Childrearing

My Drug Vacations Are No Longer Fun Now That My Friends Have Kids

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I’ve had the same close crew of friends for 15 years. Some of us met in high school. Some of us met in college at our large Midwestern university. And for more than 10 years, we’ve gone on what I jokingly call a “drug vacation”. And now that some of my friends have children, I don’t find them fun any more.

Our vacations used to happen during winter break. We’d all go to a cabin in the woods. Drop acid. Smoke weed. Some people tried some other stuff. Now, even though these are my nearest and dearest friends, I’m actually not much of a drug user. I’ve tried most everything but the only thing I really enjoy is E. My husband, who I dated for 10 years before we married, does … everything. It’s just not my thing and he’s not such a copious user that it’s any problem at all in our marriage.

There are times to do drugs and as we’ve gotten older, we’ve found those times happen less frequently than they used to.

After we graduated, we got jobs in different cities and we still wanted to do our drug vacation. So we all reunited in New York City. And had a blast. One year we went to Amsterdam. Another to Vegas. We’d schedule everything to the last minute and then just rage for days. We’d eat well, drink well and just keep going and going. Strip clubs! Dance clubs! Fantastic meals!

Then a couple friends got married. We worried that this meant that they wouldn’t keep coming. But they did! Other friends got married. Even we got married. And we kept going.

The first sign of trouble was when we were in the Florida Keys a few years ago. One of our couple friends had a child. And they brought her that year. She’d been too young to come prior to that. But actually, there is no age where children are really a good idea on a drug vacation. And what was horrible was that the kid’s parents acted as if they were right back in Minnesota at our first cabin retreat. They were far too out of it to provide care to the little one. And I think that they knew that I, since I’m the sober government employee, would be there to take care of the kid if she needed it.

I was there. When she woke up in the middle of the night, I’m the one who went and comforted her. In the morning when everyone was wearing off whatever they’d done the previous night, I was the one to make her breakfast. When her parents still hadn’t woken up hours later, I took her to the beach.

Don’t get me wrong. I love kids. I hope to have kids some day. But I was pissed off. And I tried to explain to the parents that I thought they’d been unfair. And I thought they got it.

But the next year we all went to Tahoe. And there were more kids. And guess who had to watch them all! Mostly what upset me was that my husband and I were spending our money to take part in this fun time with friends. We couldn’t care if the drug part went away. I couldn’t care at all. I really don’t do anything any more. We just want to spend time with our friends. But because of their irresponsibility, I couldn’t even get tipsy for fear that something bad would happen to the various toddlers strewn about the lakeside condominium. It was ridiculous.

So my husband and I decided that we’d tell the friends that we’re only going to go one more year. And we’re only going to go if it’s adults only. I told the couple I’m closest to and they said they’d try to get the grandparents to watch their little one. I’m trying to get the courage to tell the rest.

But I’ll be damned if I keep enabling my friends to behave so irresponsibly.

(Photo: Kzenon/Shutterstock)