Sunday, October 20, 2013

In Praise of Adult Entertainment

Made you look! But no, not that kind of entertainment.

When you spend your weekdays with preschoolers, your Saturday with hairy dogs and your Sunday at church, a little bit of adult recreation can be hard to come by. Generally, by the time I've finished my chores on Saturday, I'm happy to take a shower and curl up on the couch with a book or computer while my husband tunes into college football, which I may or may not watch.

Face it. Without a little coaxing, we married grown ups tend to slip into a "man, I'm tired mode" with our weekend free time. Usually, that's not a lie. We spend our weeks racing through our jobs and household responsibilities and down time in hard to come by. It's just too darn easy to not plan anything and let the TV host our activities.

But Saturday evening we went to a birthday party. Not a kids' birthday party -- been to a lot of those in the last few years -- but a surprise 40th birthday party for a friend. And we had a blast. I didn't even mind crawling into bed at 1 a.m. after cleaning up after a dog whose bladder had let loose sometime before we made it home. It was worth it.

I'll admit, we went not knowing what to expect, or who, beyond the guest of honor. When you're a kid and go to a party, chances are good you'll know the other kids. When you take kids to a party, you'll know the other kids' parents because you often move in a small circle. Once you get to be an adult, that circle expands and becomes people you work with, people you go to church with, and sometimes a friend or two with some history and common interests. Those circles often don't overlap.

So although the birthday girl and I are friends, our hubbies had been together twice. It isn't a close bond on their part. And we thoroughly expected to not know anyone else. Turned out that through my previous job and my current one, I did know some more people. And through motorcycles and riding, my husband had something in common with a lot of the male guests.

Soon it was two hours in and we were all laughing our heads off at the birthday girl opening her gifts. She was taken aback by the party and the friends her husband had rounded up and she was hamming it up for the gift opening. Add that to our comments on her presents and it was better than a comedy club. I was realizing I hadn't been to an adult party in I could not remember when.

Then she talked us into staying after the older generation left for some time in the basement and some music. Although the younger generation of teens was around, they were upstairs fighting over video games and cell phone chargers. There was no need for an adult to supervise.

An adult beverage in hand (nope, no juice boxes here), we adjourned to the basement for a few more hours of good times. We're not talking cranking up the CD player here. We're talking live music with guitars and drums and computerized lyrics if the vocalist forgot the words.

Our aging group of friends includes some rockers who used to play at local venues and they had a couple of younger musicians in training as well. The neighbors don't mind if they rock it out in their basement, and so they did. They have a wide repertoire and took requests. The volume was loud, the drums were crashing and the guitars were great. If the singer lost their voice or the lyrics, we didn't seem to care. I even took the mic for an old Patsy Cline number I knew from growing up in a country music household where my mom used to belt it out when I was small. It was fun and a bit terrifying at the same time (kind of like ziplining).

Although it was a little tough dragging out of bed and toting a cup of coffee out in the brisk fall air to tend the dogs this morning, it was well worth the effort. I felt relaxed and reset and reminded myself that we don't do this enough. I think throughout the summer we've managed maybe three or four adult outings. Seriously, we need to do this more often.

So I think I'll put that on my to-do list along with my Monday fitness outing.

Make time once a month for something with at least one other adult couple. And if the first couple I invite doesn't have time (or perhaps is having one of those spells like we've had), then I'll by gosh call someone else. Even if it's just dinner and sitting around together watching TV, I think we can put it in the relaxation and resting category for our weekend. If we manage a little more, well, that's OK, too.

In the midst of work and children and making ends meet, we need to remember we need some adult entertainment sometimes, too.

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