Last weekend we put on our road trip faces and our party pants, and hit up Las Vegas double-date style with our dear friends the Fahsbenders. And while I could fill this blog entry with a predictable, but simultaneously hilarious, play by play of the trip and the events of the weekend, I’d rather take one particular aspect of the trip and expand on it so that you know how I really feel. Because on Saturday night, after a day of activity and an evening spent galavanting, we kept alive through the wee hours and right until dawn. As I lay in my bed watching dawn become morning, wondering when my hangover would start to kick in, I had to smile. Because despite the exhaustion and often accompanying dehydration, there is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment one has when seeing the sunrise after a wonderful night with friends. One of the little triumphs and joys of life is occasionally staying up all night. Here are just some of the reasons why:
1. Judge Not. You know when you get up and at ‘em early, maybe you are on your way to work, drinking your Starbucks, acting all responsible like? And suddenly, approaching you on the sidewalk, comes a rowdy bunch consisting of anywhere from one to twenty-one people. They look as though, possibly 8 to 12 hours ago, they had been dressed up and looking fabulous. Some of the girls are carrying their shoes. The men have ties and/or belts tied around their heads. Mascara is in places it was never meant to be. But these people are laughing, calling out inappropriate things to traffic and taunting passersby. To you, in your dead sober and well-rested state of mind, they may seem menacing. But these people don’t want to hurt anyone, in fact, they want you to ditch work, get a Bloody Mary and find the nearest Denny’s with them.
Staying up all night ensures that you will get on the flipside of that encounter. Once you realize that while you may feel embarrassed for that group of nearly-thirty-years-old hooligans, they feel absolutely no shame at all, you’ll realize that the occasional all-nighter simply humbles you.
2. Find Out Who Your Real Friends Are. Say you start the night out at a pre-party. It’s you, your friends, some of their friends, and a few random stragglers. The night continues, the group size tends to swell to include increasingly random revelers in addition to your posse. After the bar closes, at least half of the crew is usually ready to enjoy some after-party action. But eventually, gradually, people start disappearing. Some call a cab. Some call a questionable love interest to come pick them up. Some people simply pass out where they stand. Others seem to vanish into thin air. By about 4 a.m. those who are left have the potential to pull through the night. Obviously not every night of fun should end by the light of the next day’s dawn. But you’ll know in your heart when it’s one of those times. And those who are left standing with you will be either your closest friends with whom you like to discuss life’s most complicated mysteries after 24 hours of wakefulness, or they will be people you met along the night’s journey who you’ve discovered as a kindred spirit and who must be appreciated as such.
3. Appreciate Breakfast Foods. One of the key ingredients to keeping any group of late night drunkards alive until dawn is food. After the bar it’s pizza and chips and, in all likelihood, a lot of Oreo cookies. But if you are still awake 5 to 7 hours after the bar closed, you’re going to need breakfast. Lucky for you, most breakfast places open around 6am so that people who have ‘jobs’ can eat before they ‘work.’ Eggs and toast with some hashbrowns or pancakes from a diner always sound pretty good for Sunday Brunch. But if you haven’t been asleep since the last time you ate breakfast, your enthusiasm for breakfast foods at dawn will be comparable the lust a tween feels for Edward Cullen. Bon apetit.
4. See The Sunrise. No matter where you are, or what time of year, there’s always something magical in the moment when the sun breaks over the horizon. Obviously, to see the sunrise you could always go to bed at a reasonable hour and then set your alarm for the morning. But there isn’t much fun in that considering that many of us do that every day in order to be at work on time. Seeing the sunrise as you scrape ice off your windshield on your way to your cubicle doesn’t exactly hold the same sense of satisfaction as seeing it rise as you begin your hangover in the arms of your closest friends.
5. The Best Sleep Of Your Life. When night-turned-morning becomes full on daytime, you face an important choice. You stand at the crossroads between either committing to wakefulness until a socially acceptable bedtime OR shutting it down and writing off the day that you have already begun. If you choose the first option, I wish you luck and I suggest you wear sunglasses and drink lots of aspertame laced caffiene. But if you choose the second option, I will warn you that you are about to enter the most deep and cavernous coma that ever existed. Pull the blinds, turn off your ringer and prepare for a 14-hour shut down that could only be rivaled by something medically induced. Congratulations, this is the fruit of your labor.