Over Mexican salad at Christopher’s with my college friend M last night, I realized that I may have made a fatal mistake when I graduated from college and attemped to grow up. Instead of saving money and going a little crazy in the remainders room at the Harvard Book Store, or attending the ballet and being religious about seeing all the movies at the Kendall Square cinema, I should have relaxed my sphincter and enjoyed life a little bit more. Because my early diligence is coming around to bite me in the ass as I recognize that all I did was postpone the inevitable.
I say this because M and I discovered we have many friends in common, including the two of us, who did try to grow up immediately after college and where are we all now? Drinking ourselves silly while watching TiVo and downloading iTunes and eating crap in a grand tradition that I personally trace back to my parents forbidding me to have sugar cereals, resulting in my current ability to eat an entire box of Froot Loops or Lucky Charms at a go.
Instead of talking about what we’ve been reading or what we’ve been writing (because we discovered that neither of us is doing much of the former or the latter), we talked about movies and the crack-like temptation that is iTunes. And the crap we cook for ourselves because cooking is no fun when you’re only cooking for one. Also, the restaurants we go to when we’re too lazy to cook. But mostly we talked about how we’re tired of being responsible and dedicated and devoted to intellectual growth and lots of other obnoxious things that the people who got all their drinking and laziness out of the way 10 years ago are mustering the strength to be. I should have let go and enjoyed life when I was still a size two and capable of standing up after five beers.
When I need inspiration, I look to my friend J, who’s a freelance Flash designer in Portland, Maine. J was a responsible, hard-working teetotaler for all four years of college and well into his 20s, only discovering the joys of alcohol when he hit about 29. Today I got an email from him declaring his intention to doghead his way through St. Patrick’s Day, starting with a polar swim and a beer at 6am. Props to him. As Chris Knight says in one of my all-time favorite movies,
"Let's just pause, put that down. Let's just take a step back. No, I was wrong, I'm sorry, take a step forward. Now, take a step back. Step forward. Back. And then we're cha-cha-ing!"