Brandon’s Guide to Adulting: Christmas (Covid Edition)

Being an adult sucks. No matter what think pieces written in large publications like The New York Times and Highlights Magazine tell you, there is no easy way to hit your post-fun-of-not-worrying-about-catching-an-STD days. Getting older involves a series of inevitable truths: 

1: You will get a gym membership you will never use, even though you tell yourself this is the month you turn it all around. 

2: You are going to develop opinions about certain craft beers you enjoy, no matter how many times you try to shake that feeling by drinking way too much Keystone Ice.

3: Stuff that you promised yourself you would never stress will come down on you like an avalanche. Examples include bills, affording diapers, and tapas.

4: You will lose your friends(more on this in a minute).

5: You are going to start to enjoy music you promised yourself you hated during their youth. You know how your dad always plays Electric Light Orchestra in his car when you are driving around with him? When he was young, he swore up and down that he would never like that shit, and that Black Sabbath was god. Keep that in mind when you are making fun of Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, and Pentatonix.

6: You know what? No. Fuck Pentatonix. They should be burned at the stake to redeem us from an angry god for all of our sins.

If you are reading this, you are either old already, or you are fighting old age like a hero, armed with your beer bong and North Face jacket. Shine on you crazy, drunken diamond. It happens to all of us, except rock stars, who all die at 27, and that’s just science. Right now, you are probably reading this, wondering if you remembered to pay the water bill this month. If you are like me, you forgot. Don’t worry. It’s not worth stressing until the letters start showing up pink, and even then you’ve got a few weeks before they steal your water. Want to proclaim water is for everyone and you shouldn’t be charged for it? Enjoy bathing in melted snow. 

The rest of this article is me, an aging pile of goo, doling out great(terrible, almost certainly terrible) life advice for you to use as you navigate the holiday season. It won’t be easy. It never is. That’s why you have to respect your grandparents, in spite of the fact that they just learned the internet and they took that newfound wisdom and bought a Trump 2020 christmas sweater to wear. They have 50 more years of getting old experience to espouse their wisdom. You think it’s terrible that your internet didn’t work this morning? They lost family members and friends in World War 2. Your Kitchen Ninja on the fritz? They lived through an era where every desert was Jello based. Can’t get reception of your Sirius XM in the city? Your grandparents probably didn’t know what black people sounded like until the 60’s.

And someday, we will get to be the crotchety old people at the Christmas party, handing out terrible gifts, overcooking the food then staring on intently as everyone eats it because nobody wants to be “that guy” who calls out grandma for overcooking the shit out of the ham.

Until that day though, lets get through life together. Welcome to “Brandon’s Guide to Adulting: The Holidays: COVID EDIT!

December 15th

Today is your last payday before Christmas. It’s your last chance to spend some money on your relatives and the people you love/want to penetrate, and god help your inbred ass, the relatives you want to penetrate.  You are running out of time to buy stuff. You are in Amazon or bust mode. If that means you are buying grandma a DNA test, then so be it, even in spite of the fact that grandma can speak with amazing clarity her family tree ranging back to Belgium in 19th century. You wanna tell her she has descendants that date back to pre-Congo Africa? Go ahead. I’m gonna keep a distance. Blankets are always nice, too. Especially if you are completely out of ideas.

December 16th

Do the only thing you can do on your last free weekend for awhile, and that is to drink enough to blot out the fact that you have completely botched this process since mid-fall. Christmas shopping can be done in September. But no, you had tickets to see Limp Bizkit that month. Failing that, you could have done all of your shopping in October, but it was Restaurant Month and that was just to intriguing of a deal to pass up. November? Come on, with that schedule?

So now your only options are to do the best you can on Amazon, or swallow your self-dignity and go to the mall. On a scale from one-Hiroshima, here is the list of acceptable places in the mall in the lead-up to Christmas:

Acceptable

Bath and Body Works-Bitches love candles. But seriously, women really do love candles as a thoughtless gift. Why? Because men smell terrible. I can speak with one hundred percent certainty that I came home from the gym today and put my gym clothes on the living room couch. Then I proceeded to go about my day, as if my sweat soaked clothes weren’t burning a hole in the fabric of my couch.

