Ahhh yes, the post-work event commute. It’s something that anyone in the suburbs is well aware of, in particular those that have a family and those other things called “responsibilities”. Like most new parents, I haven’t seen anything close to an old school night out since my Daughter was born. She’s 5 months and I’ve spent most of my days in the same routine. Wake up with baby, commute to work, work, commute back home, crush gym, watch James Holzhauer smash a few other poor souls during ‘Jeopardy!’, put baby down, sleep and repeat.
Now to be clear, I’m not complaining, I’m just stating facts. The bottom line is that when you’re lock-step with your significant other, you can’t quite take the liberties that you were able to back in the day when it was just you two. You can’t stay out that extra hour or rip off some shots at a moments notice when out with friends and co-workers. (at least not with some type of consequence attached to it) You need to be responsible. You need to be prepared. And most importantly, you need to get home and leave enough time to say some prayers so you don’t end up hungover as fuck the next morning …. because that baby is getting up when those fucking birds start chirpin’.
Fucking birds. Fuck em. Fuck em all.
Yeah so last night I had a work event. One of those open bar type deals on the company’s dime. Back in the day this was a guaranteed all-nighter, rager/regretter …
Needless to say, once the first vodka sodski hit the blood the juices started flowing. Tolerance? I have zero at this point. Before I could even say “… can I get a lime”, I was 22 again, a young Italian Assistant Media Planner with nothing to do the next day. Everything was great. I was chatting it up, having a good time, the wife was sending me baby pictures and videos. Everything was where it needed to be. It was perfect and the best part is that it was only like 6PM. I basically had forever.
Fast forward about 10 seconds later in my brain and I was staring down at 9PM on my phone. And this is where things get dicey because THIS my friends is exactly where your significant other is gonna hit you with the “What train do you think you’re gonna take?” To be clear, my wife is cool is shit, she doesn’t give a damn when I come home, HOWEVERRRR, that text gets my mind racing because well … she’s right. WHAT FUCKING TRAIN AM I GONNA TAKE HOME? I checked, I hit up NJTRANSIT app and took a look at my options. The rule of thumb here for commuters is to find out the Express trains and when they run. THE LAST THING you want to do is get on a local when you’ve been drinking and are probably dehydrated a bit.
As soon as I saw my options I knew I had to grab that 10:11PM. I was a few avenues away and from Penn Station, so I knew it was possible. I said my goodbyes and followed through with my commuting game plan.
Step #1 – TRANSPORTATION
I got a cab to get to Penn Station. This was crucial and for anyone who does this type of commute, it’s a must move. NEVER get on the subway when you’re trying to get to Penn. Missing the train during the day sober is one thing, but when you’re rocking that blood-alcohol content, well, that’s an entirely different beast. There is NOTHING more miserable than missing your train and having to “hang out” in Penn Station. Also, Cabbies always will take the ride to Penn. You’ll never get turned down unless you’re a lazy sack of shit who is like 2 blocks away. Reason being because they’ll always have a ride lined up when they drop you off.
Step #2 – HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Get water and Advil at the CVS/Duane Reade in Penn Station. You gotta stay hydrated on this train ride. In fact, I’d get two bottles of water if your bladder doesn’t completely suck. You gotta pound that water and that Advil. I did just that and immediately had tons of confidence that I wouldn’t hate myself 24 hours from this moment.
Step #3. FOOD
Did I eat at my work event? No. They ordered Pizza and I respect Pizza too much to eat that shit in large quantities. I want the fresh pies that I can sit down and enjoy when I’m focused and not drunk. Contrary to a lot of people, I hate stuffing my face when I’m drunk. It’s not enjoyable and I feel like it’s just a filler. Personally, I like to keep the stomach in check and keep beverages as my primary source of consumption. In last night’s case, I was cutting it close trying to make my train. I was disappointed in myself, yes. I should have left more time, but unfortunately it just wasn’t in the cards for me today.
So what did I get? Well, probably the saddest fucking thing you can get in Penn Station – a pre-made wrap. Barbeque Chicken. It don’t get much lower than that. Sometimes you just need to take it on the chin and call it a loss. This was a loss. I didn’t even plan on enjoying this disgusting wrap, I literally got it because you need to pre-coat the stomach before you get home, because Lord knows I ain’t staying up to cook something and MOTHER-FUCKING NEW JERSEY has NOTHING open after 10PM that’s either close to my house or just good in general. So this wrap it was. I housed it in front of a crowd of 1. Gross.
#4 THE RIDE
There’s one thing you need to make sure of during this ride and that’s to MAKE SURE your phone is charged up. For me? I made sure I located the outlet in that bar as soon as I hit it. You need at the MINIMUM, 50% for that ride just in case something happens. It’s 2019 and the human race are essentially cavemen when they don’t have their phones. Can’t navigate. Can’t communicate. Can’t do a damn thing. If you’re really an irresponsible person, carry a shitty cheap charger with you if you can. If you’re lucky enough to get a newer train, the outlets should work. You’ll just need to ask a stranger to move their big ass leg and/or bags to use it. That’s always fun. “uhhh, excuse me, can I lay my phone by your foot for the duration of this ride?”
No secret here. Don’t drink and drive. Never. My wife dropped me off at the train station earlier in the day, which meant the Uber was a foregone conclusion. That’s the way it has to be. Don’t give me this “sober up on the train” bullshit. You call that fucking Uber. Now, the veteran that I am, I made sure to call it on my approach to the train station, this way I cut down on having to wait any longer. As soon as I got off the train, I was already within 3 minutes of my car arriving. It don’t get much more clutch than that. My driver was a 4.7 stars. I tipped $5 bucks. What can I say, I’m a good guy.
Chug another water. Chug a Gatorade. Whatever, hydrate and pray. You know the drill by now. Be an adult. You got 4 hours until you need to wake up …
…. AND LOOK AT ME NOW …………….
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