“I am worried that you are not having enough fun in your life,” my wife said to me. “I have had too much fun in my life and now I am having fun not having fun,” I replied. She looked at me like one does when they know that you are lying to yourself. I considered what I had just said to her and then realized that I did not know what I was talking about. “When you go out and have fun, it sustains you into the future. It makes your life a little easier to handle.. a little more enjoyable to live,” my wife said. ” I have fun staying home and reading, writing or watching a movie. I don’t feel the need to go out to have fun,” I replied- but then I thought about what I said. “Am I really having fun staying in all the time, do I really even remember what it feels like to have fun?” I asked myself. “I think you are afraid of fun,” my wife said as she kissed me and left for another evening out with friends that I once again elected myself out of.
I have been staying home a lot lately. My wife goes out and has fun quite often but I stay in. I make up excuses and tell my wife that I have work to do. In reality I am avoiding the world. All through out my twenties and early thirties I indulged in the world. I went out night after night and indulged in what people like to commonly refer to as fun. I socialized, drank too much, smoked weed and went off on insane adventures that lasted until the sun came up. When I turned thirty I decided that friends were a waste of time and I began having fun alone. I spent my weekends and a few weekday evenings and afternoons in various strip clubs where I knew no one and no one knew me. In the darkness I somehow felt complete in my solitude and as I watched naked women dance for me upon a red lit stage- I was the happiest man alive. I would end my evening in massage parlors where I received shiatsu and a hand job- and then return home early the next morning and sleep until noon. This was my idea of fun.
Now that I am married I have lost touch with a feeling of fun. No longer can I hang out in strip clubs and massage parlors without ending up with a twelve pound suitcase filled with guilt and shame. It ain’t worth it. I hate keeping secrets from my wife so I have broken up with my idea of fun. I have few friends that I enjoy spending time with and solitude has become my favorite form of company. Last weekend when my wife and I went on a dinner date with another couple I felt like a man who was wasting his time. I drank too much so that I could force my self to have fun. All I really wanted was to be at home swimming around in the pages of a book.
“You are becoming reclusive and a curmudgeon,” my wife told me the other day. “Why because I don’t like to have fun?” I asked. “You don’t like to do anything,” she said. “That is not true!” I protested quickly. ” “Though doth protest too much…when was the last time that you had fun?” she asked. “I had fun last night being at home alone watching a movie and doing some writing,” I said. But then I thought about what I said. Was I really having fun being home night after night watching movies, writing and reading? Or has doing these things become my idea of fun because I have forgotten how to have fun? Have I given up on fun because I know that it only lasts for a brief period of time before you are right back where you were before that fun began? Fun drops you off right where it left you- stuck in the middle of your life (and usually with a hang over). Is this why I have given up on fun?
And then I realized that my idea of fun was no fun at all. I have become discouraged with fun, I have lost hope in fun. After decades of having fun I am still stuck in the realities of my life. I got tired of the fun ending. No matter how much fun I had the night before my life was still awaiting me in the morning. By refusing fun, I have learned how to stay present in my life. This way I am not disappointed, I am not let down. Fun for me is kind of like a lover who is always making you feel bad in the end. After years and years of this maddening relationship I have broken the cycle. I have left fun for the reality of my life. I have left fun for quiet evenings at home- a relationship that I feel is more dependable and certainly more consistent. “That’s my idea of fun,” I told my wife as I tried to describe why I was no longer interested in having fun. “Well do not forget,” my wife replied, “tomorrow night is your sister’s birthday and we are going to go out illuminate ourselves out from this funk you live in and have some damn fun!”