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Room For Squares

A Change Would Do You Good

Some things never change. Gavin Newsomís hair for instance. Whatever new scandal our inimitable mayor gets embroiled in, you know for sure that his yummy helmet is in shape and in tact. Itís comforting. You even start to take it for a symbol of his unfaltering political agenda. Sure, itís not a rainbow flag, but in these disparate times, Iíll lock onto anything as a sign. Why is it then that after a weekend of partying in the Castro, I want nothing more than to shake up the status quo?

Donít get the wrong idea. My ambitions arenít lofty enough to be political. I speak about things that, in spite of their constancy, need to change because instead of comforting, they do nothing but encumber us with unwanted drama. If thereís one thing Iíve learned from spending 3 nights combing bars both seedy and reputable, itís the resilience of our need to get pumped up, dolled up and f*cked up. Making out in the backseat of your dadís Chevrolet Caprice Classic while trying to fight off the effects of a case of Zima may have been fun in high school, but you would like to think that at a certain age that type of activity might begin to appear juvenile.

Witnessing the loads of drunkards and revelers is proof enough that not everyone shares this sentiment. While itís for certain that alcohol is a great icebreaker, when is it ever necessary to drink enough of it to break through an arctic glacier? Nobody finds it attractive to see a man bent over on all fours making gagging noises -- well, at least not when that sight is accompanied by the spewing mess of what can only be last nightís four cheese pasta bake. And Iím sure nobodyís idea of a good time involves scrubbing said remains of Italian grub off his new pair of Evisuís. The line between social drinking and party fouling isnít that fine yet many of us seem to cross it time and time again.

The insanity has to stop. Presumably, once the icy faÁade of unfamiliarity is cracked, alcohol only serves to accelerate the inevitable. But there has to be a more recreational way to have to fun with friends and get a one night stand in bed at the same time without having to get either him or yourself piss ass drunk in the process. Iíve never heard of anybody waking up in a strangerís bed with a hangover, rejoicing in the blank mass that has become last nightís memory.

But maybe there are people who donít care about reckless liberation at any age. Maybe there are people who think that knowing they had fun is enough and that remembering how they had it is unimportant. Maybe Iíve even finally turned the corner into one of those jaded, old queens too disgruntled with his empty bed to delight in the blatant flame throwing of others young and old. Whatever.

Quiet, fireside dinners for two are nice. Curling up in bed with a well-worn book for a companion may not be as exciting as having David Beckham for a bedmate, but at least youíd forego that nasty but inescapable encounter with Victoria. And warming up the couch with a good foreign film, a tub of buttered popcorn and a quart of mint-chocolate chip ice cream has to be preferable to downing shots of chilled Goose or swigs of 80 proof Whiskey. Iíve just listed three very harmless, very rewarding ways to spend the night -- so why do I get the feeling that nobodyís convinced?

At the end of the day, it might be typical to unwind with a stiff drink in the company of friends. It might even be therapeutic after 8 hours of listening to your demanding boss shout orders. And for that matter, even a one night stand every now and then can be healthy. The trick is to not get caught up in the habit.

While you may find nostalgia in the fresh face of a teenager passed out in the backseat of a station-wagon with a bumper sticker that reads ďMy kid is on the honor roll at Roosevelt Middle School,Ē itís less endearing to see yourself in the same predicament 15 years later. It may sound like thereís a double standard for responsibility, but thatís because there has to be. It may just look like occasional partying, but for many of us, at some point reckless partying will appear less attractive and more destructive. You can wear the same hairstyle forever, but sooner or later, itís sure to go out of style.