I’ve always liked going out, meeting up with friends for drinks and dancing the night away! Good music, entertaining company, a comfortable pair of stylin’ shoes– that’s all I need. Well, that’s all I needed… in my twenties. In the mid aughts I went back to school for a merchandise marketing degree and became friendly with a fun group of girls in their early twenties from my program who would invite me to go out when the homework and retail work schedule would allow. I was twenty nine and in a serious relationship with my now husband, but still had the interest and energy to spend an evening with girls who just wanted to have fun with their newly minted IDs.
When I turned thirty, I started to need a bit more in order to let loose. My considerations, when invited out with my FIDM classmates became: Who is joining us? How are we getting home? No really, whose boyfriend is going to pick us up since it is hard to find a cab a 2:15 in the city? Does the bar pack to capacity, or stagger guests in case of a fire hazard? Does someone know the DJ or manager so we can get in easily, because honestly, I don’t want to be waiting in line outside…. Can we reserve a booth in advance? Okay, if I put it on my card to hold the table, do you all promise to pay me your share? Hey, who’s that straggler drinking our vodka? Sure let’s dance — as long as nobody shady tries talking to me or yucky sweaty people rub up against me, I’m down!
Wait, when did I become so high maintenance? It’s partly the way I’ve always been, but I also blame it on being in my thirties.
Now, when I want to let loose, I have something else in mind. Dumping all of the contents of my drawers and closet onto my bed when my husband is not home and weeding through all of it is letting loose.
Spreading every piece of paper, pack of stickers, roll of tape, every hole puncher, each stamp pad and stamp set, pen, glue stick, ribbon spool, etc on my dining room table before deciding on a new project for a craft-a-pa-looza is letting loose.
Going over my mascara just once with an off brand cleansing cloth and falling asleep with the rest of my makeup and jewelry still on is letting loose.
We grow and change as we move into another decade with good reason. We have more experience, and if we are paying attention, more wisdom about the little things: I won’t stand in line in an overcrowded salon for a free manicure I-don’t-care-how-cute-it-is. I will order from a restaurant instead of cooking everything from scratch for my couples’ game night if I am too tired to prep but know exactly what I want. I will drink only half of the cocktail and chase it with two bottles of water because I know that in my thirties my body and skin take one week to recover from the vodka, rum, tequila, & scotch parade I used to participate in four times a week when I was twenty- two. The”fourhoursofsleeponaworknight” remedyworkeduntilIwastwenty-six,butnowatthirty-nine,I’drather wake up with a creak in my neck than a pain in my liver.
Even though the rules have changed and I have self imposed curfews, I am happy to say I still let loose. It’s just different in my thirties, and I am proud of it.
Bobbie Pinto is a writer based in San Francisco. Those things you think about and talk about with your girlfriends? She does too. She just writes about it.
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