March 15, 2007

Stuffed Animals ...

Lately I’ve been in a funk. Why? Brittany and I used to be partiers. On any given night we’d paint the town Cincinnati Red. We’d stay up to all hours, hanging out with friends, talking philosophically and trying to answer the one question that’s perplexed man since the beginning of eternity: Why is your sergeant toe bigger than your captain?

Recently, though, I’ve come to the realization that our reckless lifestyle has come to an end. No more late nights. No more excessive drinking. No more Bringing Sexy Back with Justin Timberlake. Everything bad for us must go.

When did that happen?

While our wild sides have been dying slow, painful deaths for years, they didn’t become fully extinct until this past Saturday when, at precisely 11:45 p.m., we left Lily Shoemaker’s very first birthday party and saw our future. Now, make no mistake, we had a great time. In fact, it was probably the best party we’ve been to in the past year. But that’s exactly my point: When was the last time you walked away happy from a party where the guest of honor had a bedtime and a load in her pants?

It’s a scientific fact that everyone eventually transitions from fun-loving, bar-hopping party animal to boring, early-rising, mortgage-paying adult. This decline typically starts when you’re on the wrong side of 25 and, if my data is correct, only gets worse as time moves on. You trade in your backwards ball cap for a comb over. You tell your good buddy Captain Crunch that he’s no longer welcome in your house, and bring in your new life-ling partner, Raisin Bran. If that’s not enough, you have to listen to the neighborhood kids call you “sir.” SIR!

There’s not much more humbling than that.

When we got home on Saturday night I felt less like a party animal and more like a stuffed animal. I was tired and sleepy. I sat there on my bed, lifelessly staring at the blank television screen. All I really wanted was for Brittany to come in, give me a hug and tell me that, no matter how old we get, we’ll still be the life of the party. Instead, she plopped into bed, complained that I was “on her side” and told me to get my “pickle breath” out of her face. I love her so much.

The next morning I got to thinking: Why does becoming old and boring have to be a bad thing? Every change in my life thus far has been a success—going away to college, getting married, switching from the high-five to the rock-bump. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I actually enjoy parties at friends’ houses where there’s no loud music and plenty of seating. I like having a chance to just sit back and chat with my friends. I like coming home and not smelling like bar—that nice combination of beer, smoke, sweat and urine. I like getting to bed early, turning on “Saturday Night Live,” then immediately coming to my senses and flipping the channel to anything but “Saturday Night Live.” Most important, I like not feeling bad about any of this.

The part of my brain that used to focus on all-night keggers and late night trips to White Castle blew a fuse. The replacement parts include kids—my kids—sitting in their beanbag chairs, reaching into that family-size bowl of popcorn, chuckling while their mother complains that we’ve rented Uncle Buck for the 20th time. (Though, if she was really counting, she’d know it was the 21st).

It may not be everyone’s dream, but it’s my dream. Excluding Uncle Buck, it’s Brittany’s dream, too. If it takes us losing our edge and becoming boring, so be it. I’ve accepted it. Brittany has accepted it too.

Now, if I could only get her to accept my pickle breath …


atracy said...

So i was expecting britt's head to be in the picture but i didn't expect her to be cupping her breast in such a suggestive way. ... AND you talk about being boring. Your pregnant wife is posing on the internet!

january said...

i vote for 'who's harry crumb?'as official obnoxious klems family movie. bk3 won't understand it for a long time anyway....

and my captain is totally the biggest.
sgnt knows her place!

Wise One said...

Dear Sir,

A few points if I may:

- I have to disagree, I've known many a 21st birthday that has ended "where the guest of honor had a bedtime and a load in her pants"

- Give oatmeal a try, it lowers your cholesterol!

- No need for you to feel left out, I'll start forwarding every other bar tab to your attention.

I'm not touching Uncle Buck...


Tom said...

First of all, I am going to agree with the WiseOne that I have been to recent parties where the guest of honor had a load in her pants and a bedtime...Sherry's 30th bday last year for example (love you honey!)

Second, I am going to admit something that is very difficult to me, I am, in fact, getting my Sexy Back tonight. A client wanted to go, so I must go. The fact is, I am not scared about this, I am not chagrined about this...I am DOWN RIGHT FRIGHTENED.

Getting old isn't bad though BK, at least in a couple years we'll start getting that senior citizen discount.

NKYGAL said...

It was a hard transition for us. I pretty much slept through my entire first pregnancy. My husband didn't know how to take it at first. We had been partners in crime and now I was coming home from work, putting on my pj's and hitting the pillow.

NKYGAL said...
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