My evolution into the next age classification of my life continued recently. In the past, I’ve been a big fan of heading out for St. Patrick’s Day and bouncing from watering hole to watering hole, stopping for a beverage or two at each location and enjoying the day with friends.
This time around, it appeared we had the perfect storm, as St. Patrick’s Day occurred on a Friday. No worries about going to work the next morning if you felt under the weather.
So I connected with a crew of buddies and we began our anticipated escapades with a casual get together at the Ten-Seven Cafe and Lounge on St. Clair Street. Instead of hopping to the next pub, we lingered and chatted, rather than rocked and reveled.
One friend, a recently retired police officer, remarked that other bars would be much more crowded and loud, but he preferred the laid-back atmosphere we all were enjoying at the time. I had to agree. We had great tunes playing, a spring training baseball game on the television, and plenty of conversation.
The other end of the spectrum came when we moved onto our next location, Mike’s Place on Queen Street. This is one of the after-work go-to places for many folks aged 30 and up in Chatham late on a Friday afternoon. It’s also a hot spot on St. Patrick’s Day.
When the two collided, it became standing-room only. As I sipped on a beverage, not green by the way, and surveyed the bar area, I realized this was no longer for me. Not too long ago, I’d have been energized by all the activity. The place was alive with conversation and laughter.
But it was so alive that it was difficult to carry on a conversation with the person beside you.
At that point I realized my day was done, as well as most of my days of revelry. I asked my wife to pick me up when she was done work (I had left my truck at home) and was happily back at our house by just after 5 p.m.
Yeah, a real party animal.
At age 52, I think I’ve come to prefer hanging out with friends in a more laid-back atmosphere instead of a loud bar. That’s not to say that I won’t be back to establishments such as Mike’s Place, as it is a great spot for relaxation, just not for me when the perfect party storm blows in.
Then again, I think I’ve been drifting toward the relaxed way for years, as I truly love hanging out in someone’s backyard or basement, sipping on a cold one, listening to good music, sharing a laugh, and possibly cooking up some magic on the barbecue.
Yes, Corcoran’s Irish Patio, Pat’s Tiki Bar, Sensei Jeff’s Backyard BBQ, Chad’s Back Deck Bistro, Jim’s Waterside Eatery and George’s Mystical Lakeside Lounge (I’ve never seen the place, but people claim it really does exist) appeal to me.
I like the places, the people who visit, the food, and the laid-back fun.
Now, I must wonder at what point in my aging process do I transition to the rocking chair on the front porch to yell at the kids going by (remember those old Rez commercials with the crazy old coot on the front porch?), a shotgun across my lap? Considering I have a teenaged daughter, perhaps I’ll be progressing to that point (minus the shotgun, of course, because that would scare the neighbours and might just be illegal) on some scale sooner rather than later.