Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been worried that everyone is having more fun than me. Partly, it’s true: right this moment, loads of people are having more and more intense fun than I could ever dream of. But partly it’s BS because everyone thinks everyone is having more fun than them, and we can’t all be having more fun.
There are different kinds of fun. Some people make wild and wacky plans and actually see them through. They belong to cliques in which everyone is up for wild and wacky things and has the moxie to make them happen. Do you guys want to go to the McMichael Gallery this weekend and just walk around and maybe do charades in the woods? I’m serious, but it also works as an example.
An extra good example because while I’m reasonably certain that none of my friends are up for this, I’m just as certain that some friend groups would be. There are friend groups out there who plan trips to New Zealand and go fishing for the heck of it and make Youtube videos of dance routines they choreographed. On paper, this might look twee and annoying, but it’s mostly annoying because it sounds fun and you’ll never do it.
Getting annoyed is one way to deal with other people’s fun. It usually happens when the fun seems more creative and spontaneous than you feel you’re capable of. In this case, fun is a frequency you just can’t hear. Another way to deal with other people’s fun is paranoia, and this usually happens when the fun seems to require secret knowledge or courage that you don’t think you possess. In this case, fun is a secret society you haven’t been told about and whose initiation rite you couldn’t handle.
For example, right now there’s probably an orgy in process at the other end of my building. Everyone at that party last weekend was high on MDMA, which means they were hanging out in a separate dimension where the shitty music sounded and felt like the porcelain jingle of a long-held pee, and all the boring small talk was as captivating as mystery dinner theatre.
As I said, I’ve felt this way since I was a kid. I was a lazy kid, but as an adult I try to be proactive. If it’s 3am and I’m tired but someone knows about a house party where apparently there are male pole dancers, I will hail a cab for us. If someone wants to do a sex thing that sounds unappetizing, but not totally painful, I will try that thing, but they have to give me a back massage afterward. If you wanted me to come to your sex party I’d maybe be into it, but I can’t picture anyone saying, “You know who we have to invite to this sex party? Alex!”
I won’t do your drugs, but that’s for the best, because if you gave me drugs I’d probably spend the whole night pleading with you to take me to the hospital. That’s what happened the first time I smoked pot.
My point is that I’ve had some fun. Even enjoyed it. But no matter how much fun I have, I’ve never stopped worrying that there’s a conspiracy of people having more fun than me. It’s at least comforting to think that I’m part of someone else’s conspiracy.