I’ll be 25 in less than 3 months…
This is the first birthday I’m kinda dreading. That whole quarter-of-a-century thing just freaks me out. I’m fully aware that 25 is very young in the scheme of things, but officially being in my mid-twenties, and a mere 5 years away from the big 3-0 (who can lend me a Xanax?!) makes me feel… old. There is no other way to put it.
I felt especially old when I woke up this past Saturday morning…
…The last of my sister’s best friends from high school turned 21 last week, so to celebrate; a group of us went out for a night on the town. Naturally, we headed to the SouthSide in Pittsburgh. The SouthSide is essentially the “club district.” Endless bars line a 3 mile stretch of Carson Street, and every weekend, hundreds congregate to uphold a true Twenty-Something tradition – get your drink on!
For me, a night out with a DD (that wasn’t me behind the wheel of my 2002 Camry) was LONG overdue, and I was blowing off lots of recently pent-up steam, with some beer, vodka, tequila and dancing. I was drinking like a college kid, and totally forgetting that, unlike the birthday girl, I was no longer 21. But GURL, I was having FUN!
Well, after two cases of hiccups, one blurry car-ride home, five minutes chatting with the porcelain gods, and (of course) far more drunken tears than necessary, I woke up Saturday morning thinking “I’m too old for this sh*t.”
Laying on the couch, in all my hung-over glory (waiting for new furniture to be delivered, no less) I couldn’t help but wonder, What HAPPENDED to me since college?! Why can’t I handle going out anymore? I’m only twenty-FOUR, for crying out loud! My older and wiser coworkers have warned that once you hit thirty, you can’t physically play “like you used to” anymore. But don’t I have a few good years left?!
I longed for the days when I could drink pitchers of Long Island Ice Teas (only 5 bucks every Thursday night in college) and wake up the next morning ready to take on the world. But there I was, confined to the couch, with Advil and water as my only companions, watching reruns of Friends and Paranormal State while Sister headed out the door for Round 2 of Birthday Extravaganza Weekend.
Jealous much Stephanie? Definitely. Wishing I could roll like I did back when I was 21? Absolutely.
But I found myself thinking about something else: the embarrassing reality that not only was I the oldest person out that night, but was I really also the drunkest? I was suddenly overcome with regret that I, while thinking I was having age-appropriate fun, may have looked completely irresponsible and immature. If there are two adjectives I’ve never wanted to describe me, it’s those. I also knew I was over spending Saturdays debilitated by my own stupidity. For the first time ever, I was truly scolding myself for drinking too much, and feeling silly for being almost 25 and having THAT kind of hangover. You’re better than that Stephanie. You’re an adult, you have a job, you live on your own. You’re too old to be acting like you’re 21.
When does it become totally unacceptable for a single, twenty something, woman to relapse back to the girl she was college? Is it when you’re 24, almost 25, like me? Do I still have a few more years of laughing at hangovers before hanging up my party shoes, or have I really reached the age when, I’m just too old for that sh*t?…