You know the feeling. You’re getting older, and you see “the youngs” – hell, you even use the word “the youngs” – yukking it up, running wild and free. And you put your scotch down and mutter to yourself, “I know better than that.”
Of course you do, sailor. Of course you do.
You were a legend, once. A twinkling, starry-eyed rock star with a penchant for romping and roaring through god-knows-where, blazing a trail to oblivion paved in regret.
A good chunk of my 20s was spent pairing down my bad habits to a select few that could be easily managed and/or strangely acceptable under the right circumstances. (Heyyyyyy Fantasy Football!) I waned and weaned. I crested and collapsed. I fell down and kept stumbling. But, damn … smiles. Laughs. And, wait, who are you again?
And I’ve curated the best of the worst and curated a list of things you should probably stop doing once you’re “old enough to know better.” Let’s take a trip down Fuzzy Memory Lane.
1. Cocaine – 7 a.m. on a Wednesday is just no time to be rolling back to your messy apartment, limping in all quiet and paranoid, hoping to make it to the safety of your bed where your heart will pound uncontrollably like a Skrillex beat for the next 5 hours when you need to be to work in 2.
2. Smoking cigarettes – This is a wretched habit. You want to know how I picked it up? To meet women. I’m totally serious. I carried around cigarettes and a lighter just in case, and I always had a microwavable ice-breaker. Did you do this, too? Surely one of you jokers did. Looking back through ash-colored spectacles, I wish I carried around a tennis racket or a book. It would’ve been infinitely healthier and equally effective.
3. Eating a double-decker 13oz. meat-cannon burger with grilled onion, poblano, bacon and a fried egg in between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Did it last month just to say I did. Now I’m good, Jack. My colon erupted in joy. Well, it erupted anyway.
4. Having more than three drinks before driving any length of road – Because jail.
5. Skipping an oil change / doctor’s appointment / court date / renewal deadline – Preventative maintenance is the new black. Small victories, people. Small victories. There’s nothing I love more than giving myself the good ol’ pat-on-the-back for doing something that will help protect me down the road. Speaking of …
6. Having sex without a condom with a woman who isn’t my wife – Because I’m a hypochondriac and already think I have MS and Emphysema. I really don’t need a reason to believe I have AIDS. Also, I’m not really feeling kids … so I’m pretty sure I really wouldn’t be feeling my own kids.
7. Punching a stranger in the face – Man I’m too tired to be mad. And prison sounds dreadful. And other people punch back. And it hurts.
8. Calling into work sick without actually being sick – I should note I only ever did this once, and it was because I had a job interview for a job I eventually took and held for over four years. So, like, it was worth it. So … maybe file this under the “… unless I had a really, really good reason.”
9. Skipping class – Because I’m just never, ever going back to school. Because I skipped too much class.
10. Drunk-dialing my mom – I don’t know why I ever thought this was a good idea. This was never a good idea. Sorry, mom.
10A. Drunk-dialing my girlfriend – It sounded a lot like this:
11. Going to a Staind Concert, dropping Ecstasy and LSD, losing track of your friends, and driving a total stranger 2 hours out of the way just so you can stay at her house – No no …. YOU did that.
12. Writing a slideshow for a sports website like “50 Hottest College Cheerleading Squads” – Never. Ever. Again.
13. Wearing a throwback basketball jersey – Because, like, I was in high school when they played. And then I’d have to come to terms with being old. And I’m just not ready to do that yet.