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why, in our 20something years, do we suddenly need to invent excuses to get together with friends? a short essay on ...
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Confession time now: I have never been a party girl. I am not perky, I am not intrinsically outgoing, and I have never felt the compulsive need to actively and perpetually seek standard notions of fun (namely: Go out. Be seen. Get drunk.) The vast majority of my college weekends were spent slothfully lazing around with the boyfriend and a small group of friends, butts happily parked on a ratty old sofa, jabbering the night away about little of real consequence. Fun was had, to be sure, but it rarely involved any sort of planning (that, of course, would have required some modicum of effort).

But sometime in the past year thatís all changed. These days itís movie nights and game nights, dinner parties and theme parties, the (very) occasional bar/club night, all punctuated, as needed, by periods when everyone I know seems suddenly to realize that this mingling is just too much, and promptly goes into social hibernation for a weekend or two. Itís become an all-or-nothing, wild-mood-swing sort of situation, where I either act the social butterfly, staying out late and waking up with the dreaded dehydration headache, or play the anti-social hermit, holing up in the house with the boyfriend and a stack of movie rentals. The days of simply hanging out Ė spontaneously and sans purpose -- are no more. Passive fun no longer exists. Apparently we have reached that age at which organized entertainment becomes a necessity.

The frightening implication of this change: I am now old enough that fun no longer occurs by chance. Dealing with real life responsibilities has become the default mode Ė fun must be fought for, actively sought and achieved. This, it seems to me, is one of those lines that divides childhood from adulthood and I, for one, canít quite believe that my friends and I have arrived at this stage of life.

ah, but there's more!

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