Evolution of a Party Girl
Never would I have imagined the day when there was nothing more that I’d like to do on New Year’s Eve than stay in with my best boy, watch a Golden Girls marathon, and gorge ourselves on ice cream.
Low and behold, that day has come.
Nine years ago New Year’s Eve included what could be accurately described as a white party spent with the guy I was banging at the time and his friends in Boulder. It was the year after graduating from college and rather than join the workforce, I decided to extend irresponsibility through the next year in Breckenridge under the pretense of soul searching. Instead, I searched every bar and afterparty in town, desperately hoping to find direction. Fun fact: during that time my roommates regarded me as Party Girl, rather than by the name my parents gave me. I left ten months later with a strong desire to ground myself and dozens of stories that start out with a martini and end stumbling into my bedroom, trashed out of my mind, hoping that I could function on three hours of sleep and copious amounts of caffeine.
Upon moving back to Chicago, late nights filled with jam bands and illicit substances turned into indie band shows and PBR tallboys. Within the next few years, many of my friends began pairing off, including me. So instead of trolling Smartbar after [enter Pitchfork’s latest it band] shows for cheap flirtation and Vodka Red Bulls, I began hosting dinner parties with a Troll in tow.
Of all my partying days, these were probably the most fun. Typically, we began the nights devouring whatever delicious, and sometimes quite exquisite, food we’d prepared, then taking our party to the local bar (usually Jimmy’s), and finishing up the debauchery of the evening with a garden party. Please note that garden parties consisted of chugging High Lifes on my front balcony among window boxes and planters full of impatiens (easiest flower to take care of, ever) and a random potted palm(?) tree. Like clockwork, the sun would come up right as someone would get the brilliant idea to climb down the tree and we’d realize it was time for bed. Fun times. I think.
Once I was single again most of my friends had married. This brought me into the phase of ridiculously expensive dinners for one and Friday nights home on the porch with a book and a nice bottle of wine. May sound lonely, but I found it quite liberating.
Until that stopped working.
All of a sudden, the solace I received from winding down over a heavy buzz wore off. It got boring. Routine. And took up too much of my time and energy. There was other stuff I wanted to do like read more and dance. And it wasn’t happening. I’d reverted back to my early 20s. I was a Party Girl again. Late nights, early mornings, and never enough sleep.
Newsflash: Bodies don’t bounce back in your 30s like they did in your 20s.
Around this time it was brought to my attention that once you reach a certain age, if you’re still hanging out in bars all the time, that’s your “thing”. No longer did I want that to be my thing.
And that was that. Party Girl officially retired. I’d be lying if I said some days I don’t miss it. But then I remember I’m right where I should be, doing what I’m supposed to do, and that’s a really nice feeling.