We've had my parents over, we've had his mom and dad over, we've met a friend for pizza, we've over-frequented the local Carvel. What we haven't done yet, what I was hoping to avoid a little while longer, was pull the, "sorry, we've got to go, but we have to drive back to Connecticut" move that we're going to pull tonight when the friends we're having dinner with ask us if we'd like a nightcap, or a coffee, or Shake Shack custard.
It's a school night, after all, and we need to get back to our house. Even though it will probably take about the same amount of time to drive from lower Manhattan home as it used to take by subway to upper Harlem, it FEELS as though it takes longer (nota bene, I realized this morning that even though devoted partner is driving into the city and driving us both back out, he's going to have to drop me at the mall parking lot so I can retrieve my car which I parked this morning before hopping the train - let's hope I remember this at 11pm). And I don't want to be one of those people who is always running back to the burbs (even though, since I now live there, I'm always going to be going back).
The train provides a natural 2am barrier (or thereabouts) and allows one to, sort of, drink. One can either start sobering up so that by the time one exits the train one can drive one's self the 1.7 miles home or one can (maybe, I haven't tested this) take a cab from the station and at some later date retrieve one's car (which one can hope has not been violated in one's absence). And, when I think about it, I'm rarely out so late that 2am is going to cramp my social style, but I don't like the idea that I could be having the time of my life (where? how?) and need to rush to Grand Central like all of devoted partner's friends did in high school (we made fun of you, we snarky city brats, and I know that not all that deep within me, the snarky city brat remains).
Now, it is true. I have another option (or two id I'm pushing it). Mom and dad do live here. They do have a spare bed. I can always (am I saying this) stumble back to their house at four in the morning and hope my entrance doesn't give them twin heart attacks. Theoretically, I could stop by brother's house and hope that it isn't the night he's successfully seduced a Brazilian supermodel (but brother would not be happy to see me at 4am on any occasion).
It's almost as though, by moving to the suburbs, we're practically parents (those parents always leave parties early), but without the hassle of braces. I didn't sign up for that. People looking at me sympathetically, "ah, poor Yelena, she has to get back to her non-urban responsibilities - perhaps there's a lawn that needs mowing or some gutters that need cleaning." It's also equally possible that I'm putting this on myself and that the people I know really could a) care less that I've opted out of post-dinner drinks and/or b) don't spend any time whatsoever thinking about my commute and how it affects my social schedule and/or c) have long considered me a deadbeat who's no fun.
So, to salve my own conscience, I'm going to try to not say, "Sorry, devoted partner and I must be going, we have a long drive home," and say, instead, "great to see you, we're going to head home now." It makes no substantive difference, but emotionally it's a little easier to bear.
2 weeks ago