‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the bar, dozens of people were blacking out, having traveled home from afar. If you’ve ever gone back to your hometown for Thanksgiving, you’re likely familiar with the ethos of the grossly named unofficial holiday known as “drinksgiving” or “blackout Wednesday.”
This hallowed Thanksgiving Eve night is marked by the gathering of folks home for the holidays who mingle with people they generally see just on this annual occasion, drinking and waxing nostalgic about memories that are seminal for some, triggering for others. Folks who have enjoyed a serious glow-up since their nerdy days in high school revel in the attention from the popular kids who never left town, and many even backslide (like way back) and hook up with that high school ex who still curiously sparks butterflies. But no matter what you do or don’t do, the alcohol is free-flowing and the behavior is seriously regressive.
As you can probably imagine, or have experienced yourself, this rarely, if ever, ends well: At best, you’re hungover and disappointed in yourself on Thanksgiving, anxious about how you acted the previous night while inevitably sandwiched at the dinner table between nosy relatives who want answers to your least favorite questions. And at worst, you drunkenly sang Sweet Caroline at the bar with high school friends and (mostly) acquaintances—and the evidence is all over Instagram Stories.
Whenever I’ve gone out with people from high school, I always find myself feeling like I did in high school—and in a lot of ways, I’m no longer that gal.
On some level, I completely understand wanting to get sloshed with classmates from freshman English and be the best version of your freshman English self. Heck, I’ve fallen victim to the trap of Blackout Wednesday on more than one occasion, and for me, the desire usually stems from wanting to gloat to the people who called me a weirdo in high school. (Who hasn’t daydreamed of telling the guy who didn’t want to take you to prom how successful you are over a glass of organic wine?) Still, as we’ve learned from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, this never plays out as well IRL as it does in your mind.
Whenever I’ve gone out with people from high school, I always find myself feeling like I did in high school—and in a lot of ways, I’m no longer that gal. I was awkward, a little overdramatic, and constantly worried about what my peers thought of me. But when I’m in my hometown and with people from my past? Those feelings bubble up again, and over the years, I’ve tried to be mindful of this. Because, listen: High school ended long ago, and it’s time to move on—especially for the sake of your bestie or S.O. you brought home for the holidays.
You’re old enough to know that your regressive behavior won’t make you feel like homecoming queen (unless, y’know, you were literally homecoming queen).
And another thing: In another lifetime you may have been able to toss back six Smirnoff Ices chased by a salty midnight snack and still awoken clear-headed. But now? LOL. (Read: The effect is not a cute look.) So instead of taking shots with your pals from the cheerleading team, why not meet for dinner and call it a night instead?
You’re old now—at least old enough to know that your regressive behavior won’t make you feel like homecoming queen (unless, y’know, you were literally homecoming queen)—and that’s totally fine. You can still enjoy time with old friends while still being the responsible, authentic adult you’ve grown into. So this “drinksgiving,” why not keep things tame and stick to two drinks and an early bedtime? Cranberry sauce and a side of chitchat with your aunt is so much more enjoyable when you aren’t hungover as all hell. Trust me.
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