Marena Mitchell: Keeping it interesting

Marena Mitchell SQjpgAmong young professionals (which I somehow turned into), there is this ever-present fear of the dreaded, “I’m getting old and don’t have fun anymore” syndrome.

It’s one thing to get settled — life has stages and they can’t all surround frivolous binge-drinking fests by night and sleeping and eating junk food by day. The more responsibilities you take on — loans, a job, a car, a house/apartment, a family, any investment — the more is at stake and the more you have to have all your ducks in a row.

I’ve been facing this reality now that I’m a month into the professional working world. A lot of it probably has to do with my less-than pleasant commute, but most nights I want to be in bed by eleven so I can pass out and not feel like a zombie the next day.


This is good and bad. For five days a week, I keep myself out of trouble. The issue now is that I have to condense all of my shenanigans into a two-day, three-night span at the end of each week. If I’m being honest, it’s some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

As many of you probably knew, or figured out, last weekend was graduation weekend. Ah, graduation weekend. One of the many prices you pay when you choose to dwell in a college town. Traffic is horrible, it’s impossible to get into any restaurant and there are obnoxious party-going 20-somethings everywhere.

Well folks, I was one of those obnoxious 20-somethings this year.

I didn’t graduate, that happened for me already, twice. These are my last few months in New Paltz though, so I decided to hop in on the celebration and treat it as my honorary going away party that involved 2,000 other people.

It was absolutely amazing. In my seven years in this town I’ve only partied in McGillicuddy’s and P&G’s once. I’m a Snugs girl, always have been. But a girl texted me, a girl I’ve been crushing on all year (who is way out of my league). Naturally, I got off my Snugs stool, dragged a reluctant friend with me, dubbed him my wingman and made the trek uptown.

Said wingman proved his reliability by bailing on me about ten minutes into things, but it didn’t matter. I joined the group I was looking for and started to dance the night away.

A little fact about me — I am a phenomenal dancer. Maybe it’s all the Michael Jackson videos I consumed during my teenage years, or my naturally impeccable sense of rhythm, or maybe it’s in my genetic coding (I come from a long line of dance freaks — though they only usually show it at weddings). Either way, I know how to work a dance floor.

I danced with two dudes and a girl I’ve never met before and couldn’t recognize again even if they walked right up to me and said hello. I’m pretty sure I threw a few fist pumps, ripped my sweater off in the middle of the dance floor and lost my glasses, and then paid three dollars to get into another bar that was closing in 20 minutes.

As I walked down the street laughing, as a friend desperately searched for pizza (now at 4:30 a.m.), a massive hoard of students paraded down the center of Main Street screaming some chant about New Paltz that made me really uncomfortable, but it also kind of blew my mind.

Then we watched a six-car police brigade sweep in on the Mobil because they were afraid people were trying to buy beer. The thing people need to understand about drunk people at 5 in the morning is that 99% of them don’t want more alcohol, they just want some Twizzlers and a Gatorade. I was feeling spunky, so I tried to tell that to one of the cops as a joke. She didn’t find it funny.

So after my glow stick-riddled, sweat-covered, lust-filled night, I hugged the previously mentioned girl good night, sat in my bed and we texted each other as the sun came up.

I haven’t watched the sunrise in New Paltz in years, it reminded me of summers ago, running around town, chasing friends and their dogs down the streets, trying to find somewhere to go because no one wanted to go home.

So, maybe I’m regressing a bit, but I guess the truth is I’m a little unnerved by the idea of going to bed on time every night, of not being any “fun” anymore, but I know that won’t be the case. I know I’ll find ways to keep things interesting, as will the people I call my friends. That’s what they’re for, right?