When your partner-in-crime asks if you wouldn’t mind moving into her beautiful, high-rise building in the Financial District for five days to watch her dog, who is possibly your favorite male dog in the city*, as she spends a weekend in Vegas with her boyfriend, who is possibly your new favorite person in general, the answer is pretty simple. Do I want to spend time snuggling up to a yorkipoo, exploring a neighborhood I love and enjoying a distance of “across the street” instead of “across the city” from my fashionista C, my lone remaining single friend? Uh. Duh. I would have paid R to let me do that. But ever the generous southern girl, once I agreed, R not only offered to take care of the catsitter for little miss while I was gone, but even stocked the apartment with wine from Argentina (my favorite), salsa Sun Chips (ref: I am an animal), and a hand-drawn map to the dog park for the weekend.
Stopping at her place on day one, it had been a long day, filled with crazy work and a fun-but-exhausting few hours with a 15-month old and 4 year old. I gratefully poured a glass of vino, popped open the Sun Chips and snuggled with the pooch for a binge-watch of Sex and the City on R’s iPad. Two episodes and two glasses of wine later, I was full-tilt passed out in her absurdly comfortable bed, conceding little spoon to the pooch and looking forward to a good run before work in the morning. I was relaxed, and happy, and feeling pretty good about my life choices at that moment.
And then I woke up hungover.
TWO GLASSES OF WINE!?! TWO GLASSES OF WINE and I woke up semi-groggy, head hurting and stomach protesting coffee in lieu of my go-to morning-after of seltzer and a croissant. I mean come on. I’d eaten dinner, plus half the bag of Sun Chips, drank a full glass of water before going to bed and still woke up with a freaking hangover. Refusing to believe this was happening, I forced myself to the gym, where I couldn’t even manage two miles on the treadmill before I had to stop, groaning with painful stitch in my side and my body screaming for hydration. As I sat down in the shower (judge away) for just a minute, half-laughing about the situation and full-enjoying a morning in a bathroom that doesn’t occasionally rain dirt from the ceiling, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is this what it means to get old?
In the almost-four years since graduating college and entering the Real World, I’ve had to learn how to unclog a shower, kill bugs without screaming, maintain a steady inventory of handsoap and toilet paper, feed and clothe myself and budget effectively, all of which I understood were parts of growing up and getting older. Since turning 25 though, I feel like there’s a host of new milestones that no one warns you about that come with age, like how you feel about going to bed at 9:30 (THE BEST) or the terrible, terrible things that happen when you eat like it’s Sunday morning in the dining hall, freshman year of college (RIP skinny jeans). Gone are the nights where I’m at M’s till 11, watching reruns of terrible television and steadily pushing our curfew so we can have just another drink and gossip just a little more; gone is the attitude of “I’ll do it later” when it comes to cleaning my apartment or dropping off my laundry. Little beats of adulthood have been creeping into my life subtly, shifting attitudes from “devil may care” to “maybe don’t spend rent money on Louboutins.”
I suppose it’s not the worst thing in the world, growing up. Sure, nights at the bar are a great part of any weekend, but I look forward to my weekly grocery shopping adventure at Whole Foods pretty much all the time. Ordering Seamless on a Sunday vs. spending 2 hours making yourself enough food to last for lunch and dinner all week? I’m firmly planted in bucket two there. Outside of food, adulthood is still turning into a really beautiful thing, watching friends celebrate promotions, weddings, anniversaries with their person; watching your partner-in-crime fall in love. Enjoying adulthood means knowing more about myself, and the people I want to keep around me. A hangover after two glasses of wine is perhaps on the “embarrassing” side, but if this is getting old, I can probably learn to live with it.
(Aside: that homage to the lovely Carrie B was actually unintentional when I first wrote this, but too good to revise. I think I need to curb the SATC binge-watching. End aside.)
*Favorite female dog goes to my brother’s girlfriend’s pug. Pugs are the best.