Women are uniquely aware of this fact. Women love us. We love women. But we have to face certain truths, and that is that we smell bad. It’s not always our fault, but holy shit, it’s mostly our fault. If a candle is what it takes to make a woman happy in that she can light that and not have to smell our fart stained Levi Jeans, then pull the trigger and spend the money. She knows what is best.

Macys-They have that perfume game on point.

Barnes and Noble-Just kidding, the printed word is dead. Long live the internet.

Victoria’s Secret-Lets talk daunting tasks, and YES, men going in to do genuine shopping at Victoria’s Secret is a daunting task. Breath. Don’t go nuts. Stick to the basics. Your wife/girlfriend/side piece/Secretary that knows how to keep a secret will be very happy that you put in the effort. 

Com-fucking-Pletely Unacceptable Places To Go in the Mall During Christmas

Lids-As noted before, I got my card info stolen twice at Lids. I only made one purchase.

Foot Locker-Just buy it on the internet, or if you don’t care about the person you are buying for, use the Wish app.

Sears-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Who do you hate that you stepped foot in there? Are you being led by the ghost of shitty Christmas Past?

You know what, scratch all of that. You don’t want to be at a mall this year. I barely want to look at big box stores without my spine getting chills. Just slovenly masses trudging through a store with their lactose intolerant children wearing masks underneath their noses, looking for some cereal that will inevitably lead to their future chemical dependence, all under the watchful eye of an infectious disease that could have been kept in check if our country wasn’t filled with people who would rather die than have their yearly visit to Six Flags taken away from them.
Stay home. Bite the bullet. Buy online. Then order takeout from your favorite local restaurant to feel good about yourself.

December 23rd

Holy hell, you haven’t finished shopping yet? It’s Wednesday. The Wednesday before Christmas. The mall is a demilitarized zone. Hot Topic is wall to wall moody teenagers in Rick and Morty shirts(because they GET the show, and you don’t, so quit asking about it, DAD). Zumiez is teeming with middle aged people trying to buy last minute skateboards. Auntie Annes is on fire. 

You have failed in every other aspect of the Christmas season, and as you sit there, drinking a beer and “enjoying” appetizers at TGI Fridays by yourself as an apathetic bartender pretends to listen to you lament your attempts to find your nephew a Cubs hat at Lids, only to give up in the crowd and buy a San Diego Padres hat, because it was the only thing you could get your hand on. Your nephew is going to think you are an asshole for getting him that hat. He’s gonna give it away for a dime bag the moment you aren’t looking. 

Christmas Eve

Ahhh, Christmas Eve, the dry hump towards Christmas day. The seductive stare across the bar towards annual gift giving day. You are at the 48 hour deadline of having to pretend that Santa still exists while not saying fuck in front of all the young children in your family. The more thoughtful people in your life have planned casual gift giving for today because they know what a colossal clusterfuck of forced food intake and travel that Christmas day inevitably descends into. 

Your parents have scheduled a brunch for Christmas Day, but at the last minute, have to move it up a bit, because your mom has scheduled a mammogram for noon (THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED A COUPLE YEARS AGO!!). You and your sister openly wonder who schedules a mammogram on Christmas Eve. Your brother has no idea what a mammogram is, but is too afraid to ask at this point. 

Gift exchanging is done over pancakes and mimosas. There are a couple whiskey and cokes in the room. There is nothing wrong with drinking whiskey before noon on a Thursday, because the mood is jolly. This mood won’t last. This mood never lasts. You look at the clock. It’s a mere 12 hours til the White Elephant gift exchange at your grandma’s. The MOST CONTENTIOUS MOMENT OF CHRISTMAS SEASON!

But, you are here in the moment. In reality, you are here for your nieces and nephews. You buy them gifts, satisfied in the knowledge that you didn’t max out your credit card to buy christmas presents for those little booger nosed, finger painting ankle biters the rest of your family is responsible for. You maxed out your credit card for the right reasons: expensive dinners and Strip Club ATM convenience fees.

