Before getting pregnant, or rather, prior to Joey’s deployment, I was out at the bars a couple of times a week. Drinking, unwinding, and shooting pool with Joey and friends was one of our signature activities—something we could both enjoy. I did continue to go out here and there while he was away for that year. But, it was pretty infrequent due to the amount of coursework I had my senior year of college. I was glad to pick it right back up when Joey got home, a renewed appreciation for alcohol stress-relief. Then, there was a late November night I had literally two beers and felt nauseous. I remember telling Joey on the ride home “This is bullshit, I feel wasted and I had two beers!” That was the beginning of speculating pregnancy. I was probably like 2 weeks out at that point. That was the end of my pint nights and the like. I was fine with it, too. We saved a lot of money in 2015 and Sylvia was assured a healthy development.
It was about a month after Sylvia was born that I was anxious to get my beer legs back. Plans were made for a night out with other mama friends of mine—guaranteeing empathy and excitement that paralleled my own. Well, that night, in my opinion, was a failure. From the get-go, I was receiving play-by-play texts from Joey about how upset Sylvia was that I was gone. I overestimated Joey’s ability to be patient and understanding with her too soon. So, all night long, I received calls and texts telling me to come back home but I kept holding out, wanting him—rather forcing him, to be a calming, all-knowing dad for her. Biologically, I know that guys don’t have this innate baby wisdom that mom’s seem to have. I think maybe my lust for a night out trumped that knowledge. Oh well, live and learn.
Anyway, the first night I went out in nearly a year was at the end of September. We started downtown and it was a good time aside from Joey’s name illuminating my phone all too often. Then, headed over to the new 80’s bar and that was a good time too. In retrospect, we shouldn’t have tried to fix what wasn’t broken by leaving for campus. But we did, wanting to dance it up at the club there. I felt a need to play catch up once there, as all of the young people there were on a TOTALLY different level. Not to mention the seemingly welcoming atmosphere to be groped and humped by random sweaty men. It sickens me that dance clubs seem to condone that type of sexual perpetuation. Even aside from that, I just wasn’t feeling it. We ended up staying in the outdoor patio part where everyone headed to cool down and dry off. Bar was set to close within like 45 minutes at that point. I should mention I’m a notorious people-watcher. I saw a guy walk up to this girl, in what seemed a desperate attempt to hit on her. The face this girl made at this guy, it was perfectly done. I wish I could keep that face and pull it out at creepy guys when I need it. I chatted with my gal pal about this girl’s expression she made and attempted making the face, saying, “we need to remember that one.”
Well, the friend of this girl had apparently seen that we were interested in the face she made. This friend wasn’t happy about it and approached us within a minute or two. She was most notably drunk, swaying around. She was a little petite tan thing with an edgy voice. “I saw your friend making fun of my friend. She’s deaf.” Here we go. Godamnit. We don’t need this. Everyone but me seemed to be interested in settling things with lots of effort, I was more in the mood to just ignore the drunk chick rather than try and reason with her. And this is why, we spent the rest of our night there trying to explain to them that we didn’t know she was deaf, and that she knew the guy, and that we don’t want to argue. Instead, we had the uphill battle of proving that we, quite literally, were admiring her friend’s ability to shut down an invitation with just one look. Aye, aye, aye.
I have plenty of experience with feisty girls (posts on that to come), and let me tell you, it’s a bait trap when they come at you like that. They are really hoping to be enough of an irritation and intimidation that the other party feeds in. This girl and her friend were quite clearly looking for a fight. Just when we’d thought things were absolved, the other would come back to us, wanting more attention. To give them what they wanted, I’d be the newly made mom scrapping with some small, deaf, drunk college student. There is no way to win that battle. Although, being deaf isn’t in my opinion a handicap justifying leniency to this type of instigating, it would look awful to fight her. No doubt her friends would find a fight involving her to be an injustice. Honestly, I just wanted to be at home with my ‘lil lady. I felt so guilty leaving her only to have a below-par evening. I didn’t even catch a good buzz. All I felt that evening was guilt, shame, maturity, confusion, and loneliness. It’s one of the most depressing things to be in a sea of people and with close friends, only to feel alone. I don’t much wish to feel like that again.
I have learned over the years to pick and choose my battles, even when I’ve been drinking. I avoid needless, senseless drama at all costs. I very much felt like I took steps backward this evening and it made me very uncomfortable. I didn’t go out again for two months, then another month or so after that night. It’s been a disappointing endeavor to say the least. Either I’ve changed or my perception of people and the environment has. But one thing is for certain, “I’m getting to be too old for this shit.”