Going Out & The Morning After

GOING OUT; It is 12:17 pm. I am sitting on a park bench one block south of Rockford’s oldest bar, Mary’s Place.

I sit in the late winter evening feeling the icy breeze pour off the river onto my sweaty shoulders.

The bar is at capacity, the bouncers furiously working their people counting clickers. The noise is deafening. I cannot find the friends that I came to meet. I sit here and wonder why?

Photo by Maurício Mascaro from Pexels

I believe I know why. I came here for the musicians. Music is in their blood and bones, they have to play. It’s in their soul. Plus, it pays their bills and supports their families. I love all the guys playing this evening and their beautiful supportive wives.

This isn’t about them, this is about me. My why.

Tonight reinforced my personal choices and provided my tipping point. “Out” in a bar with 300 people I don’t know and bartenders who are overworked is not where I want to be

I want to be home, with no makeup on and my hair in a bun. I want to have my children safely tucked into bed at a reasonable hour. I want to snuggle on the couch with my Cowboy and discuss the philosophical theory of dreams versus reality.

I have not gone “out” in a year. I will not go “out” again.

Cheers to never again having my hand stamped by a bouncer collecting my cover charge.

THE MORNING AFTER; 9 am wake up call — good morning Sunshine! Ugggggghhhhhh. Yes, I am still sleeping, I will call you back, please.

When I roused after 10, I take a scary look at myself. Do I shower first or video call my Cowboy just like this? I voted for just like this. Part of going out to a noisy, sweaty bar is dealing with the after effects. Part of being in love with someone is loving them even when they are a hot mess.

Some keen observations from Captain Obvious this morning: I am still wearing the clothes I went to the bar in — changing seemed like a huge effort at 1:30 am. I am still in full make-up complete with the ‘smokey eye’, because, again, washing my face seemed like a huge effort at 1:30 am.

I feel yucky and my teeth are covered in disgusting mossy grossness because, again, brushing my teeth at 1:30 was just never going to happen. My hair is so full of product I look like a 1982 hair commercial. I speak quietly to him as I slowly make my way to the kitchen for coffee. I pour a cup and settle into my comfortable chair, the one chair in my house that feels like an actual hug.

Photo by Kevin Menajang from Pexels

This morning, I could use a hug, but he is there and I am here. What are you doing, Captain Obvious asks … I am sitting very still. In my hug chair.

The day progresses and the coffee pot empties. It is now 12:53 pm, well past noon. The day is seeping away, a few stray grounds in my cup, and I am craving a cheeseburger — greasy with extra cheese and some fries please, to fill my stomach and soak up the aftermath of Going Out.

The question of Why raises it’s head again. Why did I go out, when going out results in my morning after being hijacked by the aftermath? I vow I will not go out again; definitely not to the chaos of the in crowd noisy bar where the best band is playing and all the cool people are supposed to be.

I prefer time with my true friends, on a deck, with good food and excellent wine, soft jazz in the background and kids catching fireflies in the yard — and the ability to enjoy the morning after.

Cheers, with my morning after a cup of coffee, to experiences that lead to self-awareness and happier, more content life.