The Wild Beaver Saloon isn’t the classiest establishment. It’s a hilarious honky tonk bar where you can sing karaoke, ride a mechanical bull, and do free shots (courtesy of scantily clad ladies who promote disgusting candy flavored vodka or other liquors). Whenever I would visit Andrea in Nashville, we would exasperate the other bar patrons by singing terrimazing renditions of pop songs with our other lady friends.
1. you should strive to be good, not unique. (contrary to their name, special snowflakes are everywhere. genuine people aren’t.)
2. once you discover that home is a feeling, not a location, your restlessness dissipates. (you won’t find a reason to plan your next escape.)
3. when you fall in love, your badass armor will crumble. (you will embrace your softness.)
4. it is okay that your parents like you less as each day passes. (they hate everything about you that doesn’t fit their idea of who you should be.)
5. trust your first impressions of everyone you meet. (your bullshit detector gets better as you get older.)
6. do not let people bend your empathetic ear if they can’t reciprocate. (you’re no one’s crutch.)
7. you will tire of the friends who lament about missing you on social media yet don’t keep in touch. (letting them go is easier than you thought.)
8. when someone insults others in order to compliment you, you’re right to be disgusted. (& to decline the intended compliment.)
9. happiness isn’t a constant state. (even the best days have comparatively low points.)
10. your weekend ritual of binge drinking will get boring. (if it doesn’t, your abysmal hangover recovery time will deter you from continuing the tradition.)
11. everything turns out the way it should. (though you won’t see the reason immediately.)
12. you are resilient. (you will bounce back from disappointments quickly because you can’t afford to waste time dwelling.)
13. when you hold yourself (solely) to your own expectations, you will like the person you become. (you may even love her.)
Paprika is an excellent restaurant in St. Mark’s. Prior to NYC’s ban on brunch-time bottomless drinks, Andrea and I had bottomless mimosas to accompany our delicious entrees. It’s a tiny spot, but we didn’t have to wait since we were both running late. The staff didn’t mind that we lingered to catch up (and enjoy too many mimosas) before she had to take the bus back to D.C. and I had to meet up with Ceddy to catch our flight home.
Last week, Ames was cleaning her closet at Odessa. (Odessa is the house we lived in during college. She’s lived there during med school as well.) While tidying up, she stumbled upon relics from college — notes we wrote to each other, hilarious photos, and gaudy clothes we retired because we had to be respectable young adults after graduation. (We’ve been reminiscing about and laughing at our misadventures ever since.)
The blast from the past prompted me to peruse old entries in my college livejournal. That person is foreign to me now. But I can see her motivations more clearly than I did at the time. During college (and even in LA, to some extent), I jumped headfirst into experiences so that I would have stories to tell. My worst nightmare was to wake up a shriveled old woman who had no exciting memories from her youth to stave off thoughts of her impending demise. (Morbid, I know.)
Most of the lessons I’ve learned between then and now are enumerated in this poem, but each new year calls for reflection. The new year isn’t a blank slate — you can’t erase the previous year’s events in hopes of achieving what you aimed yet failed to do.
Here’s some wisdom I gleaned (so you didn’t have to) from last year (and the previous two) a.k.a. real talk from a former party girl:
- Going out and getting hammered can be fun. But if you don’t enjoy it, don’t feel pressure to do so just because you’re young and should be partying every chance you get. If you would rather curl up with a glass of wine and marathon TV shows on Netflix during the weekend, you should. You will be more comfortable and will spend less money that way.
- You are in the relationship you think you deserve. If you want to be in a monogamous relationship, don’t settle for being someone’s booty call. If you want to be single but are passive aggressively trying to get your significant other to break up with you, put on your adult pants and end it. Figure out what you want and never convince yourself that you’re happy with something else simply because it’s convenient.
- Surround yourself with people who support you and let go of those who don’t. You don’t have time for bitchassness. You don’t have time for toxic relationships (of any kind). If they guilt you for minimizing (or eliminating) their role your life, that should reaffirm (not revoke) your decision.
- Don’t dread being by yourself. (This is different from being alone, which implies that you have no one to talk to at any time.) Don’t be self-conscious about grocery shopping or even going to the movies by yourself. “You” time consists of peaceful moments where you don’t have to entertain anyone or worry about saying/doing the wrong thing.
- Find at least one positive thing that happens each day. It’s easy to get bogged down in the things that frustrate us. But I’ve found that I’m in a better mindset when I do this. You will find yourself expressing more gratitude and being more patient, if you do this.
But what do I know?
There is a direct correlation between the severity of my hangover & how successful New Year’s was.
I rang in 2014 with Shaina & Andrea at the Aloft West End hotel drinking bourbon (Bulleit this time, not Jim Beam) and watching Beyoncé’s visual album. We ended the night at Paradise Park, a bar modeled after a trailer park. The cover band did a country rendition of “Wonderwall” that was truly spectacular. We danced, sang so loud our voices disappeared, and laughed at Andrea’s new cowboy hat.
I hope everyone had an equally safe and fun New Year’s Eve! Cheers to hoping 2014 is even better than 2013!
The night before Andrea’s law school graduation, we had drinks with her mom Mrs. S, her stepdad Tim, and her uncles Lee and Jamie. Mrs. S and Tim are Republicans from Florida. They love Sarah Palin and hate President Obama. They’re outspoken Fox News conservatives.
Adding alcohol to this outing guaranteed one of two outcomes. Either Mrs. S and Tim would have fun and not bring up politics or everyone would get into a screaming match by the end of the night. Andrea was willing to risk the latter, in hopes that the former would occur.
By the third round of drinks, Tim surpassed drunk and proceeded to belligerent.
“I’m not represented in this country — not with the current president!”
I rolled my eyes and took the bait. “Really, Tim?”
“I’m a minority where we live!”
“Y’all live in Orlando.”
“Most of our neighbors are Hispanic!”
“Let’s backtrack. How are you oppressed as a straight white man in America?”
“I’m not oppressed, I’m just sayin’ that more…y’know…”
“More what? Or whom?”
“More minorities are — ”
“Procreating? Living in your neighborhood? Taking jobs that were previously held by white people?”
“Must be tough to feel isolated and shafted out of opportunities because of your skin color.”
“It’s very tough.”
“Imagine if generations of your family had to deal with that.”
Tim paused, pondering this.
“The thing is, they haven’t and it’s highly unlikely they will.”
“But what if — ”
“If we minorities outnumber y’all white folks, we’re not going to inflict reverse racism on you.”
“Not outta spite?”
“You’ve got white (and male) privilege. You’ll never know what it’s like to be discriminated against because of your race or gender.”
“I still don’t feel represented by Congress — ”
“The majority of Congress is made of middle-aged white men.”
“Who you callin’ middle-aged?!”
“Plus, President Obama is biracial. He’s half-white. Which you white dudes tend to forget.”
“Not that it should have any bearing on his leadership abilities. Just pointing out facts.”
“Obama may be biracial, but he’s still a socialist!”
“I need another drink before we continue this conversation.”