Late 20s Rut-Busting Late 20s Rut-Busting: The Same Old Bar Scene Mary Traina

I love bars. I know what you are thinking: candy bars. And to that I would say, “Yes, those too… but I am here to talk about candy bars. Shoot, you got it in my head! LOL! ALCOHOL BARS. I want to talk about those. Bars where people of age drink booze.”

When you turn 21, it is game on. After years of being SHUT DOWN by cranky adults, you can finally join them and it is glorious. They are mostly annoyed by your presence, sure, but you have a license to drink, gosh darn it. So you are going to drink too much and get sick in the bathroom while your new adult friends patiently wait in line. It is your right.

However, after a few years, the triumph of being allowed to drink a beverage wears off. It’s no longer funny to wake up and find a forgotten receipt for a round of 10 whiskey shots in your pocket. It’s like, “Damn, Drunk Mary! Girl! I got bills to pay!” In addition to the expense, most bars are just lame. They are dark and crowded and sort of boring. Sometimes bars provide magical nights full of endless laughter but a lot of times they really aren’t worth the caloric intake. We just want to socialize and meet people, is that so much to ask? We just want to make dating more fun and nights out with friends more interesting. I have years worth of “to do” list Google docs my friends and I have created, intent on bucking the bar scene cycle. When you hit your late 20s, sometimes it feels like you only have two options; hit the bar or become a cat lady.

So let’s take a moment to appreciate and reflect upon all the ways we socialize outside of drinking our lives away at a bar. No offense, Classic Sitcom Cheers!

The good old-fashioned girl night. One of life’s simplest pleasures! You just pick someone’s place, bring a dish and start talking. It’s super fun to actually be able to hear each other talk. Plus, I don’t know why, but someone always reveals a secret in this setting. For any man reading this, I’m talking conspiracies going all the way up to the highest levels of government. After the details are spilled, we are always like, “oh no you didn’t! You are crazy, Sarah!”

Sports! Tennis, wiffle ball, bowling – it’s fun to be active. And it’s also a great way to get to know people. Offering to buy someone a drink is so cheesy. Announcing you’ll own them at bocce ball is HOT. I hope… cause that’s my move…

Taking classes. Not a nerd class, nerd. The kind where you meet new people and feel great after. My friend and I used to frequent a cheap yoga class and, long story short, I haven’t laughed that hard about farting since I was 10.

Bars with a schtick. Karaoke bars. Bars with cover bands. Bars with Big Buck Hunter. Bars with trivia. They keep you and your pals on your toes and this solves so many problems. Your friend who always falls asleep in the booth – awakened! Conversations that rehash the same old gossip – no time for that! Not realizing you’ve had too many until you stand up – why, I’m already standing up and schooling my friend at skee ball, sir!

Pretend to be a tourist. Sometimes it’s fun to head to the most famous part of your city and live. it. up. Novice style! New Yorker real talk: I complain, sure, but don’t actually hate tourists. I’m just jealous they get to be on vacation right now. Pretending to be is the next best thing!

Venturing into the mystical world of fortune telling. One time some friends and I found a psychic in the yellow pages and had her read our tarot cards. It was fun and eerie and she foretold a very romantic trip to the Grand Canyon that I assume still awaits me. When she first told me about it I was like, “Grand Canyon? How quaint. But by the time I am in my late 20s, I will be rich and traveling the world, thankyouverymuch.” But maybe she was on to something. Now I glance at my bank account and then tell all my friends about how many great adventures are right here in our backyard! America!

The movies. What are these movies I speak of? Little Orphan Annie can take it from here. (Whoa. I haven’t watched that in a while. Annie was not joking around with that ‘fro.)

Going to an EVENT. I recently had an embarrassingly good time at an LMFAO concert. But the event doesn’t have to be as elegant and high end as LMFAO to be fun. One time I spent a Friday evening at a library event where I ended up being made over by a drag queen.

Offer to watch your friend’s kid. You must be the adventurous type! I don’t have kids of my own. I rarely see children. But when I do, they make me question everything. They are funny and unapologetic and not very bright, which makes them even funnier. They are a reminder that life isn’t as complicated as you think it is. Plus, it’s nice to do friends a favor. Especially friends who really miss the bar scene.

Image via TV Guide

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  1. Those last two suggestions totally just made my day… I want to quote snippets of them back to you – but, let’s face it, that doesn’t feel very productive. Your library system must be amazing/unique, library events I attend never end like that! (Generally they end with me dragging home another box of books I have no room for but adamently swear I desperately need…) You’re right, kids are hilarious and totally bring the world into a completely different perspective, it’s nice to shake up your worldview very now and then. Great article, thanks for writing it!

  2. Fab article! You described me and my dilemma as a 29-year-old perfectly… Darn I need to go out more – or else I’ll become a crazy cat lady! :-p
    But as Amy says when you’re allowed to drink from the age of 18, the fun in drinking just wears off. Same with me, started with 18 and now I hardly drink any alcohol. Havin fun though!

  3. It’s like, “Damn, Drunk Mary! Girl! I got bills to pay!” CAN’T STOP LAUGHING

  4. In the UK we can legally drink from the age of 18, so now at the age of 22 I no longer drink. This column is so true, and it is nice to do something with your friends other then drinking.

  5. Alternative suggestions are terrible. I’d rather get drunk.

  6. Ahh so true. Love everything about this!

  7. I think American culture is so funny. We spend our whole adolescence waiting, wishing, willing the day for 21st birthdays to arrive. We hide our drinking from parents and the world. We party like it’s the end of the world. Then 21 arrives and it’s just like…gone. After one or two years of drinking, I got kind of over it. Yes, I like having a beer with dinner and occasionally going out to dance or something but it’s so hard to find something FUN to do that isn’t involving drinking. Not that I don’t LIKE drinking but, adults forget there are other things out there! Great post :)