About Last Night—You’re Never Safe From “Holiday Madness”

Ugh, to be young and a mess during the holidays.

The holidays are a time to get rowdy. Don’t believe me? Go to any hometown or city bar and they’ll be there, teeming: throngs of Millennials with a hankering to get bombed while also spewing a perfect balance of self-deprecating anecdotes and boastful bullshit about the importance of their respective jobs. “I’m an associate lifestyle manager specializing in families.” Bitch, you’re a babysitter. “I’m a permalance accounting coordinator currently working remotely.” So what you’re telling me is that you crunch boring-ass numbers all day and hate your life. But hey, who am I to judge? When I explain that I’m “dabbling in a couple different fields,” what I mean is, I have no ‘effing clue what I’m doing and I’m dreaming of the day I work one job with no debt instead of four with zero days off.

These are some of the people that fill the local bars like locusts in the interim between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’ve got nothing better to do than attend every mini-high school reunion, office holiday party, open bar brunch, you name it. Oh, your coworker’s boyfriend’s business is renting out a restaurant in the city tonight? Will there be alcohol and young investment bankers? The occasional long-haired nonconformist that lives in a studio with a bay view in Pac Heights?  Count me in.

So you go, because who in their right Millennial mind would say no to that? And things get out of hand. Because of course they do. Were you born roughly between 1985-1999? Overdoing it is our middle name.

Despite everything, the city makes me want to be romantic about this time of year. Call me a rolling stone, I’m free as a goddam bird and have no one to answer to besides my fun-loving self. The next night I’m more somber.

Here’s what’s not chill: having to drink in front of HR. Come on, can’t you give me this one moment? People are downing drinks in the bathroom because they feel downright uncomfortable. Everybody’s boss is trying to crack jokes that may have struck a chord ten years ago, but today just seem out of touch. You almost have to laugh at the new girl who took the whole “cocktail attire” a little too seriously. Honey, where is your jacket? This isn’t New York Fashion Week, it’s the office party for a tech startup and we’re only allotted two free drinks. Time and place guys, time and place.

The next morning, here’s what we’re dealing with: Uber wants me to rate my ride with Janira. Well I can’t remember my ride with Janira so let’s chalk it up to five stars and call it a day. A Venmo request for $47.50? First of all, I shouldn’t be arguing because I’m pretty sure I drank way more than that after we ditched the coworkers, but since I can’t remember whether you truthfully bought my drinks or not I’ll need to see some bank statements or snapchats of me guzzling vodka cran, capiche? Dude, what gave you the impression that I’m made of money? I don’t live at home for my health. Geez.

Speaking of money, all of mine is gone. All I have left is what has accumulated in my Venmo account after overcharging my friends for their share of our Uber rides. Between the holiday happy hours and eight different Secret Santa exchanges I’m obligated to partake in, I have nothing left to give.

Despite everything, the city makes me want to be romantic about this time of year. Call me a rolling stone, I’m free as a goddam bird and have no one to answer to besides my fun-loving self. The next night I’m more somber. What is this rootless, loathsome existence I’m pursuing? At least we seem to all be pursuing it together. Whoever named this “cuffing season” was seriously disturbed. I remind myself that I’d much rather spend a Saturday SantaCon-ing my way through the Marina than tripping on ice skates in Union Square, pretending I enjoy holding sweaty hands with some dude I only vaguely tolerate while we bump into crowds of tourists still using selfie sticks. I’ll take the crass bar scene over this unidealized rom-com any day. But I’m not bitter.

Later, back in the bars, we have the attention span of a squirrel. It’s all a colorful parade of youth and you can’t quite differentiate one pulsing moment from the next. That is, until you see that person. Then you have the focus of a Navy Seal cracked out on Adderall. I mean, George Harrison is practically humming “I Got My Mind Set On You” in your head. THAT is the one. HE is it.

Ten minutes later you lose sight of him. But it’s chill, you’ll stalk him on Instagram later and pretend it was an accident. Maybe he’ll add you on LinkedIn. That’s so professional. So hot.

It begins to set in that I should probably stop behaving this way. Is this all ridiculous, or is it all inexplicably amazing? But wait one little second, who is that across the bar, nursing his seventh craft beer? I look at you. I get this notion; you’re as big of a mess as I am. And tonight, I am mesmerized by you.

About Last Night—You’re Never Safe From “Holiday Madness”
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