Have you ever woken up on Monday morning and thought, What was I thinking? Get your minds out of the gutter. It’s all very innocent. But there’s such a thing as doing too much sometimes. I woke up early this morning with that What was I thinking? thought rattling around in my sleep deprived brain. It’s not about regretting any part of my weekend. It’s more about re-evaluating whether I plan to make the same choices in the future and making additions to my Murtaugh List.
Yesterday, I turned 36 years old. And the activities that occurred this weekend may not necessarily warrant the utterance of the phrase, “I’m getting too old for this stuff,” but when combined… yeah, I’m getting too old for this stuff.
36 is not what one would consider a milestone year as far as aging goes. When one looks back at his or her life, it’s likely they consider milestone birthdays to be the 16th, the 21st, the 25th, the 30th, and every decade after that. Of course, for small children, every year is a milestone. Every birthday becomes a reason to celebrate. I ask, why should that change for adults? I have heard it argued that, after 25, there is no more reason to celebrate the birthday. But why shouldn’t we celebrate each and every birthday? I know, the cynic in me (who is, in fact, alive and well) agrees that there’s no point in celebrating. I mean, what’s there to say? “Congratulations, you didn’t die this year!” But, shouldn’t that alone be worth celebrating? I didn’t die this year!
I really don’t think I had any brushes with death between March 6, 2015 and yesterday. But I wanted so badly to celebrate. Even the introvert that I am longs to find reasons to get together with friends to have a good time every now and then. Last year, when I hit 35, I didn’t really plan anything. I left town for the weekend to visit friends in Raleigh. I had a swell time and all, but there was no party. So I decided I’d make up for the lack of party last year with extra parties this year.
Party #1 – Chuck E. Cheese’s
Friday night meant pizza and games at with a 6 foot animatronic anthropomorphic rat. Look, you do what you can when the nearest Dave & Buster’s is a three hour drive away. I opted for the place where a kid can be a kid. It was actually pretty great. I got to hang out with my sister and some of my best friends from college who drove in from out of town. I discovered that skee ball is a young man’s game, despite the fact that I played it for over half an hour. My friends and I combined all the tickets we acquired from the playing of various games and ended up giving them all to a little girl who was counting up her own tickets. The look of
joy contempt on her face was all the thanks we needed. We didn’t leave until the restaurant closed at 10. Then, of course, we had to get out of there before the animatronic animals came to life in order to hunt us down and kill us.
Party #2 – Karaoke
Saturday night meant singing lots of songs from the ’80s. And some from the ’90s. And even a few from this century. On the Playstation, I’ve got this game called SingStar. It’s sort of a competitive karaoke thing. Some highlights of the evening included the Backstreet Boys classic “I Want It That Way” and Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.” I love doing the karaoke thing. Honestly, I don’t think I need a special occasion for karaoke. I vote we have karaoke nights more often. Who’s with me? There was cake and an assortment of approximately nine lit candles. The other karaokers insisted on singing “Happy Birthday” to me. Which I really didn’t mind. Then a friend cut the cake and handed me a piece. I said, “What you want me to do with this? Eat it? Happy birthday to the ground!” I threw the rest of the cake, too! (Just kidding. I did not throw any of the birthday cake on the ground. In fact, I ate it.)Party #3 – Bowling
Sunday night was bowling at the local Cinebowl. When you say that word out loud, it sounds like a bowl of cinnamon. But it’s really a cinema/bowling alley/restaurant/bar. Bowling night was the shortest of the nights out. A large part of that is very possibly because three late nights in a row is just too much for me now that I’m 36. My back was hurting from my skee ball marathon on Friday. I was exhausted from staying up past midnight during the previous two nights. I had just bowled two and a half games, during which I nearly fell on three separate occasions. I had a blast with everyone during all three of these parties. But I’m just getting too old for this stuff.
Next year, let’s just do one party, okay? Maybe another karaoke night. Or a trip to Chuck E. Cheese. Or bowling. But not all three. Or… what’s something that old people do? We could watch reruns of The Mentalist and make sure we all take a Zantac before eating the pizza we’d have delivered. Wouldn’t want to get heartburn.