After presents are opened, and the children are comfortably playing with their newfound choking hazards, and mom has left to get her boob flattened into a pancake(thanks for the line, Katie), the alcohol starts to flow more freely. It starts with your brother making a joke about your appearance. It escalates, good naturedly. You avoid dunking on anyone because you know that this is going to keep happening until at least 10 pm. Let it ride. AAAAAAND you punched your brother. Things are going great! More whiskey! That will solve everything! It’s 1 PM, maybe it’s time to switch to beer. Lets transition the conversation. Awkward silence. Sporadic remarks about the children really enjoying their toys. Maybe you will switch to beer to taper off and make it til the end of the…AHHHH SHIT! YOU FORGOT TO CANCEL BLUE APRON! 

You just got your bank account overdrawn and in all the craziness of the season, you forgot to check your meal delivery service! You didn’t even think to put the meals you would eat given the opportunity just in case. You aren’t even planning to go home for a couple days, meaning that a box full of Chicken Piccata and White Bean Chili is gonna be slowly going room temperature at your front door! The raccoons are gonna love you! The neighbors are gonna think you had a dead lemur shipped to you for Christmas. Now you have questions to answer. Your neighbors think you are on some Dr. Moreau shit. What else could be going on behind your door? Nobody cares that you spend most of your days smoking weed and playing Red Dead Redemption 2. You have a box of awful sitting outside your door. The neighbors are gonna be side eyeing your ass. You have become THAT guy, all because you like having pre-portioned meals sent to your door because god forbid you just buy the proper amount of food.

Maybe it’s time to go home and take a nap, but there is no time for that. As the communal meeting point for your friends back when your biggest concern was getting home before the sun went down, people are starting to trickle in. It’s never the friends you need either. It’s never the semi-employed ones who make all of your shitty life choices look better by comparison. Nope. There is Rich, the uber-successful one rocking the brand new Rolex that he bought himself as a gift to his own opulence. Ope, and here comes Will. Will smoked more weed than anyone, and the amount of weed he smoked made you not believe him when he had a new investment opportunity back in 2013. Every word he said sounded made up. What the hell is cryptocurrency, you specifically remember saying. Now Will is worth 2.4 million dollars and is bragging about buying a stake in the Canadian weed company that Marlboro had just bought out. Will is going to own his own private island one day. He used to  blow bong smoke into your dog’s ear. Life isn’t fair. Will is a dick. Will is proof life isn’t fair.

Everyone sits around and makes fun of my returning mother for scheduling a procedure on Christmas Eve. That provides a good, solid 25 minutes of cover before people return to making fun of you. One friend makes the mistake of asking how things are going with Molly. This friend doesn’t have Facebook and has a family, so he isn’t aware of how things went down. The name calling. The passive aggressive relationship status updates. You threatening to post naked pictures of her on snapchat. Her ACTUALLY posting naked pictures of you on Snapchat. The social media scrubbing. Getting back together and brow beating anyone that ever doubted you two in the first place, only for her to blow a stage hand to get backstage to see Marshmello at the Mid. 

Yea, things are going great. You start to contemplate moving to Canada. 

Your brother is back to picking on you, satisfied in the fact that you probably won’t throw bones with him twice on a holiday. Mom comes back. You have a trump card in your back pocket. Mom doesn’t know that your brother got arrested last year for sucker punching a police horse in Chicago. But you choose not to say anything. Mom has already been through enough today.

You excuse yourself from the excitement of having your soul sucked out of you to take a nap. 

Now, A Word On Napping

Naps are great. They are god’s gift to laziness. You know what i’d rather be doing than writing this? Napping. When I was younger, I wanted to be active. I went out and played with friends, and put stuff on railroad tracks. There were no time for naps. Sleeping was for the night time world. Nothing happened at night when you were young, so that’s when you slept…or awkwardly explored your sexuality via AOL Instant Messenger.

Now, as a grown ass adult, you know that nothing good happens during the day, either. Kick your feet up and relax. Doze off. The world will keep going without you and you can just catch up after a snooze. Have you ever eaten lunch, dozed off, and woke up just in time for dinner? It’s the most thrilling thing ever, like a fat guy time machine.

