I'm not sure if it is because I am a parent now or simply because I am getting older, but I pay dearly for an evening out with my girlfriends.
Once upon a time, I could go out until all hours of the night. Dance my booty off. Drink until I was crawling to my doorstep (via a cab ride home) and wake up the next day for work or school totally refreshed and ready to go on no more than an hour or two of sleep.
I cannot do that anymore.
Last night, I had the chance to hang out with a friend from Chicago who was in town for one night only. I met up with her after work to do a little window shopping in Downtown Minneapolis grab some dinner and drinks and simply catch up on life. I haven't seen her since about July and with only a few Facebook comments back and forth, there was PLENTY to catch up on. I LOVE this friend in so many ways. She has unique tastes in food and is always willing to try something new. She usually doesn't let the cost of things bother her or keep her from trying a new cocktail or enjoy an expensive glass of wine (although... I will confess that I thought the $17 9oz glass of Merlot at BANK was pretty excessive for myself). She loves to shop, and by shopping, I don't necessarily mean buying things. She is the person who lives a life that I often envy. She used to work in a corporate HR job with a large company that relocated her about once every 2-3 years and required travel all over the country. She did it with zest and energy, making friends wherever she went. Most recently, she has permanently set up roots in Chicago and told that corporate job to shove it. Again. Envy. She started work as a realtor, which seems crazy in these uncertain real estate times, and is totally kicking ass at it. She would certainly not mind having a man and love in her life, but she doesn't let it define her and she embraces the single life. Quite simply? She. Amazes. Me.
Needless to say, I always have a great time hanging out with her. We have great conversations over great cocktails. I had such a great time last night and know to the core of my very being that I need to get out and hang out with my friends from time to time in order to feel like a human being. Even though I was home by 10pm and after a brief catch up with the husband, I was in bed by 10:30p. Even though I didn't drink to the point of stumbling drunkness (it was a very slow wine-sipping kind of evening), I slept horribly. Getting up at 5:30a, I was still in a state of coma-like exhaustion that only a cold shower could fix. Tonight, there is no rest for the weary. I will pick up my toddler after work and we will struggle through dinner (he's going through that fun toddler picky stage) and we will play and laugh until 7:30 rolls around and it is time for jammies and bedtime. Will I go to sleep too? Nope. I'm sure I will find plenty of reason to stay up until 10. Dishes, toy cleanup, DVR catch up... etc etc etc.
I hate feeling like an awesome night out with a great friend has to cause me so much angst the next day. Doesn't seem fair does it? Us moms, we need these nights out so desperately yet pay for them so dearly. Not fair at all.
So the question remains: Is it worth it?