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1. Alcohol Consumption: Drinking in excess is now considered “a problem.”
After four or more years of spending four or more nights per week under the influence, that privilege is suddenly and forcefully taken from you. Your weekday alcohol intake has been limited to happy hours where you’re expected to have “one or two” drinks because that’s what society deems appropriate while the sun is still up Monday through Thursday. It’s completely bogus. Most of the people you know don’t want to go “too hard” because they have “work” in the morning. Your proclivity for blacking out for blackout’s sake no longer makes you the hilarious good time it used to. Now you’re just “immature.” So, you lower both the quantity and frequency of your alcohol intake as well as your tolerance, in what is the first step in a full transition to the boring old person you once feared becoming.
2. Intercourse: You don’t remember what it’s like to have sex.
College was a magical place, where the alcohol was endless, the inhibitions were lowered, and the bodies were hot. No one gave a fuck about all the fucks they were giving. You now find that you’ve killed two sets of batteries in six months and have a newfound appreciation for Danielle Steele novels. You’re now counting the months, not weeks, since your last time, and it’s rapidly approaching the double digit mark. You’re starting to think they may have even changed things. Are people 69’ing these days? Is bush back? Is the hymen one of those body parts that eventually grows back? I hear it’s yes, no, yes, but I really can’t be sure.
3. Work: Monday-Friday, 9-5
Every day you have to wake up at an ungodly hour, sit at a desk, and pretend to laugh when Linda from accounting tells you some hilarious story about her kid digging its way into her neighbor’s yard — or maybe that was her dog. You can’t force yourself to give a shit either way. You listen to some bad flirting between some creep and an intern as you do monotonous work that you’re not even sure you’re any good at. You still haven’t decided whether you’re more disappointed or grateful that your boss doesn’t know your name, because you’re too focused on your eight-hour countdown to 5 o’clock.
4. Dating: Finding someone interesting is near impossible.
For years, every guy you met was good-looking, exactly your age, and at least ambitious enough to get a degree. There were no old creepers and there were no jobless losers hitting on you at the bars. What’s more, they all lived within walking distance from your apartment. His major, fraternity, and name were just fill-in-the-blanks, and other than his giant ego, over-inflated by his father’s money, he seemed perfect, probably because you never got to know him very well at all. You had no real need (or desire) to get to know anyone on a more personal level, because you were too busy getting drunk and caring about you. This made it easy to redefine “dating” to mean “any premeditated gathering during which you shared space with a male, whom you would later go to bed with.” Since silly things like “his personality” didn’t matter, he was a dime a dozen. Now, finding Mr. Right is an uphill battle against low incomes, bad jokes, and receding hairlines.
5. Marriage: Everyone’s doing it.
It’s not that you’re not happy for your friends. It’s not even that you’re jealous, per se. It’s just that you’ve become so overexposed to engagement announcements that you’ve begun to hate marriage as a whole. Marriage has always been something you discussed as being some magical day in the distant future. I wonder what he’ll be like. I wonder how we’ll meet. Well, it’s still exactly that for you, but for everyone else it is becoming a reality, and the only words you have to offer are “Congratulations! I hope you’re as excited about a diminishing sex life and stretch marks as I am about making fun of you for it! P.S. Chartreuse shouldn’t exist anywhere, so certainly it shouldn’t in a bridal party, but hey, it’s your ruined
funeral wedding photos, not mine.” Unfortunately, that’s in poor form, so you pretend her halo engagement ring isn’t tacky and dated, and make yet another trip to The Pottery Barn to buy some heinous tapestry the blushing bride has registered for, for reasons you’ll never understand.
Image via Madame Noire