Since it’s 2020, you are free to ignore this entire section with the exception of the drinking and the naps. Be happy you got to stay home and you can blame spotty internet connection for the fact that you only Zoom’ed with grandma for six minutes before turning it off to go back to the only Christmas tradition that actually matters to you, watching every Christmas episode of Family Matters.

This entire year is wierd and scary. Lean into it. Get some decent bourbon. Or get some cheap vodka. Or, if you are a complete monster, get gin. Drink. Relax. Your mom sent you underwear. She will never completely understand how necessary this was and you will never let her know. It’s underwear. It will last years. You don’t need more next year. Next year? That’s socks year, baby!!

The White Elephant

For those of you blissfully unaware, the White Elephant is a way to make everyone hate eachother and completely unsatisfied with a gift they get, and somehow, you always end up going home with a Wet/Dry Vac. The rules are vague and different from family to family, but the gist of it  is: Everyone brings a gift. There is a generally agreed upon cost limit on the gift. Some people are inevitably more thoughtful than others. There is an 8.5 to 1 ratio on good gifts to gifts you are gonna put in your trunk and forget about immediately. 17 people in the White Elephant, that means there are two good gifts. 

There is stealing. Oh yes there is stealing. But first, you must pick a gift. Everyone draws a number. Number one picks and opens a gift. Strictly by ratio, there is around a 12.5 percent chance of the item being desirable. The next person up can choose to steal that gift, or open up their own. How many times can an item be stolen or a person be stolen from? Nobody knows. It’s just made up as it goes. We have played under at least 7 different sets of rules in the 12 years we have been putting ourselves through this.  Stealing starts to happen as a way to break the boredom. Deals are made. Feelings are hurt. Some people are desperate to get their stuff stolen so they can pick it up. Sorry cousin Joe, for the second year in a row, you are getting a dog bed. Maybe you’ll get a dog one of these years, sucker.

Aunt Jill has that Tequila gift set you desperately need to survive the night. But you doubt she’ll trade it with you. You made the mistake of picking the gift someone wanted to be thoughtful with, and now you have two coffee mugs, marshmallows, and cocoa mix. Nobody is going to bail you out and steal your gift. You slowly die on the inside. Maybe the cocoa can keep you warm. The Tequila would be better. 

You excuse yourself and go find the only open bar in town. You are drinking a drink they call loneliness, but its better than drinking alone. Because you can’t drink alone. BECAUSE GODDAMN AUNT JILL WOULDNT GIVE YOU THE TEQUILA.

2020 edit: my hatred for this game remains unchanged.

Christmas Day

The less said about Christmas day, the better. It’s the most magical day of the year as a child, but as an adult, you wish your work was open so you could collect time and a half on top of your holiday pay. Oh, and you are hungover. If you don’t have kids and you are hitting your late 20’s to early 30’s, you are probably drinking your way through this whole ordeal. You drank ALL the drinks last night. You don’t remember how you got home, but you sure as hell have a 150 dollar cleaning charge from Uber on your card, which is now mega-overdrawn. 

You ever had your bank account “I’m eating Ramen for the next two weeks” overdrawn? Get used to it. It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll. Or in your case, it’s a long way to the top with that Jack Johnson cover band you think is gonna be a game changer. You just gotta learn how to play guitar first…

Christmas isn’t about you, the adult. It’s for the children. But children are boring, and basketball is on. Feign interest as much as necessary. You still have dinner at the in-laws. Life is just a big ol’ debacle. You crave Hulu on that couch you found in the alley. Maybe your Blue Apron will still be okay after you get back. Is there some Sambuca in the back of the fridge? 

You remember how you forgot to buy good gifts for everyone? Well, your brother had a spectacular double down of your achievement by showing up with no gifts because he has no idea where he parked his car last night. Your sister is dunking on you both more ferociously than Vince Carter over Frederic Weis. You can see the Will being set on fire the moment you leave. 

You deal with the rest of your day. You survive the in laws. But you are dead inside. Welcome to adulthood, friend. Everyday is just you hucking yourself into a chasm and hoping you pop out the other side. But it could still be worse. You could be a Scientologist.

