Everyone wants to know how to market to Millennials. I’m not sure why. Baby Boomers have all the money and all the time.
That being said—market to this, b*tches.
You want to know what it’s like being 29, a young urban professional with a side career as an artist?
It’s like being a human.
Saturday I went to my sister’s house for her mother-in-law’s 70th birthday party. I like my sister’s mother-in-law. I like my brother-in-law and his sister and her husband and their kids. I like my family. I like food. So I’m like, “Oh, a family party. Sure, I’ll go for a while.”
My sister sounded sort of surprised when I said I’d be there. I didn’t stop to process this. I probably should have.
It turns out—what I should have known all along—this is my sister’s mother-in-law’s birthday. Unlike Thanksgiving, say, or my sister’s wedding, where families of all shapes and sizes come, including a roster of people my own age, the guest list consisted entirely of the birthday woman’s friends. As it should. Aka, 70+.
I don’t know why I’m acting like I prefer parties with people my own age, because I definitely don’t.
At any rate, I did exactly what I do at every party and family event: I pitched in and I played with the babies. These look like nice, service-oriented tasks, but they’re entirely designed to get me out of talking to people.
I go to parties and avoid talking to people.
I trimmed flowers. I set out bottle openers. I played cornhole with the 3-year-old and whined to my parents about how hot it was. They looked at me as if I was acting like I was 4 years old. I was. Heat makes me feel 4 years old. I ate food. I asked when the cake was going to be served. I talked to the people I knew and enjoyed it and then stared at strangers who approached our conversation not as if they were potential people I could know but as if I was 4 years old and they were offering me candy to get into a windowless van.
Then I went back to Capitol Hill to go to Pride. Do I need to tell you what it’s like to go from a backyard birthday party with septuagenarians to Pride?
I almost never have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out, for the Baby Boomers reading this). But this year, with the historic ruling of the Supreme Court—I really needed to go. I really kept feeling like I was in the wrong place, not being at Pride. I really wondered what sort of joyful and celebratory party I was missing. I really wanted to see the madness.
Have we talked about how I don’t party very much? For a long time, I just couldn’t drink. I don’t need to go into all the terrible details here, but my body firmly rejected the notion of alcohol. Maybe I had an ulcer? Or something similar? Doctors never figured it out. I might just be allergic. I’m in a phase right now where I can drink, and it’s sort of glorious. And by “I can drink,” I mean I can have a drink without throwing up or falling over clutching my liver. My lungs, after that round or two or ten I went with whooping couch, have firmly rejected the notion of smoke.
We can go down the list of other options, if you like, or you can be an adult about it and trust me when I say if your body punished you like mine does, you wouldn’t be testing its limits either. Except! That one drink thing I can do right now is really great.
So I took a jello shot and then we went to a drag show.
The show was great. We watched it. We clapped along and bounced to the beat and cheered. We went to Montana and got Moscow Mules on tap and stood outside to escape from the heat and sipped them down. They were cold and tangy and gingery.
I was yawning. I was realizing that it was almost midnight and going out means just that—being out. Nothing happening, necessarily. No madness. No drunken escapades. Just people, standing on a porch, making conversation, not going home yet. Worn out from being in the sun all day or from working or from life. Standing next to other people doing the same thing.
It turns out it’s not necessarily that big of a leap, going from a backyard birthday to septuagenarians to Pride. Depending, of course, on how fast and hard you go and if you run into a wall on one side because you’re on something magical that makes you chase rainbows.
I hung in there. Was anyone about to start taking shots? Nope. Anyone about to take their clothes off? Nope. Anyone about to start making out? Nope. Was I going to drink more? Nope. Was I even feeling my drink? Nope.
It was close to midnight. I headed home. My friend high-fived me for making it out at all (yeah, this is when you know you’re a true party animal).
My apartment was hot. I sat down on my couch for just a minute before going to bed.
When I was still sitting there an hour later, at one in the morning, watching the Bachelorette and giggling, taking off my clothes in the heat and talking out loud about how damn hot it was, I realized:
I might be a little bit drunk.