Stephanie sent me this link the other day, and despite the Vice-ness of the writing style (weirdly punctuated rambling sentences interspersed with not-at-all-relevant references to affect a cooler-than-thou attitude, although possibly everyone at Vice is just on coke?), it’s something I understand very well. Not well enough to require a manifesto disguised as instructions, I mean, although I do realize that, as someone who doesn’t see going out as necessary to their survival and relevance (whatever that means), I may not have been the target audience for this piece.
It’s nice to stay in. I can barely do basic math, but I still think any fool could compare the cost of a 6-pack at the store versus 6 beers at a bar. And that’s at bars I go to, so god help you poor bastards who pay to get into clubs and get tables and shit. So there’s money, and there’s also that thing about sometimes choosing to sit down and nourish your brain with books, non-porn parts of the Internet, and documentaries on Netflix (although I can neither read nor play music, I do watch a lot of musical competition documentaries, and I can tell you that Harp Dreams is not as good as They Came To Play). Or maybe just stay in because it feels good. It feels good to relax and not work or try at conversation. It feels good to wear fat pants and eat that speck of hummus that fell on the top part of your boob instead of just throwing it away. It feels good to be comfortable in your own house, with only yourself for company.
Even when I went out all the time, it wasn’t something I did because I felt I had to. I think it was more out of boredom. I’d recently moved back to St. Louis with zero money, so I had a tiny railroad apartment and three jobs, and what else was I going to do with my free time? I’d just spent two and a half years in a crappy marriage where I was too depressed to go out at all, so of course I was going to go to as many bars with as many people as possible. As time went on, I saved money, kept just the one job, and got Internet access. By the time I met Graham in 2007 (mind: BLOWN), I was already tiring of the energy it took to wear clothes that were not pajamas and shout a drink order to a bartender with coke boogers. Graham and I both worked late schedules in the beginning of our relationship, so a lot of our time together consisted of hanging out at his house, watching TV, playing Blokus, and drinking beers until four in the morning. When we did go out, the bars we went to were low-key, kind of dive-y places where we could hear one another speak. Eventually, our schedules became so different that we only saw one another twice a week, and then we were both too beat to do anything but sit on the couch.
Now we live together, and really, we still spend just two days a week together. Wednesday nights are for me making dinner and watching Storage Wars (BARRY 4 LYFE). Sunday nights are me making dinner or us going out to eat, and sometimes going over to a friend’s house to drink, watch The Walking Dead, and get home annoyingly early because I have to wake up at five the next morning. Although Graham got off work at 10pm on Fridays which caused some of our friends to wonder why I didn’t care enough to stay awake and hang out, I was cashed by then. I wake up early enough and am so tired of my job by the end of the week that my ideal Friday is premium cable, a bottle of wine, and being in bed by 9:30. Thrilling, I know, but I like staying in. It’s seriously pretty awesome.
Graham’s schedule recently changed to allow him to leave work at 10pm on Saturdays instead of Fridays, which means that last night, we were finally able to hang out together at a bar for the first time in months. Graham likes Silver Ballroom a lot – enough to know pretty much all of the staff – and I think it’s okay, but I can’t play anything for several hours in a row, not to mention amidst the tediousness of the hipster crowd that arrives in room-choking numbers around midnight. We closed the night at Stan’s, some dive up the block from the house, where the beers are cheap, the bartenders are wasted but efficient, and people un-ironically sing Buckcherry ballads on a purchased-at-Walmart karaoke machine.
This kind of thing makes me happy. I get to spend my Friday nights in a now-Vice-approved way, wearing fat pants and eating strange combinations of snack foods and leftovers in front of the TV, and I get to spend Saturday nights actually acknowledging my relationship. Which makes me more socially active that probably 78% of the Internet.