Then it started to happen, slowly at first, but every once in a while after about 24, those hangovers would just, stick around. Not all day, and not long enough to do any real damage, but more than before, this was different, this was almost, human. Now at almost 27 years old, a "bad" hangover for me is just when I wakeup from drinking period, but a terrible hangover, that can put me out of commission for a few days time. I experienced one such hangover after a night of drunken debauchery on the eve of 2015, and finally I had to stop denying it to myself, I am no longer immortal. I have found my kryptonite, and it is the same thing that used to be my super power... so these are the 21 reasons I don't/can't drink like I'm 21 anymore.
When you're in college everything is 2-4-1, or $10 all-you-can-drink. When you grow up into reality and decide you can't spend all your time on sticky floors anymore, you realize drinks in the real world add up. For $10 on wednesday nights in college I could get bombed like Hiroshima, to do that in a nice bar/club as an "adult", I would need a second mortgage.
20. Less Friends
Though we all will have those friends who will party like they're 18 forever, as you grow older it becomes a lot harder to find someone who will start drinking margaritas with you at 3pm on a Tuesday. Now your friends have things like "a mortgage" and "a job" and "three kids", "whatever happened to Taco Tuesday Bro?"
19. Deja Vu
If you are like me, then you know when you go out with your typical drinking buddies, it's usually a fairly similar pattern. While being a regular is great when your in your early 20's and usually leads to awesome perks, like free shots, better service, etc. At some point you realize, "Oh shit, I don't just drink here, I'm a Regular here". Well that might not be such a bad thing when your 65 and retired, for me it's a little to early to start playing Norm from Cheers. (Where everybody knows your name...)
18. One Night Stands
In college pretty much everyone was on the same page. We got drunk, things happened, let's not make a big deal out of this. The most awkward thing about a one night stand back then was the walk across campus and maybe running into that person in biology class. Now we're older we drink with our friends and our co-workers and a one night stand could turn into the worst office weirdness ever, or worse, one of those "relationships" I keep hearing about.
17. Everyone Looks So Young
At this point in my life, especially while traveling, I have no idea how old girls are when I meet them at a bar. In college it didn't matter, because everyone was with in four years of eachother. Now as I'm about to turn 27 I realize I'm a decade older than some of these girls. While that may seem awesome, in reality 18-year olds are pretty worthless people when it comes to anything else but drinking and looking good.
16. Drunk Facebook Pics
In college it was a badge of honor to have a great night out and later have to look back. We would anxiously wait until someone posted photos to piece the night together, "Oh ya I remeber that guy in the full bear costume!". Now for a lot of my friends however, Facebook can be a nightmare in the professional world. Employers are using companies to search people's history and find out anything ill-suiting about them. It's one thing if they have to dig back 6 years in your archive, it's another if they find photos of you doing bong rips and shotgunning from last week.
15. Picking Up Chicks
You'll never know the awesome conversation starting power of, "What's your major?" until you're no longer in college anymore. It was the ultimate "in" move, so many directions to take, so many laughs to be had, so many chances to get some Freshman home. Now I'm forced to ask things like, "Oh how do you like the gas mileage on your Prius?", and "Do you prefer Whole Foods or Trader Joes?". I'm about this close to going back and getting my Masters Degree just so I can have a good opener again.
14. Grownups Go To Jail
In College and your early 20's it seems like you're pretty invincible, even when it comes to the police. I remember I got a few citations in school, drunk in public, fake ID, etc. but none of these ever lead to any "real" consequences. At worst, just a ticket you'd have to work a few extra shifts at Subway to pay off. But as I've grown older I've realized, I can't really get away with that shit anymore. No longer will cops try not to "ruin" your future and give you a break. You're in the future now bro, and if you get caught peeing on the side of a building, congrats you're a sex offender now.
13. Uber Receipts
Give me a second to explain this one. Responsibility is awesome, and I, like most of my friends in college got away with a lot of times we shouldn't have been behind the wheel of a car. Now I'm older and wiser and I know drunk driving is a huge no-no! That being said, there's something kind of depressing about seeing 10 different Uber receipts on your bank statement every monday morning after a long weekend. Though lets be honest, who's taking a gross taxi? Not this guy!
