Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Night Struggle

I think I was born in my mid-fifties. I mean, it makes sense. I enjoy wine, the BBC, farmers markets, and I balk at the idea of uncomfortable shoes. But more importantly, I have a real problem going out. I mean, I'm not a hermit, I can leave my house, I don't have a fear of people or anything, well, not much of a fear, but I don't do well going out in a social sense, as in, going out on a Friday night. It's not that I don't have friends. I have friends. A couple of them. And it's certainly not that I don't enjoy drinking. Oh, I deeply enjoy drinking. I just tend to enjoy doing it in a place where my bed is just a short stumble away. And yes, that will lead to some awesome evenings of drinking alone in front of my computer. But there are advantages to that. One, no one gets to make fun of you as you get progressively drunker and sloppier. Two, it's cheaper, and in this economy that's good news. Three, you can dance around your room and not be concerned about the other people judging. Not that I would do that. Ever. And if I did it certainly wouldn't be to MGMT's Time to Pretend. Awesome song.

Anyway, the point is that lately I have had a difficult time leaving my haven of cheap wine and terrible movies. I go out for a drink with a friend and halfway through my second vodka tonic I'm buzzed and sleepy and I want to go home and watch Bones on hulu. It's not that I don't like the person I'm with, or the vodka, but the public nature of it all makes me itchy. I think when you have been groomed and manicured your whole life to be an academic and you spend your college years at not-Yale you get a little uneasy when told you should be relaxing. It's simply not part of the training. Being actively social is a real struggle if it's something you didn't know you had to do until the age of 18.

People ask me about the dating scene here and I never quite know what to say. The truth is that while we here at not-Yale are good at a lot of things, exploring the twists and turns of a novel by Salman Rushdie, categorizing Post-Modernist art as a movement, splitting an atom (We've got a particle accelerator, don't tell not-Harvard!) we are not good at being human beings. We certainly aren't good at being human beings in the presence of other human beings. The urge to talk academia is uncontrollable, we discuss Kierkegaard and the social implications of marxism at parties while other people our age discuss- well, I have no idea what they discuss, I don't know those people. Alcohol only makes our opinions on Stravinsky and John Locke that much more adamant and enraged. I don't know that it's healthy for 18 to 21 year olds to get quite so upset about 18th century Japan, but whatever, I'm certainly not entering that battle. The east asian studies majors are FIERCE.

So I prefer to struggle on my own, in the warm glowing light of my computer sipping Yellowtail and enjoying the flickering images of my netflix. Pathetic? Perhaps. But at least I'm not the one in the bar screaming about King Lear.


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