I really don’t hate the holidays this much. 2020 has taught me that. But there is such a sense of wariness. Like, do we need to go through all of this? Can’t we just drive past eachother’s houses and honk? 2020 can really and truly go fuck itself with a rusty trident.

December 26

Happy Kwanzaa! Not sure what it means, but love screaming it every year because 8 years ago, in your Iphone 2, you programmed your phone to let you know when it was Kwanzaa every year? Well good news, now you can condescendingly explain Kwanzaa to your friends, thanks to me, as we jump into what I like to call “Bransplaining Kwanzaa.” 

Kwanzaa isn’t actually a single day holiday, but in fact spans over the course of several days. This year, it begins on December 26th, and ends on January 1st. It’s actually not that old. It was started by Jim Brown(citation needed) in 1966. It’s actually based on an african tradition based around the Winter Solstice. This is/was traditionally the time of the year when the fields would yield their first fruit harvest and would be celebrated with a traditional fruit fight(citation sorely needed) and offering to the sun god(really really really need a citation).

Kwanzaa is based on 7 principles of African Heritage.

*Unity

*Self-Determination

*Funkiness(nope, nope, this can’t be true)

*Collective Work and Responsibility

*Creativity

*Faith

*Stevie Wonder(How is this even possible? Signed, Sealed, Delivered didn’t even come out until 1970).

New Years Eve

It’s probably easier to stay in on New Years Eve. That being said…FUCK PEOPLE WHO USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO BRAG ABOUT STAYING IN. Jesus. The people who are contrarian just for the sake of it need to take it down a gear or two. Like, we get it, you like doing what you do every other day of the year, but you get to take one day a year to brag about the fact that you are burning through Netflix documentaries at a truly remarkable pace. 

Yes, we understand that New Years Eve is amateur hour. YES, we know that the bars charge outrageous prices for watered down drinks. YESSS!! We know that Uber is going to fist us like a catholic priest in the ball pit at Chuck E Cheese. And NONE of that matters. Let us party. I can assure you, the photos that we are gonna post are infinitely more interesting than the picture of you drinking some low end wine on your couch, like a depressed version of Real Housewives of Will County.

WITH THAT BEING SAID, when you cross over the age of 30, get the hell back in the damn house. The Black Wednesday principle exists across all drinking Holidays, with the following exception: Cinco De Mayo. Middle aged people LOVE Corona. Let them have this one. Plus, once you get older, it becomes increasingly impossible to collaborate with friends to pull anything together. Every year, around October, someone from the group starts putting floaters out via group text. It pretty much all goes downhill from there. If you have enough money, jumping on a flight to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico seems like a damn fine way to spend your New Year, but the moment one person brings up that they let their passport expire, the entire process goes tits up.

In early December, you find a deal for a bar package that is reasonable at a place you have all enjoyed in the past, but because the aforementioned Uber fisting meaning that the closest crash spot would be a 65 dollar ride, and nobody really wants to commit, that idea dies a horrible death.

At this point, you are contemplating becoming one of those Real Housewives of Will County and doing nothing all night. Christmas has come and gone, and you have come to terms with the fact that you too are old. Find a comfy pair of pants and get ready to catch up on season 2 of Making a Murderer, buttercup. That’s when your group texts start to resemble the scene in Star Wars where the trash compactor is closing in on them. 

By December 30th, the widdling down process has begun in earnest. You keep praying you are gonna win the lottery and jetset the hell away from this buttfuckery, but the inevitable is about to happen. You, the guy who didn’t actually throw away that rotten ass Blue Apron box because you had hoped there was something salvagable in it. You, the person that spent three days wearing swim trunks as underwear last week because you left all of your clean clothes at your parents house last week. You, the person that likes to pretend he/she knows anything about wine and is contemplating making that your drink of choice even though you know that by mid February, you are gonna be chonging Svedka with Aldi Brand energy drinks as if it was your only life source. You, the guy that managed to have your Christmas tree catch fire even though it’s a fake tree and you didn’t have any lights or ornaments on it. You, the guy whose friends changed your Tinder profile to say “Hurtin’ for a Squirtin’” and you never noticed it and have no idea why you can’t get a date. You, the person who once ate Jacks Pizza 17 days in a row. You, the gal that has the word “Influencer” in your Twitter bio even though you have 102 followers. You, good friend, will be hosting New Years Eve.