12. Making Conversation
There's something magical about being in a loud college bar and throughout the night eventually ending up taking another co-ed home. The magical part is, within the typical college bar you can't actually hear a god-damn thing. So basically you have to communicate through yelling, and hand signals, and lots of shouting of, "Shots?". This doesn't really work as you get older. If I go out with my friends now we try to intentionally find a place where the music isn't too loud, so we can converse and enjoy eachothers company. This is great for catching up with friends but not so great for picking up chicks when you have no material (see number 15).
11. Being a Grandpa
Before I left for my trip I went to a tailgate at my Alma mater. It was great seeing old friends and supporting my beloved Knights but I immediately noticed something different. When we were pregamming to go to the actual tailgate we stopped by one of our old stomping grounds. At this point I had only been out of school for three years but it might as well have been three decades! Everyone was a baby, and I found myself concerned for young girls and their attire, "what would her father think?". Point being you wanna feel real old, real fast, get some of your old college buddies and go back to your favorite college bar, it will age you.
10. Appreciation of Booze
When I was 18 I couldn't tell you the difference between Mr. Boston and 15-year old Balvenie. But as you get older you start to appreciate things about good booze that were never of importance before. I now know the difference between a good beer and a shit beer, and the same with liquor. And though sometimes it seems to be to my detriment, I know that spirits are meant to be enjoyed, not dropped into Redbull.
9. I Hate Dancing
Let's be honest I was never a good dancer to begin with, but when I was going to school it was pretty simple. Wait till a rap song came on, grab a cute girl by the waist (if she turns around and gives you the nod, you're in), and then basically stand there sweating and moving your hips back and forth until it's time to get a drink. Grinding may have been most associated with hip-hop but it was DEFINITELY invented by a white guy. That being the extent of my "dance experience" I'm pretty ill-equipped to hit the dance floor these days.
8. "Come at Me Brah!"
I've always been more of a lover than a fighter, but after 8 Jaeger bombs and a few dozen cheap beers, we all had our moments of "bro-ing" out back in our prime. Back then it didn't matter, a few bruises and a ripped shirt was usually the worst thing you had to worry about. Now the idea of fighting scares me for two reasons. Number one, if I were to get in a fight and beat someones ass, I would most likely be on the wrong end of an assault suite within a month. Number two, and more importantly, I really, really don't like being punched, and odds are now I would be the one receiving the majority of the blows.
If you ask my exes you would get a pretty good consensus that I am a notorious drunk texter.
Me- "I miss you baby"
Her- "We haven't talked in 6 months dumbass..."
Me- "I've been thinking about you"
Her #2- "I haven't..."
I think two examples is enough. That's all well and good when you're 19 and you can laugh it off the next day. But in this world of constant updates and, marriages, and babies, and more babies, you have to be careful which ex your texting. She might not only be taken, but married with a bun in the oven, and she definitely doesn't want to come over and "snuggle".
6. Getting up for things
When you're a "grown-up" and I'm using that term very loosely here, you finally start to come to the reality that spending all day in bed drinking gatorade and watching Netflix, is no longer "acceptable". I've been in hospitality for a LONG time so it's not exactly like I have a load of responsibilities to consider but at some point waking up past noon every day starts to take its toll on your mental state. "This was ok when I was 20 and missing a film class, but shit my best friend has kids now, and I'm pushing 30." The occasional all day recovery is fine, but at some point we all wanna start to grow up a little and there's no way to do that when you sleep till 3.
5. I don't have "Connections" anymore
When I was 18-22 I didn't wait in line for ANYTHING. I knew someone everywhere, whether they were a brother in my fraternity, or someone I worked with, or even some chick I hooked up with every once in a while. Now, I stand in line. Occasionally I'll know someone somewhere, but now we're older so that person is a manager, and probably won't text me back when I'm at the door, and is probably too busy to get me in anyway. I now live the life of paying covers and waiting 30 minutes for a drink, just like the rest of you. Times have change and the only way to get some attention is with money, because money talks, unfortunately my wallet is a deaf, mute at the moment.
