Wednesday, May 07, 2008

It's Five-O'Clock Somewhere

Pour me something tall and strong,
Make it a hurricane before I go insane.
It's only half past 12, but I don't care.
It's 5 o'clock somewhere.
My band is adding this song to their playlist for a special island-themed party coming up, and we rehearsed it last night. As it's been running through my head, I started thinking about the mindset behind the song.

No, not the idea that often the bed things in our lives are the result of our own stubborn attitudes, and that good times are where and when you make them...I'm not thinking that deep.

I'm thinking of the age-old tradition of hitting the bar after work for a drink.

The crux of the song is that no matter how crappy your job is, it's always quitting time somewhere in the world so why wait till then? Go now! Get sloshed and push all those troubles away!

Now, that's a nice thought I suppose if you're into that, though it's not very practical to hit a bar at around noon and not go back, just because it's 5pm somewhere out in the Atlantic or in Europe somewhere. But for decades (maybe longer) folks - usually men - have left work at 5 and found their favorite watering hole for a few cold ones to wash away the cares of the workday. Cheers built an entire TV series around this concept.

I've always wondered about the type of men that participate in this indulgence. First of all,if you're single - more power to you. Go for it. Meet your friends, throw darts, shoot pool, find a girl, whatever. Fine with me as long as you stay off the street afterward. Enjoy yourself!

If the guy's married, there begins the troubling aspect. When a married man gets off of work, in general he should be looking forward to coming home to see his wife. Maybe she works too, maybe she stays at home. Regardless, it never would've entered my mind when I was newly married to stop of somewhere for a couple of hours to drink before going home, knowing my wife was there alone. Again, this presumes she has a comparable schedule - if she works second or third shift, I can understand wanting to kill some time. But once we're married, the marriage becomes first priority.

Then there's the married man with children. This is what gets me. If you've perched your butt on a barstool or Applebee's hightop table downing a margarita while the kids are home doing their homework - or worse, playing a ballgame or just needed some "dad" time - then you are really heading down a bad path. I'm sure some men will say they need that downtime to "unwind" after a hard day, and if they didn't get a beer before hitting home they'd be a worse person than if they came straight home. Somehow I doubt it.

I've been tempted to stop at a place for a drink after work from time to time, just to see what it was like but home responsibilities always took precedence.

Do any men out there do this after work? Did you as a single guy but slacked off as marriage and kids came into your world? Did your own dad do this? I'm curious to see what people say.

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