It isn’t all bad. By this time, the only people willing to come to your place are your actual friends. And they typically all show up with booze. Go buy a bag of Chicken wings, and a few bags of chips. Hanging out with your friends on New Years Eve is definitely better than what you were gonna be doing, which is sleeping through whatever boring nonsense Steve Harvey was saying. Everything is going great. Good music, good friends, good….awwwFUCKSHITSTACK, who brought the bottle of Rumpleminze? Have you ever had a dream where you are running away from something, and you are running for your life, as fast as you can, and you encounter a cliff. You look down and you see certain death. If you let what is chasing you catch you, that is also certain death. Rumpleminze is what’s chasing you. It’s also the cliff. Never in history’s mankind has a crueler joke been made than that of the existence of Rumpleminze. At least Everclear has the common decency to taste like liquid death to go along with it’s foreboding alcohol content. 

Rumpleminze tastes like goddamn Christmas. It tastes of joy and good times and it’s candy flavor harkens back to a simpler time in life. And then around the 4th shot of it, you’ve lost your pants, punched a television and proclaimed yourself a “Sex God for the ages.” 

EDM music sounds infinitely more palatable when you are drinking Rumpleminze. Friends’ stories are more interesting. Taco Bell is literally sent from heaven after drinking it. If you told me one day that they had reconstructed the Berlin Wall, i’d assume all parties involved were drinking Rumpleminze. Other things this liquid hellscape is responsible for…probably…

Breaking up the Beatles

Getting the movie “Welcome to Marwen” made

The mom pants revival

Brian Setzer Orchestra

The Lindbergh baby going missing

The Titanic sinking

Pretty much everything Grand Funk Railroad did

Season 4 of Perfect Strangers

The clock strikes midnight, and in celebration, everyone takes a blackout inducing swig, and then…

STAY THE FUCK HOME. JUST STAY HOME.

New Years Day

You wake up in your bed. Fully clothed. Not your clothes. But full clothed. Your bathroom door is pulled partially off the hinges because, as would be recounted to you later, your buddy had to throw up so bad he barreled through the door like the Kool Aid man, tripping over another friend who was already face deep praying to the porcelain gods. The good news is, your house no longer smells like that rancid Blue Apron box, but now it smells like Frosty the Snowman was murdered in your apartment. Someone is sleeping in your kitchen that you don’t remember being at the party. Your couch is just plain gone. Were you robbed last night? Nope, but your couch had to be removed in the wee hours of the morning, after you, self proclaimed sex god, got made to think that your buddy was on the couch making out with a girl you liked, so you decided to throw firecrackers at them when they weren’t paying attention, causing the couch to briefly catch fire. The reason your friends got it out was because you were just so damned gung ho about throwing it out of your window, and your friends knew that window didn’t open. 

On top of that, your brain is just now starting to process how hungover you are. Uh oh, big chief, you aren’t 21, anymore. This is gonna be an all day thing. This is an 8 gatorade, Crave Case kind of hangover. This is the kind of hangover where you start to rethink your life choices and start praying to a god who not 24 hours prior, you didn’t believe existed. This is the kind of hangover the people mistake for having a stroke. This is the kind of hangover that feels like someone shoved a fire extinguisher down your throat, pulled the trigger, then hit you over the side of the head with a cast iron skillet. Have you ever been so hungover that you believe you might have to seek medical treatment? Well guess what, you do now, you Rumpleminze drinking, squirt hurting sex god who still doesn’t have clean underwear and no longer has a tv because you punched through it after screaming that Carson Daly was “insufferable.” Your head is spinning and you are about to throw up again and you can’t handle yourself and, oh god why did you do this, what have you done to deserve this? Which leads us to…

New Years Resolutions…

…are bullshit. You shouldn’t need an arbitrary day that falls on the first day of your new Garfield calendar to turn your life around. If you’ve been a retrograde dickhole up until this point, then odds are, you are going to continue to be one, regardless of how often you do those breathing exercises you claim balance you. If you want to get in better shape, then go for broke, but the empty declaration of “new year, new you” will inevitably turn into “maybe next year” by the time Smarch, and it’s lousy weather rolls in. Lets go over a few of the most popular ones and break them down.

