Almost a week ago I went out drinking and dancing with some girlfriends, I should’ve written this post then but vodka and I have a very complicated relationship and it’s taken me this long to recover. Apparently I’m not the seasoned professional I once was. Going out once every three months is a far cry from 7 years ago when I found myself at the bar every night of the week. Don’t judge, in my defense some of those outings were work-related. As most of you know I wrote the “Bar Time” column for Milwaukee Magazine for a little over a year which loosely meant that I was compensated for getting drunk and writing about it. Crazy-insane, insane-crazy I know. Even the production team of “Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy” thought it was an extraordinary gig because I was asked to be featured in an episode highlighting all the things that make Wisconsin great. I should share the actual episode but I was going through a weird phase where I thought I looked good with bangs. I do not look good with bangs.
These days when I go out I have to do it for free, even running up a bar tab in the process which could potentially be a deterrent in my desire to participate in such activities, but I spent YEARS going out on my own dime, or someone else's if I was feeling particularly charming that evening. No, I don’t go out because I’m cheap or a recluse. I love being social, so much so that I often talk to myself if there isn’t anyone else in the room. I don’t go out often for the obvious reason that hangovers are never fun but when you pile a toddler on top of it, it’s a special kind of hell. I also don’t go out because I suffer from an odd, almost backwards, variety of FOMO (fear of missing out). FOMO is usually described as “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere”, my variation of it however is anxiety over how everything in my life will get done if I’m at that exciting or interesting event. Call it “fear of how am I supposed to get my advanced preparation done for homeschooling if I’m out indulging in too many margaritas” or “fear of not getting any of my assigned reading done because i can’t even see straight unless I close one eye”. Call it whatever you want, it makes me sweat.
Either way, I finally threw caution to the wind and got two sheets to the wind. And wouldn’t you know it, I enjoyed myself. I owe much of that to Steampunk Pub & Grille. In the same building as the Branson Dream Theater (home of a “classic rock fantasy show”) and decked out with the quintessential gears and steam-powered machinery, Steampunk features a moderate sized dance floor for you to get down and dirty on as you jive to live music or a DJ (check out their events tab on their Facebook page for details.) Just know that if you’re feeling forward enough to make a song request while in a seated position the DJ will undoubtedly call you out saying “I only take requests from people who dance.” Well played Mr. DJ, well played. Of course we obliged. All relationships benefit from a little give and take.
For those of you are more vocally inclined than myself, which is probably everybody on the planet, I hear they also frequently host karaoke. If you ever find yourself on the Branson, MO strip and in need of great drink specials ($2 Busch Light tall boys and $4 rail mixers) it’s worth checking out. If you’re above Busch Light and rail vodka we probably can’t be friends but the bartenders on staff are more than willing, eager almost, to whip up whatever you have in mind; even a handcrafted Michelada complete with Modelo Especial and fresh squeezed OJ if that’s what your heart desires. Your heart should desire that because it’s bomb dot com.
Apparently you can get the bar review columnist pregnant and therefore unable to fulfill her job requirements but you can’t take the bar review columnist out of the girl. Sure I felt a tad out of sorts the following day and wished that I didn’t have such a hard time drinking even the smallest amount of water because it doesn’t taste like beer or Diet Coke but I laughed a lot, I smiled even more and most importantly I wasn’t elbows deep in the pages of my day planners worrying about the state of my mental health and if there are enough hours in the day.
In a world where parenting has become an olympic sport and you’re constantly inundated with productivity memes asking you “if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow“ it’s important to realize that perhaps what you’re trying to do tomorrow involves simply enjoying yourself today so that you can maintain some semblance of sanity for the days to come.
Take time for yourself.
Let you come first.
You can't pour from an empty glass,
so fill that thing up with wine and cheers life.
Hangovers might not be a good look but neither is stress and no one ever woke up after a stressful day saying "well at least last night was fun."