It was a crisp spring Saturday night where I was casually drinking an overpriced, frothy craft stout, playing ninth wheel at a table of nothing but longterm, committed relationships discussing brunch plans for the next day as some portly broad strummed away on an acoustic guitar belching about a lost lover in the background of a well-lit outdoor bar when it finally dawned on me: My friends had prematurely transitioned into postgrad life and it was taking a serious toll on my social well-being.
They say you can tell a lot about a guy just by looking at the group he runs with, and if that’s the case, I must have appeared about as edgy as a Bar Mitzvah DJ spinning the ones and twos at Eli’s big 1-3. Keeping it kosher, all the time.
If my friends were a bed, they’d be a Tempur-pedic. If they were a weapon, they’d be a single shot Nerf gun. If they were a cartoon, they’d be the Charmin toilet paper fetish bear snuggling a 48-pack of ultra soft. They’re fucking marshmallows roasting away over a gasoline ignited camp fire, and I was the crumpling graham cracker trying to hold it all together.
It wasn’t always like that.
Long forgotten were the drug and alcohol fueled nights cruising around town — squad deep — with a massive crew in oxford button downs and backwards snapbacks making the most of every minute, throwing down more wells than an 1800s frontier abortion clinic and hitting on any honey that walks through the door until last call. The strip club trips where my buddy’s fat face would be swallowed whole by a thick tatted up Latina dancer? Distant memories. Celebrating at the student clinic with my eskimo brother after the results come back negative from the mutual questionable hookup who relayed the message that she had caught the lifelong companionship of the herp? Never to be mentioned again. Pissing our letters on our rival fraternity’s doorstep? Still doable, but not a no-brainer with my friends like it once was.
For whatever reason — whether it be internships, actual jobs, or simple maturity — your social downfall starts midway through senior year and never truly recovers. Some of your boys are foolishly ready to move onto the real world, others are in too deep with their girl they just mistakenly lavaliered, and the remaining dipshits climb atop an ivory tower of morality, passing down judgement on anyone that still wants to slum it up at the local college watering hole with shameless hopes of bringing back freshman tail.
Suddenly your friends turn into unexcitable assholes who find drinking IPAs and going to Trivia Night more enjoyable than rolling their asses off at the club and publicly finger-blasting some chica to a Diplo set. They actually want to hold conversation rather than loudly yell over a deafening bass? About what? You mean I’ll have to develop some sort of personality now rather than talk fraternity tiers and politics while skating by on slightly above average looks. No. It can’t be. It’s as if the last three and a half years were one giant full moon and these party seeking, face-fucking, degenerate werewolves are now turning back into tranquil boners in pastel.
Nothing will drudge up a quarter life crisis quite like your boys “calling it a night” at 10 p.m. after happy hour for no reason other than “it’s getting late,” or they want to “get an early start to the morning.” These are not your friends. They’ve changed and you need to run as far away as humanly possible. Don’t accept this cruel twist of fate. Hold onto your destructive college party habits and never let go..