Trendysomething in SoMo
In transitioning from college to the real world, one of the most jarring experiences is the realization that summer, spring and winter breaks are over. Really, the system makes very little sense: As if waking up at noon to go to a first class were too wearisome, the college student is granted almost half of the year off in order to reflect, regroup and reconnect with old friends. Meanwhile, the workday adult must submit to a few sick days a year in order to stay sane (classes at the Jung Center also help). This reality didn’t really kick in until my office holiday party, when somebody mentioned going to Marfa for Christmas.
“Oh my god oh my god I’ve been dying to see Marfa! I am soo going there for spring break this year.”
A silence fell over the table and everyone turned their eyes to me as if I were some naïve, indulgent twentysomething.
“Steven, spring break is over for you,” a kind coworker informed me.
Replying, “Whatever, I’ll just take a super long weekend,” might not have been the most professional response, but what can I say? I was in shock. No longer would I have March in Minorca, summers flitting between internships and cocktail cabanas or whiskey winters. I was even content not having one of those cushy “fall breaks,” but a lifetime on the clock? Give me a break.
I decided to take pleasure in spending the past few weeks at the office, focusing on the reasons why I do love working: Utilizing my skills, income and being next to a cupcake boutique, for example. However, I had to summon all my tenacity to not follow friends who happened to still be cashing in on college winter breaks. So for this past weekend – the last official weekend of what was once winter break – I decided to play along. The professional realm is all about conforming, so following the party seemed like the adult thing to do.
Sitting at my parents’ for dinner on Friday night, I suddenly had flashbacks to previous vacations due to the steady stream of texts:
“how are u still eating? ppl r already @ the toho”
“is that vodka I hid under ur bed still there?”
“can we go to the Flat? I still have a tab open there from the other night.”
“I invited a couple of friends to ur house but it’s gone viral. pick up mixers and Plan B for the morning.”
“no srsly I left that vodka under your bed.”
Arriving back home, I got naughty with nostalgia. Everything was already in place: Toxic diet fruit cocktail in my tumbler, keys in the freezer, somebody yelling down from an upstairs window for a friend to toss up a condom. Most people would probably pass out from the scene, but I couldn't help but sit back and enjoy the sight of my friends – until somebody shrieked, “We’re out of ice!” – and off we were to the usual lower Westheimer dives or some house party that we probably weren’t invited to.
I woke up early the next afternoon to a harsh headache that seemed to take the form of an irritating electronic tone. I summoned all of my energy to lift an eyelid, but my frame of vision was blocked by the stiletto boots still being worn by a local real estate mogul’s daughter snoring next to me. Turning to my side, I found the peacefully dreaming tambourine player from the previous night’s show at Mango’s. I peeled myself out of the bed to find that the ringing sound was in fact my cell phone’s ringtone, signaling a previously scheduled wake-up alarm. I glanced down at the screen: “baby shower, 2 p.m.”
Indeed, I had been invited to a friend’s baby shower, and although I had not completely coordinated my showers and shitshows, I had an honorable obligation. I dragged myself into a cold shower, and after a very painful attempt at shaving and an ironing mishap that left me with a very tan left foot, I made my way to shower the baby.
Now would probably be a good time to explain how I ended up going to a baby shower. This was to be a couples' shower, in which the prospective parents invited friends of both genders to celebrate the coming bundle of joy. Apparently we live in a blessedly progressive age in which men and women can share in baby bjorns, breast pumps and socializing before 10 p.m. I appreciate that alcohol has no place at a baby shower, but I knew that I would need some sort of device to make the event more my style.
I walked into the party room with a hastily wrapped baby name book and an extra strength bottle of Visine. Things quickly unraveled. When given the task of filling a pitcher of water, I was so lacking in coordination that the vessel fell out of my hands and onto the floor. Scrambling for a towel, I slipped on the puddle and landed on the floor, where I spent what felt like a solid three minutes giggling to myself. Properly saturated with Pellegrino, I resigned myself to sitting in a corner eating petite fours from Moller’s and making puns that I no longer remember. Nobody seemed to necessarily notice my compromised state, although reminders to keep my eyes open were quite helpful.
Some people live in the past, but after that weekend, I decided it was best to leave those lost brain cells in the dust and look forward. I realize that if I want to make something of myself, I have to stay focused and plan for the future. Because when you think about it, spring break is really only a few weeks away.