I’m going to lose weight-I, myself, have been guilty of this one. I’m on my third attempt at this point to lock into a weight loss plan that actually works. I do yoga, which is genuinely shocking, in that, until I got into it, it had legitimately been years since i’d been able to touch the ground with a straight legged bend. With that being said, I got into it because I have bad knees and am just trying to do what I can do extend the life span on them before I inevitably have to get knee replacement surgery.

You are just trying to lose weight because you came home from college and your normal weekend slam piece blew you off last time you were home and now you are afraid it’s the extra 15 pounds you are carrying around that’s the culprit. It probably has nothing to do with the fact that the last time you saw your hookup, you passed out before the action started because the bar was running two for one Tequila shot specials, and that was just too good of a deal to pass up. 

I’m going to quit drinking-No. You aren’t. There are a few things in play here. One, selfishly, is that I hope nobody ever quits drinking because it justifies me using it as a crutch. Someone wiser than me once said “You are a dumbass, but then people who were even bigger dumbasses than you showed up and pushed you up up the ladder.” Same concept, your drinking problem looks relatable and downright pleasant if there are people deeper in the abyss than you. If you are thinking to yourself right now “god, that is a dim view of reality” you would be correct. The other reason is, people are just the absolute worst when you are sober. You know the secretary at your job that makes puns so horrifying, she should be prosecuted for war crimes at The Hague? Imagine dealing with that, sober. The only difference is, everyone is that intolerable. When you are sober, and all of your friends are drunk? Don’t even think about it. It’s the seventh level of hell. One of the honest-to-god biggest fights I had with my then-girlfriend, and current wife, is when I was going through a stretch of sobriety and I was the only one. Alcohol is the great equalizer in life. It levels up idiots, and levels down geniuses. 

Most political problems in this country could be solved if everyone would just get drunk together. That’s where the common ground is found. So yea, don’t be sober, otherwise you are gonna end up like one of these Bernie Sanders supporters who is gonna go to the mat for an Octogenarian and doesn’t drink because “weed gives me all the pleasure I need.” Don’t be that person. Don’t. Ever. Be. That. Person.

I’m going to become a better person-Just last summer, you threw a chair at a llama for being a “poser alpaca.” The ship has sailed on you being a good person.

I’m gonna do more charity work-You say this with the best of intentions, and then you realize that 30 Rock is on Hulu, and doing charity work is gonna cut into your ability to watch that. 

I’m gonna save money-Good idea. Start with two for one Tequila shot night. You know a bargain when you see it.

At the end of the day, we need to let people be people. If you aren’t hurting anyone or yourself, then party on, my dude. If your idea of a good time is rocking fat lines and staying up all night listening to blistering beats, then get your damn glow sticks out and rock that shit. You wanna get high and dissect all of the historical inaccuracies of Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, then smoke on. If you wanna throw back Jack, and throw hands with a townie who got a little mouthy with your girl, then i’m alright with that too. Life is short. Have as much fun as you can with it. Listen to your body and trust it when it’s trying to pull you back from the drink. Sleep as much as possible. Your body needs it as you get older.

Take the time to slow down and just be. Just exist. Moments are forever fleeting, and little things are the things that you enjoy the most. There is always another way. Never feel like you are stuck doing one thing forever. Work is work, and money makes the world go round. And most importantly, you need that money. The water department doesn’t accept “good vibes” as payment. But don’t let it be what defines you. If you take one important life lesson into 2021, it’s the same life lesson every person should learn at a young age, and that’s that Father Time is undefeated. Nobody has ever beaten the game of life. Nobody has ever gotten out of life alive. So don’t leave things to chance while you are here. Live. Love. Enjoy. Quit stressing the things you can’t change, and put your heart and soul into the things you can. And just as soon as someone figures out how to do this, let me know how.

In the meantime, I have a llama to apologize to.

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