There comes a time in every twenty-whatever’s weekend where you have to make a difficult decision. It generally happens on a Saturday around 8 p.m., and becomes especially difficult if you’ve stayed out late on Friday and/or started with brunch that day. It’s the moment where you stop, reevaluate your current outfit for appropriateness and pay attention to your body for just a minute to see if there is any lingering hint of “I’ll have two shots and all of the beers” from the night before, via acid swirling in your stomach or drums playing on your brain. A quick check of the bank account balance, and then it’s decision time: Am I heading home for a hot date with popcorn and Netflix, or are we going out?
The most committed relationship I’ve ever been in is with my sweatpants. I love nothing more than sitting on my couch in my ratty college pants and an old sorority t-shirt, wrapped in blankets, engulfed by my lion’s mane of tangled weekend hair. However, this past weekend I had “rally” stamped across my forehead to remind myself that this would be an intense two days, as a joint birthday celebration for N and my partner-in-crime R was on the books. The original plan was to have a college-esque Friday night in a beer hall in the West Village, watching basketball and playing old card games, surrounded by massive beer steins and all of our friends, followed by a fancy Saturday in the Meatpacking, dressed to the nines, chasing cocktails with cute boys. It didn’t seem that daunting at the time – after all, this is a girl who went out a minimum of six nights a week in college, and even now can head out for happy hour that lasts till midnight and make it into the office for an 8 a.m. call with Europe. Staying in wasn’t part of the plan.
After “going out on Friday” turned into “getting home at 5 a.m. on Saturday,” I found myself in a tight spot the next night, grimacing through a pre-dinner beer with R and a few friends, suppressing the urge to burp what felt like carbonation for fear it would lead to me losing the contents of my stomach, trying to ignore the pound, pound, pound of my heartbeat resonating on the right side of my brain, beat please stop drinking beat I’m only going to make this worse for you beat are you sure you aren’t going to vomit? I was dolled up in my favorite jumpsuit and heels, torrential-rain-be-damned levels of makeup on my face and cash in hand for the $15 cocktails awaiting at Brass Monkey, and yet here I was, barely able to finish a Sam Summer, mood rapidly deteriorating as I realized that this night just wasn’t going to happen for me.
Sometimes the hardest decisions to make are the ones that are already made whether you realize it or not. That’s not a commentary on fate or pre-determined destiny, but at times, intuition tells us what we’re going to do in the end, waiting for your mind to catch up with your heart as you tell yourself there’s still a choice. On occasion, it’s a simple decision, like scrolling through Seamless pretending you aren’t just going to get your standard Thai takeout; and other times it’s more complicated, like walking away from a relationship where you haven’t been happy in months. It sucks when your intuition isn’t telling you what you want to hear: you want to believe you really are going to order tacos this time, that you’ll enjoy moving out of your apartment, that it’s possible to salvage a broken relationship. But sometimes, a poor decision is pushing yourself into something you’ve already decided you don’t want.
There was no way I was making it out on Saturday unless I wanted to subject the birthday girl to a night of me crouched over in the corner, dry-heaving and grimacing at anyone who came near; or condemn myself to a Sunday on the floor of my bathroom, likely handling a migraine, crippling nausea and deep, deep regret for that final old fashioned all in one. My birthday gift to R was taking my fun-police ass home to pass out in front of Saturday Night Live on my couch. I’m sure that me heading home won’t be the always be the case when I’m faced yet again with the eternal, “should I stay or should I go (out)” dilemma – after all, I wouldn’t have a blog if that were the case. But after waking up yesterday to my cat on my pillow and a clear head as I faced a full day of babysitting, cooking and cleaning, I’m pretty confident it was the right one in this case.