Yup, I am, and to be honest, I’m fine with that.
Someone mentioned the other day about going for a drink after work on Friday. I tried to think of how many years it’s been since I did that. I ran out of fingers and toes for counting. You see, now to go out on Friday, I have to check the bank account, check the television schedule, factor in time for the news, think about what I would wear, and how we would get there and how we would get home and if I could have a glass of wine. I don't want to drive impaired, but more to the point, I have to guard against that damned heartburn as well. The thing is, I am not so sure I even want to go for that drink after work on Fridays.
Back then, the drinks started about 4pm, when work would wind down. Sometimes it meant beer brought into the office, other times it meant we went to the beer. Either way, it resulted one table being pulled over, then another, then another as more of us arrived. It required jugs of beer then some appies at the peanut bar, and about four hours later we would decide we need to get something to eat so we would stumble down the street to one of the four restaurants in town. From there, we would jump in our cars and head across the tracks to the Sundance, the only place in town with a dance floor and music (and no, it was not disco music, but they did have the crazy color-changing psychedelic lights all over the place). It was always a late night, always a costly night, but it was fun, and I never regretted doing it… okay, Saturday mornings sort of sucked, but what the hell. Some aspirin and the hair of the dog, and you were set.
Then kids arrived. Kids meant paying for babysitters, and kids meant you did not want to wake up with a hangover. You had to make sure they were fed dinner too, so no more running amok, at least not every Friday night. You couldn’t drive everyone from one place to the next without taking out car seats and inevitably when you were just sitting down to eat on those rare nights you did go out, the waitress would say there was a call; one of the kids is puking or bleeding or something that required an early end to the day… but we still tried, and we persevered. It just meant that those nights out were more special when they happened.
Now the kids aren’t an issue. Grandkids aren’t an issue either – yet. Drinking and driving is an issue, cost is an issue, roads in winter are an issue… but mostly, we like being home. Here comes the boring part: the days are comfortable with the coffee maker brewing good morning, and Jon Stewart saying good night. The news is required, and watching the newest episode of Decoded or Harry’s Law takes precedence over drinks with the guys. It’s a treat to order in pizza, and I don’t have to put on good clothes or touch up my face to do it. Touching up one’s face at this age is not something that you just run in and do in a minute anymore, so now the factors and the effort has to be weighed against the quality of the meal and how late in the evening it is.
My parents, when they did this, were fuddy-duddies and bores, a real yawn-fest. It’s not that anymore though; now it’s just comfortable, and I don’t apologize for it one bit. In fact, I treasure it.