During college, all I wanted to be when I grew up was a yuppie, making more money than a 25-year-old knows what to do with, and happy hour’ing it up in designer professional attire amongst fellow good-looking, well-dressed, well-paid yuppies. I even had a song picked out that would be the theme song for these big city escapades; it was “Bennie and the Jets,” just because that’s what was playing in my mind when I would daydream about all the fancy places I would drink after college. Needless to say, the reality of after-work boozing has, for the most part, been nothing of the sort, and pretty disappointing really.
First, I love sleep, more than any person should love sleep. I have found that to drink almost daily between the hours of 5 and 7 and still get all of the everyday shit done that accompanies being an adult AND still get my preferred 9 to 10 hours of sleep, takes up more than the allotted 24 hours that is in a single day. Plus, if I’m at happy hour come 5:00, guess what I’m not doing. You guessed it: working out. Replacing working out with booze on the daily apparently does not accompany a slowing metabolism very well, and the thought of getting that in before work is just hilarious, especially when I’m pushing the snooze button for the fifth time. Plus, I can’t afford new work clothes and happy hour. Something’s gotta give.
While on the subject of things I can’t afford, excessive amounts of happy hours themselves are one of them. Yes, I realize there are drink specials every night of the week at different establishments around town, but how often do you stick to just the special? If you’re me, the answer is never. After a few $1.50 longnecks, I’m hopping on the premium vodka train and paying at least $7 a drink for the duration. Drinking fancy drinks in fancy work clothes every night of the week was a dream for an adolescent, naïve me that thought she’d be making almost six figures fresh out of graduate school (that thought used to be “fresh out of undergrad,” but really, I was delusional and/or just plain dumb). With my new realistic salary, which is laughable at best, excessive amounts of premium drinks on the reg isn’t exactly in the budget. For a “go big or go home” type of person, this has been a bit of a struggle to say the least.
Out of all of these newfound happy hour struggles, by far the biggest one is that I have discovered that I am just not mature enough for it. Come to find out, the key word in “happy hour” is supposed to be HOUR, and I am just unable to handle that. When I decide I want to drink (notice I didn’t say “a drink”), my response to the suggestion that I keep this activity limited to an hour, maybe two, is “HAHAHA, yeah right.” Casual drinking isn’t my thing. I’m not spending money and wasting calories to not be drunk, or in the least, heavily buzzed. Buzzed = relaxation. One to three drinks does not provide such relaxation for someone that has spent life since early teenage years building up the tolerance of a sumo wrestler. Next thing you know, happy hour has turned into your average Friday night, except it’s a Tuesday and I have to be back at the office in the morning, only this time feeling, looking, and probably smelling like a hungover bag of assholes.
So, I’ve had to let my sophisticated happy hour dream fall to the wayside. All of this because I’m apparently incapable of having three $2 pints with a couple friends from 5:00 – 6:30 a couple times a week, calling it a night, heading home, preparing for the workday ahead, and getting my productive adult shit done somewhere in between. That’s too much to ask of this barely functioning “adult”. I guess until I learn how to drink responsibly during the weekdays, I’ll attempt to stick to weekend benders and the occasional Friday hangover, maybe a modest sixer or bottle of wine on the couch to reward good behavior in the meantime.