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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Veteran's Day Costume Bash

Hi, I’m Jason. I’m 27 and I like to get drunk. You too? Good, we’re on the same page.

Or maybe we’re not.

I’ve had a lot of fun getting drunk. Lots. But I remember it used to be more fun, more often. These last few years, a lot of people seem to be taking the wind out of the sails of my booze cruise, if you catch my drift. It’s not that these people aren’t fun, or cool, or interesting anymore, but a disturbing trend in their drinking habits. But let me allow you, the reader, to be the judge. Have you heard something like this?

“Oh, Friday at our house is Fiesta Night! Doug is making his mom’s famous sangria recipe, we’ll have mini-tacos, veggie nachos and of course, tequila! And don’t think you’re getting out of your turn to swing at the piñata!”

If you’re over the age of 25, I’m guessing you have. If you’re over 25 and ever hang out with women who are “professionals,” I’m positive you have. It’s part of the “At this point in my life…” plague that starts afflicting people around this age.

“At this point in my life I need to be in the position to buy a house.”

“At this point in my life it’s time to really get serious about my credit score.”

And so on and so forth. Cutting through the bullshit someone would actually say, what I’m talking about is the “At this point in my life, I need to come up with some sort of theme to legitimize getting completely shit-canned” variety. This can take many forms. The wine tasting club. The Murder Mystery Party. The ever popular “girls night.”

I’m not sure at what point exactly it became unfashionable to get tossed just for the fun of it, but even the regular occasions seem to require some sort of self-delusional excuse to pour oneself into a cocktail. Birthday drunks become Masquerade socials. Lonely Hallmark holidays mutate into Cupids Ball, complete with a craft table for homemade valentines.

“At this point in my life I don’t just want to go to a bar, ok.”

Not long ago were the carefree days of yore when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day required digging out your one green shirt, rather than being forced to compose and recite limericks to the tune of the Riverdance soundtrack or some shit. “Friday” sufficed as a reason to drink your weight in keg beer and hope for a chance heavy petting encounter you may or may not fully remember the next day. Remember?

“At this point in my life, I’m not into ‘hook ups.’ It’s time to get serious about settling down and I don’t have time for games.”

Lest I be viewed as a party pooper, naysayer, or stick in the mud, allow me to clarify something. There’s nothing inherently wrong with themed drinking. It’s a great way to get everyone on the same page, being creative, and motivated to get some good times underway. Shit, the aforementioned Fiesta Night sounds pretty killer to me. The success of Halloween speaks for itself, for fuck’s sake. Getting into some silly costumes, moaning “brains” over and over, looking for the Han Solo to your Princess Leia. It’s good fun. The objection being raised is that these over-planned, theme based occasions become the ONLY time it becomes acceptable to get bombed and forget about life for a while.

“At this point in my life I don’t want to go out on Halloween and look at a bunch of girls in slutty outfits.”

Why not? I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like a degenerate for getting drunk on a Tuesday because I’m bored, nor do I want to be forced to hunt down a powdered wig and pantaloons to feel accepted at your 4th of July BBQ. The reason drinking used to be so much more fun is because it was all about a LACK of control. A sort of release, letting go of normal behavior, fully embracing the general uncertainty and unpredictability that is life, no matter how hard you try to make it otherwise. This, to me, is a philosophical loss too dear.

So readers, in the spirit of the rowdiness and blackouts of our not so distant, capricious youth, I beseech everyone to stop taking themselves so seriously, play a drinking game, and make some regrettable decisions the next chance you get; just because.

At this point in my life I want to drink 80-120 ounces of Malt Liquor and feel just awful tomorrow. Fuck it.

- Jason Leighton

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