Better Off Home

I took a shower last Saturday night. I put on mascara, perfume, and a T-shirt I’d only worn one other time without washing. I also seriously considered wearing earrings (but pierced ear holes smell like straight booty and idfwt). I was ready for a night out on the town in New England’s 29th biggest city. Curtis and I had plans to get dinner and drinks with a friend in Portland.

But on the way into town, we remembered PLANS ARE FOR FOOLS and instead got pizza and went back to my house to eat cheesecake and watch The Office on Netflix. I was asleep by 9 damn 30, and I couldn’t have been happier. (Also, our friend had furniture troubles and couldn’t make it, so it was just Curtis and me. Hells if we’re gonna spend a Saturday night socializing when we don’t have to.)

The thing is: going out blows. Sometimes I feel bad for thinking it blows so much, and that I don’t do more of it. I’m 25 now—when I’m 80, will I look back at my twenties and regret not going out to the club more often? Will I regret never learning how to twerk or jerk or yeet? (Those are all dances, by the way—not gross things.)

The answer is no. I won’t regret any of that. Because I did learn how to yeet. In my living room, in an old pair of my sister’s friend’s sweatpants, in front of my parents while they watched The Weather Channel. And then I went to bed and was asleep by 9 damn 30, and I couldn’t have been happier. I’m the type of person who’s better off in the crib.

To go out is to spend several hours interacting with others. I have nothing against others—some of my best friends are others—I’d just rather not have to interact with them in loud, dimly lit places when I’m sleepy. Plus I’m self-conscious in groups greater than two, so if I don’t drink I get bad social anxiety. But if I do drink, then I’m not self-conscious, which is even worse. My unself-conscious self is weirdly aggressive and … athletic, maybe. Or just competitive. And awful.

Por ejemplo, last year, I went to a strangers’ party in New York City. I was with friends who were related to these strangers, but I ain’t know them like that. I didn’t want to be socially anxious so I brought a bottle of Cîroc. At the same time I didn’t want to act like my uninhibited self and embarrass my friends, so I made a list of the things to avoid doing. The list included:

  • Speaking Spanish
  • Asking about food
  • Asking about candy
  • Doing push-ups
  • Talking about how getting into a fight could be cool
  • Drooling
  • Doing a southern accent
  • Talking about Patrick Stump
  • Talking about rappers
  • Rapping

This was a real list written in earnest days prior to going to New York. I even brought it along to make sure I didn’t forget about it.

It worked for a while, too. I went to the strangers’ party in New York, ate Hawaiian pizza, and had a sugary boozy drink. I laughed at people’s stories and spoke without stumbling and, in general, acted like a normal person. Until I met a girl from St. Louis.

You know who’s from St. Louis? The St. Lunatics. Nelly and Murphy Lee and their St. Louis-born rapping friends.

Me: Oh, St. Louis! Do you like Murphy Lee?
Girl from St. Louis: Murphy Lee?
Me: Yeah! You know, Baby Houie. One of the best in the Louie … “I’m so St. Louis, ask my tattooist. I was like the waterboy now they sayin’ you can do it.” You two related or anything?

Not only did I talk about rappers, I rapped. With that, all was lost. I started speaking terrible Spanish. Instead of push-ups I did fake pull-ups. I took a shot of white vinegar. Those strangers? I gave them all the suck-it sign and challenged them to dance battles.

That’s why I stay in the crib. We’re all better off because of it.

2 thoughts on “Better Off Home

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