Friday, March 10, 2006

Every day is a Friday. Except Friday.

Over the past few weeks, I've been complaining to friends, acquaintances, cabbies, basically anyone who would listen that if I weren't so socially insecure, I would just cuddle up with a DVD and stay in on a Saturday night. There's a reason I set up my Netflix queue so Mean Girls arrives on Friday afternoon (though I haven't really had a choice in the matter lately, as I've been fighting flu-like symptoms and coughing up in mass quantities for the good part of the last fortnight).

Don't get me wrong - I enjoy drinking. A lot. To excess, even. Drinking makes me happy, adventurous, confident - everything I like to think I am.

It's not that I don't enjoy the company of people either. Think of it this way: you know how white people are with black people? Almost everyone is comfortable with one or two black people in the room. We all like diversity, right? And people generally get past the "black people are scary" unless they're characters in Crash. But then they get a little uncomfortable when they're interacting with six, seven, eight black people in the room, or even more so if they're in a roomful of black people, like a non-backpacker rap concert. It's not that white people are racist - they prefer black people in smaller doses.

I'm the same way with people in general. I like people. People say funny things. Funny things make me laugh. I like laughing. It's just that when I'm in the same room as more than 8 or 9, I start to get a combination of agoraphobia and claustrophobia. And I get in a bad way when I'm in an East Village bar at 12 am on Saturday night.

The whole social awkwardness thing, I'm trying to work on. I try to engage people in conversation. I'm learning to take compliments. I'm not quite there yet, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. My shyness has gone from "debilitating" to "painful" over the past two years. Baby steps.

Still, getting rid of my awkwardness won't get me to like Friday and Saturday nights over weeknights. I still don't like walking on sticky floors in overcrowded bars and spending $5 for macrobrew. I abhor velvet ropes and there are very few things that will get me to stand between 5th and 6th Avenues in the 20s on weekend nights.

So I like going out on Sundays through Thursdays. Bars aren't as crowded, drink specials are better. And I figure, I hate getting up for work anyway. Two, three, four beers aren't going to make it that much worse. Though at the same time, the having to get up in the morning thing gives me a limit. Checks and balances. It makes sure that I get tipsy, but not too much so. My little liver can only take so much and money moves much faster when you're drunk in NYC.

Granted, I'm good for a Friday night binge every now and then - it's always an adventure to see which neighborhood I wake up in. But otherwise, I'd rather just enjoy my weekends without my head weighing a ton.

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