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25 going on 75

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I’m not sure when or how or why, but at some point in the past few years, I got old—and so did my friends. Now before you start rolling your eyes or getting ready to smack me (because most of you are older than me), hear me out. I don’t mean old in a literal, over-the-hill, clock is ticking, eggs are drying up kind of way. I just mean, at some point along the way, most of the people I know started acting less like children and more like grumpy old adults.

The evidence:

• Two years ago, my boyfriend Mike and I could easily drink and dance the night away at Victory Liquors, Duffy’s, or some equally loud and sticky-floored Lincoln Park establishment, wake up the next day, go to brunch, and do it all again. Today, we prefer quiet nights at home on our awesome couch watching Planet Earth on our awesome TV. When we do end up going out to bars for birthdays or other celebrations, we spend most of the time complaining about the loud music and the crowd, and looking at our watches wondering when it’s appropriate to go home. Also, Mike does that annoying thing grandpas do as he cups his ear straining to hear what I’m saying:

Me: I think I want another Bacardi and Diet.
Mike: What? You think there’s going to be a riot?

UGH! Drives me crazy!

 “Going out” now often means having dinner with a few friends, drinking a single glass of wine, and coming home by 10, so we can wake up early enough the next day to go to the grocery store, run errands, and still have time for brunch.

• In college at UW-Madison, I used to be able to eat Mac and Cheese pizza from Ian’s on a nightly basis at 3 a.m. Now, eating anything after 9 pm gives me heartburn. And, my sensitive stomach can’t ever handle anything with a hint of fried, spicy, grease or cream.

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Badgers love their Ian’s!

• During college football season in Madison, I used to don my thrift-store bought vintage Badgers jersey and football beads, pregame with a beer in hand and stand at the game (okay maybe only until halftime and maybe it was a vodka lemonade) cheering and singing at the top of my lungs. Now, I prefer to watch my Badger games with friends in a quiet bar, with nice comfy booths and a great brunch menu or in the comfort of my apartment, on the chaise of my awesome couch wearing my awesome Wisconsin Badgers Snuggie (gift credit to my awesome boyfriend).

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It’s a blanket...with sleeves!

• No matter how cold it got in Madison, it was completely appropriate to go out in a tank top and uncomfortable high heels. Now, I’m always properly bundled, tsk tsking at the young 22-year-olds freezing their butts off, turning to Mike to tell him that those girls look ridiculous and they’re likely to catch a cold. Also, unless I’m at a wedding or a serious work meeting, my shoes are flat.

• Halloween: It used to be about finding the tiniest, sexiest costume possible. Now, I find myself gravitating toward giant penguin costumes or Cookie Monster. The warmer and fuzzier, the better.

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Last Halloween as bacon (with unidentified mustache) and eggs.
Stay tuned—this year we tackle poultry.

• Vacations: Mike and I would rather rock the desert like JUF snowbirds, stay at a B&B in Door County or lay on a quiet beach in the Caribbean than deal with crazy 20-something destinations like Cancun or Acapulco (plus, my stomach cannot handle Mexico). But don’t get me wrong, we’re still up for a weekend in Vegas every once in a while…

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“We’re on a boat!” in St. Martin

• Last but not least, people are getting married like crazy! Everybody’s doing it. And now they’re even starting to have babies…

I think you get the point. Now before you go saying that this is just a couples’ phenomenon, I know plenty of singles out there who feel exactly the same way. And before you start thinking to yourself, ‘man, this girl is super lame’ take a minute to think about your life. You know you just can’t eat crap or drink like you used to.

Plus, I’m not lame, I’m fun. Though I admit that most nights I prefer the snuggliness of my boyfriend, my Snuggie and a movie On Demand, I still love to go out every once and a while and have a few too many Bacardi and diets, dance with my friends at their bachelorette parties and dress up like an idiot with my boyfriend on Halloween. Plus, growing up isn’t all bad. I eat better food, get more done in my hangover-free days, save money and calories on drinks and greasy food and actually (sometimes) feel like I’ve got my shit together like an actual person.

I am fully aware that this phenomenon does not apply to everyone. Eternal frat guys and sorority girls do exist. So to those of you still out there partying and eating greasy late night food post-25 years old, I raise a tequila-filled shot glass to you. As for the rest of you, grab your Snuggie and scoot over. Planet Earth is about to start.

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