I didn’t live life in the fast lane before I became a dad. I didn’t drive fast cars or jump out of airplanes. In fact, my pre-dad life was pretty mundane. My wife and I had an apartment. We made middle-class salaries. We didn’t make extravagant purchases. We regarded ourselves as very, very normal and middle-of-the-road. And we were fine with that.
However, as soon as I became a dad, everything about my pre-parenting life just felt so LUXURIOUS in comparison. Did I really used to sleep in that late? Was that really my old bank account balance? How had I not realized how lucky I was? How had I not appreciated all of the plentiful bounties that were lain at my feet? It just felt like a whole other life, like something a movie star or a childless tax accountant might experience.
Because I like to taunt myself into remembering how easy life used to be, here are the 15 most indulgent, most decadent things I used to do before I had children.
- I used to see R-rated movies. In the theater. On the weekend they were released. And, on special occasions, I’d see TWO in one day.
- I would eat at restaurants that didn’t serve chicken tenders or mac ‘n’ cheese.
- I would buy toys. Expensive, impractical toys. Just to sit on my desk. Only because I wanted them, I wasn’t allowed to buy them as a child, and I had disposable income.
- I celebrated New Year’s Eve … at midnight … without turning on the fake countdown on Netflix and pretending the ball dropped at 7 PM.
- I wouldn’t spell swear words. I would just say them. Loud and proud.
- I bought a couch because I liked how it looked and never once thought about stain-protection or whether the legs would break if someone jumped on it repeatedly.
- I could fit three adults in the back seat of my car. Without having to worry about car seats or everyone sitting in Cheerio dust.
- I would spend holidays in one location rather than driving to five locations in five hours, just to make sure I got eight minutes of face-time with every relative in a 30-mile radius.
- I never once worried about having a serving of fruits or vegetables with every meal.
- I would occasionally sleep naked, without having to worry about uninvited guests (and not the fun uninvited guests from my college days) jumping into my bed at 1 AM.
- I took vacations without ever having to go within 500 feet of a zoo, an aquarium, or a cut-rate “science center.”
- I would listen to KidzBop, but only ironically.
- I would watch movies with sex and violence before 9 PM.
- I had whole days, weeks, months where I would do NOTHING. Almost literally nothing. And it was GLORIOUS.
- True story: I once slept in so late on a Saturday that my wife had to wake me up for dinner. (In retrospect, that feels like the fall of the Roman Empire. How could anything so beautiful and decadent ever be expected to last? Sigh …)