I am not an adventurous person. I was never one for all night parties, sex without regret, and experimentation of anything illegal, mind-altering, or past it’s expiration date. All my life, I thought it was shameful to be so tame, but I’ve finally learned to embrace it. It’s who I am. So here I am. Liz Black, born to be mild.
Sometimes I get a little wistful that I don’t have a baby yet. And not because motherhood has been a lifelong dream and I believe the children are our future. No, it’s because I’m secretly jealous of all my friends who get to stay home on nights and weekends, all under the guise of “I have to watch my kids.”
The thing is, I basically already live the parent lifestyle. I work a 9 to 5 job and, whenever possible, I go right home in order to put dinner on the table (in another post, perhaps I’ll regale you with my homemaker fantasies and a dissertation on how Betty Draper-Francis should get over it because she’s living my DREAM) and kick my shoes off in time to watch my beloved Wheel of Fortune and not leave the house for the rest of the night.
So because I’m already a homebody, it pains me—it kills me—to go out late at night. It’s one thing if I go straight from work to a dinner and the night runs long, that I can handle. What I can’t handle is the guilt I feel when I get an invite to a show/party/dinner that starts after 9pm (ugh, who am I kidding, even 8pm is a stretch) and I know that the Magic 8 Ball says “Outlook Not So Good.” What kind of R.S.V.P. can I possibly give that would be good enough? “Sorry, I know I’m technically wide open, I just don’t know if I will have already changed into my jammies by that point.” Not only does that mean I have to go home after work, try not to lose momentum, and use all my strength to go back out again, but it also means I run the risk of my cab turning into a pumpkin and my footmen turning back into bloated subway rats by getting home after midnight.
In college, I used to leave parties when I would start getting this morally depraved feeling, like I was the personification of a day-old Solo cup with an inch of warm Pabst and ten cigarette butts in it. I would go back to my dorm and either 1) throw up, 2) sleep or 3) watch SNL while the rest of my friends would stay out enjoying crappy beer in off-campus houses furnished with couches from This End Up. I was informed my senior year that anytime someone left a party early, it was called “Pulling a Liz,” and I guess it really says something that I was a little proud of that.
So please understand that if I’m ever a “Maybe” on your Evite, unless you’re hosting a brunch (parties that start before noon fall during my peak operating hours), know that it’s nothing personal. I just might need to stay home to put my non-existent kids to bed. They get cranky when I’m not there.