Activities from then that are even better now
By Laurel Borrowman, Life & Style Editor
I’ve had a resurgence of youth in the last two years. Not that I’m old—unless you think 28 is old—and not that I was a crusty, prematurely aged downer before, but my social life in the last two years looks more like the typical 23-year-old than the typical 28-year-old. When I was 23, I was “married,” coming home after work everyday to eat dinner and share a bottle of wine with my other half. The big bang at the end of the night was a joint, a bowl of popcorn, and falling asleep during whatever movie was on. Weekends weren’t much different.
Now, a Friday usually begins at the Biltmore, Astoria, or Cobalt with a handful of local DJs and bands, followed by a trip to the warehouse du jour for more dancing, and ends at our apartment for a bunch of silliness (details below) and a living room dance-off until dawn.
I’m not saying either is better or worse. It depends on what you want out of life. But one thing I’m sure of is that there are some things from childhood that I encourage anyone to revisit for an injection of fun into your life. Whether it’s for a gathering of people at your place for a little potluck, or a rambunctious mess of rowdies at 4 a.m., these are a few additions to your life that’ll make you feel young and fun at heart, and relieve a heap of school stress at the same time.
Record player: A good soundtrack is that backbone to any social occasion, and vinyl has made a huge comeback. Just because it was your parents’ choice of music medium doesn’t mean they’re passé. Turntables aren’t difficult to find and while some require repair, it’s usually a matter of finding the right place to get the proper equipment (like a new needle), not spending a heap of money. You can also get a pretty snappy one brand new if you want to spend a few hundred dollars. The interaction between you and your crowd while hosting folks and paying attention to the music player every 15 minutes is awesome. Records are relatively cheap to collect, and the banter about album art as people flip through them is usually hilarious. Hot tip: the plethora of Nana Mouskouri records at Value Village are cheap and funny at first, but the novelty will wear off. Build a record collection of music you want to listen to.
Rubik’s cube: I tend to break out this classic once people have settled in. Just toss it in someone’s lap and challenge them to see what they can do. Inevitably, someone will pipe up about “the formula” for solving it in a minute and a half (which exists, but you still have to be pretty smart), and another will object, and another will chime in. They’ll all try, but typically nobody completes it, and the rare person that does becomes a legend. Great conversation piece. Great time waster. Great fun.
Twister: If you’ve just had a potluck, give it an hour or two before playing unless you want people barfing all over your place. Otherwise, this game is never not fun. Sometimes I like to play offensive Twister, where you might choose to give an opponent a little hip-check when they’re stretching for left hand green in a vulnerable stance. Or, try playing with that certain someone you’ve got a bit of a thing for. Either way, you’re all going to end up in a dog pile on the floor giggling.
A tickle trunk: This is an ongoing investment with huge payoff. A trunk isn’t always the easiest to come by, but thrift stores tend to have older ones that are fairly lightweight and cheap. I got mine from my grandma. The contents of said trunk need only have one criteria: goofy and fun. Stock it by visiting thrift stores often, and if you see something cheap and goofy, buy it. Over two years, we’ve stocked our trunk with wigs, onesies, glasses, hats, belts, boots, coats, boas, bags, pants, and more. The fun we’ve had playing dress up is off the charts. Photo shoots galore. Good times all around. Full-on hilarity. The tickle trunk will never get old.
Whether you’re 19 or 39, you’re going to keep getting older, but it doesn’t mean you have to feel that way. Add a little silliness to your routine. Be light-hearted, because life doesn’t have to be dull and serious. Have fun!