I’m making is that nothing is going to change. I’m going to continue hitting these bars with my friends because that’s just what is expected.
Maybe I should build my own bar, a dimly lit spot where you can listen to smooth jazz at a reasonable volume and get a vodka soda in a plastic cup for four bucks. Perhaps I need to lighten up – just learn how to grin and bare these bars that I loved as a classless, shit-for-brains 24-year-old. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that every time I leave a pregame these days I’m way more interested in going home than I am about getting into a bar where chaos reigns supreme. .
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