Thought For The Day:
“Partying is such sweet sorrow” – Robert Byrne
Question For the Day:
What does partying do for you?
It’s been a long time since I could call myself a party girl, but trust, there was a time when I could turn up with the best of them. Back in my day, I was a joint smoking, rum and coke ordering, hands in the air to Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, man hunting chick that could go all night so long as there was a plethora of fine brothers and a drink special in effect. In fact, I actually met my husband in the club. No, I’m not ashamed to say that because I know with all certainty that I am not the only church-going sister who has. In many ways, having your party years is probably a good thing. Everyone should have some time in their life that they can look back on and remember feeling carefree, uninhibited, and spontaneously alive because eventually, things change. If you have children, then you know what I mean when I say that. “Partying” has a way of turning into the slumber party and bounce house variety and it going “on and on to the break of dawn” probably means running back and forth to a crib for feedings. Also, I used to have a long battery life when I was partying in my twenties. I could literally dance all night, in heels no less! Now, as I told someone recently, I have a short shelf life. If I call myself partying, I’m out of my corner strong but down for the count in no time.
I actually went out this past Friday night to Bourbon Street in New Orleans. My husband had family in town and we planned to get crunk with them and hang out all night, but we realized pretty quickly that forty is not the new twenty. We hung though and saw quite a bit while we were out. Of course that statement is times fifty when you’re talking about Bourbon Street. And for any of my super-spiritual sisters who will say that a Christian shouldn’t be out on Bourbon Street partying please note, I was with my husband and in-laws. This means that it was highly unlikely that any inappropriate behavior would occur that my husband would not be the beneficiary of at the end of the night. I don’t believe there is any inherent evil in partying. You’re laughing, you’re dancing, you’re having fun, all of which is good for a marriage. If I am feeling carefree and spontaneously alive at this age then sharing those moments with my husband can only be a good thing. The music of today is questionable true and most of the time the lyrics irk me to no end when I’m riding in my car. But if raunchy music has a place, then between a husband and a wife could be one of them. You might be the first Christian at the church door on Sunday morning, but as my sister once told me, you don’t want to get busy to a Shirley Ceasar record. I say all this to say that I have no beef with partying. However, like everything, it’s worth examining your motives if you are doing it excessively.
If one is not careful, clubbing can become just another addictive behavior that is used to feel special, attractive and worthy. I know when I was clubbing in my twenties, I absolutely used it to seek validation from men. If I left the party with at least one phone number, then the night was a success. The more frequently I was asked to dance, the cuter I felt. The fewer drinks I had to come out of pocket for, the more valuable I felt. Partying for me was rarely about just having fun and spending time with my friends. For me, I wanted to be “chosen.” I know not many people will admit that, but I am sure I am not alone. While people watching in New Orleans, I saw it all over the place. Girls were flashing their boobs for plastic jewelry (see an earlier post, Boobs for Beads), drunk and vomiting on the street, and doing moves on the dance floor that I’m not sure you can’t contract an STD while performing. One girl literally sat on a speaker and spread eagle for her dance partner while he grinded himself into a frenzy. It was crazy! I think it was about then that me and my husband had decided we had had enough. If “partying” gets so deep for you that you are willing to throw every ounce of your self respect away in the name of finding someone to hook up with, then it is fair to ask why. What are you trying to prove? What void are you trying to fill? You can’t tell me you’re having fun when some drunk pervert encourages you to get intoxicated for no reason other than to take advantage of you in any way you will allow him. It can’t be a good time when you’re peeing on yourself, throwing up on your shoes, or losing your wallet because you are too high or drunk to protect yourself and preserve your dignity. One of the things we as women realize as we get older is that our self respect and dignity are often times all we have. These qualities will keep us safe in our relationships, at school, and on our jobs. They should never be sold cheap or traded in the name of “turning up.” If you are a girl who likes to “party all the time,” maybe you should treat it like Eddie Murphy did his singing career. Make it a hobby and focus on playing a game you can win.