4. Gym Time
I went to UCF in Orlando, FL. There's a reason our student body got voted one of the sexiest every single year. Aside from living in a state that has year round sun shine and the perfect excuse for women to wear bikinis everywhere, when I was at school we had "The Gym". Now I know some schools have great Rec/Wellness centers, but UCF's was next level (and it got even better after I left). Something like 60,000 sq/ft of pure iron pumping, cardio pounding madness. The perfect place to burn off a long night out, and in school I could easily spend 2-3 hours a day there. Now, it's a hassle to get to the gym, it's expensive, and the facilities aren't nearly as nice, let alone the scenery. But where before it was a kind of escape, now it's a necessity. The first thing you start noticing about your friends after college is who lets themselves go. I may not be the most successful, I may not have the most money, but I for damn sure am not showing up to my 10 year college reunion with a beer gut, unfortunately what that means, is less beer.
3. I NEED Sleep
When you're young sleep is for old people, and something you do after cramming for exams for three days straight on a redbull and adderall fueled bender. Drinking heavily however, tends to let's say, "affect" my sleep patterns as I've gotten older. When I was in school it was nothing to stay up till 5 am sleep a few hours and then get right back up for class that morning. Now if I don't get my 8 hours I'm basically just a walking zombie. I never understood how important a great nights sleep was until I finally got one. After years of sleeping on futons and air mattresses (that's not a joke I spent the majority of college on an air mattress) I finally understand what a real mattress is. I've learned it doesn't matter how good the mattress is, going on a bender seems to throw a wrench in my sheep counting.
2. Chugs not Drugs
Maybe it's just me being surrounded by teenage backpackers like I am, being overseas at the moment. Maybe I just wasn't into the scene when I was in my early 20's anyway, but it seems like not many people just drink and get smashed anymore. It seems like everyone I meet now is on something. I have no problem with recreational drug use, and I think it's totally fine if these guys partake wisely, however, it definitely creates a different kind of "party". For one, if you don't like jumping around listening to shit EDM till 8 am, you will find yourself in a very awkward position when you're at some of the clubs these, "crazy kids" are going to. Maybe it's just how my friends and I partied in school but I don't think anyone should party past 3 am. The way we did it was start at ten, drink aggressively for 4-5 hours, go home and try again. Call me old fashioned, but you can keep your MDMA, and your nose candy, I'll take shots and long necks every time.
1. Hangovers... dear sweet merciful Jesus... HANGOVERS!!
We all have them, we all hate them, they are the "Ya, I don't really get hangovers" friend. If you had distaste for them when you were younger, you now loathe them from the core of your being. Because if you are like me, once upon a time you were bullet-proof, and now your target practice. When you first start to notice your hangovers are getting worse you can try to play it off like nothing is wrong, "you probably just drank too many house whiskeys last night". But then they start to creep in no matter what you drink, and soon it's not a matter of "if" you'll have a hangover, but simply how bad will it be. I had my come to Jesus with the hangover gods on the 1st of January 2015. It was eye opening, mostly because I could barely open my eyes. I had apparently run a drunk marathon the night before and every muscle is my body was spasming and wretched (seriously I physically was running all over town). It was then, finally, I learned that no longer am I the Super Man I once fancied myself to be, but rather more like the human counter part Clark Kent. I have found my kryptonite in the bottom of a bottle, and now I realize, I am invincible no more. So now I will be a grown up, have two drinks with dinner, and no shots, and go to bed at a reasonable hour. "Except tonight, tonight my friends in town, and I have the day off tomorrow, I mean it is Friday so it's happy hour, if we go to our bar we'll get free shots, two shots won't hurt, I'll just drink a lot of water... SHOTS!!!!!"
We may not be invincible anymore, but the one thing I know for sure is you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I maybe 50 one day with two kids of my own, and a grandson on the way (that means I'd have to start like tomorrow though), but when I see my old buddies, all bets are off. I think the main thing I've learned, as I've come to terms with becoming human, is you've just got to save your big ones for special occasions (weddings, birthdays, divorces, etc.). There's nothing wrong with being wounded for a few days, as long as it's not an every day thing anymore. From now on as I journey into my late-20's, practically ready for retirement, I will live by the Tobey Keith motto, "May not be good as I once was, but I'm as good once, as I ever was." Preach brother Tobey, preach!
If you liked this article and want to hear more about my travels, adventures, and dealing with "adulthood", follow my blog (http://kangaroontang.blogspot.com.au), add me on twitter (@logansdownunder), and keep up with my instagram (@logandownunder).