The tools of the trade

“Can my buddy come over for a sleepover?” I asked.

“You are forty years old,” said my wife. “Aren’t you too old for a sleepover?”

It’s a legitimate question, but no, I’m not too old for a sleepover. Are you ever too old to stay up late with your best friend and watch old action flicks from the 1980s, or maybe ring people’s doorbells in the middle of the night and run away before they answer? Are you ever too old to toilet paper someone’s house or go to a construction site to look for the foreman’s old Playboy magazines? Okay, the internet probably makes that last one irrelevant. Still, no one is ever too old for a sleepover with their best bud.

When we were twelve years old, we could easily stay up until 4 in the morning, talking about which of our male classmates were jerks (most of them) and which of our female classmates were into us (all of them). In fact, most of our classmates turned out to be pretty decent people, so talking about them today wouldn’t elicit any stirring conversations anyway.

Nor could we stay up all night and play Tecmo Bowl on the Nintendo, as I no longer own a Nintendo and haven’t owned one for decades. The football game on my son’s gaming system is far too advanced for me to understand. In our day, you gave the ball to Bo Jackson and got out of the way. Now, you have three receiver sets and can audible.

We probably wouldn’t talk about whether Vanilla Ice was better than Bon Jovi. In fact, I think we can put that one to rest by now. Neither of us became professional athletes, so we can’t talk about that either. Nor would we actually ring people’s doorbells in the middle of the night and run. I don’t run anymore. Caller ID makes prank calling anyone a sensitive issue, so that would probably be out as well. It’s unlikely we would toilet paper anyone’s house. We buy two-ply and it is expensive. Besides, my wife would notice the next morning if 13 rolls of it went missing, although my mother never did when we actually were twelve years old.

Eating eleven hot pockets and drinking clear Pepsi would be out of the question as well. I don’t think they make clear Pepsi anymore, nor would I drink it if they did, and I’m getting heartburn at the mere thought of eating eleven hot pockets.

No. We’d probably end up talking about why my knee is constantly sore and why his back is always in pain. Still, it would be fun to talk about mortgages, minivans, and having to drive our children all around the state for their various sports leagues. I have a plethora of information to share with him on which types of foods make me gassy (hot pockets included) and how only 1.5 beers requires fourteen visits to the restroom. Literally, fourteen visits. I assume he has similar experiences. You can’t tell me comparing receding hairlines and emerging beer guts doesn’t scream “FUN!” I still have the football cards I bought when we were twelve. I’m sure looking through them wouldn’t make us feel sad about how much time has passed in what has seemingly been the blink of an eye. Sleeping on the floor at any age is excellent, isn’t it? Don’t worry – I have some of the most comfortable air mattresses around. Who knew a bag filled with air could be so expensive?

We would definitely watch the 1980s action flicks though, on low volume of course so as not to wake my children. I mean, we aren’t lame.

4 thoughts on “Sleepovers”

  1. OK, sleepovers are misnamed, because as I recall we stayed up VERY late chatting, listening to music, and discussing makeup tips. Just fyi: pale green eye shadow and bonne bell lip gloss are a great look when you’re allowed to start wearing makeup for special occasions, and to get your ears pierced.

    We also discussed articles from Seventeen magazine, and that other one whose name I don’t recall. OK, Tiger Beat.

    Oh, my. Tiger Beat magazine still exists?!


    1. PS: the About page at Tiger Beat includes every possible phrase that I could mock about branding.
      However, I’m too polite to do so. 🙂

      “Acquired in June of 2015 by Mark Patricof and a group of highly strategic industry insiders, TigerBeat will leverage the social media habits of Gen Z, their passion for celebrity and the DNA of a truly iconic global brand to create a valuable media platform and ecosystem ideally positioned to serve this $44B demographic. While continuing to cover celebrities in a unique way, TigerBeat is expanding its content base through broadened passion points such as fashion, beauty, activism, and tech, and growing our reach through a multi-platform approach with a heavy focus on video content.”


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