A couple weeks ago, my husband and I were invited to watch a local band with our friends and neighbors. The plan was to meet at one couples’ house (within walking distance), have dinner on the deck and then take cabs to the bar. I was looking forward to getting together with my friends, but I was not excited about sitting in a bar.

I have never liked the bar scene. It is too loud to hear your friends talk, it’s crowded, and I am not a beer drinker. The wine in the bar we were going to is terrible. I will drink martinis, but I am never sure I am getting the Ketel One vodka I ask for.

In addition, I wasn’t in the mood for dressing up and dancing. It is well known that women dress for other women at bars. The guys don’t care what you look like. I wanted to get my hair colored and my nails done before that night, but my schedule didn’t allow it. I wanted to go shopping for something new, but again, no time. I only wanted to dress up enough for a backyard BBQ. I have done plenty of deck and kitchen dancing with this group. We didn’t need to go to a bar.

However, they wanted to go out for an adult night away from home. Who was I to say they couldn’t go? My husband and I get out alone a lot so this one night wasn’t as important to me. I told them that we would come for dinner and leave when they headed out to the bar. Another couple planned to do the same thing. One of our friends called us “old”. I told her that I was fine with “old”. I wasn’t insulted.

I am old. Old enough to know that I didn’t have to follow the crowd and do something that I didn’t feel like doing. Old enough to know that crappy wine gives me a headache. Old enough to know that a night of drinking and dancing means a bad night of sleep. Old enough to know that I still had to get up at 7:30 to get my daughter out the door for her softball game. Old enough to know that my friends will still be my friends tomorrow whether I go with them or not.

After we finished cleaning up at our friend’s house, my husband and I had another drink with our friends that stayed behind. We listened to music, sat out in the fresh air and had good wine. An hour or so later, we walked home and watched TV. I had a cup of green tea to rehydrate from the wine. We went to bed at a decent hour and got up feeling great. We spent a beautiful day, hangover free, outside at my daughter’s game, gardening and going for a 20 mile bike ride. I guess I’m not old after all!