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Getting Drinks With Friends On A Friday Night Is An Astoundingly Absurd Thing To Do

...when you stop and think about it.

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It's been a long, busy week.

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Between getting to work, doing your job well, keeping yourself fed, exercising (maybe), getting home, and getting what precious blink of sleep you can, your will to live is all but gone.

But then you remember that it's Friday.

Nickelodeon

Suddenly, you're not so tired anymore. It's amazing how energizing freedom can be. You step out into the brisk night air and text some friends to meet you at your favorite bar for drinks. They, equally infused with Friday night fever, gladly accept your invitation. You spend the rest of the night enjoying good conversation over libations with some of your favorite people.

It all seems so normal, right?

Uwe Krejci / Getty Images

"We're so fun and just normal twenty-somethings having Friday night drinks and enjoying life." - Fun, normal twenty-somethings having Friday night drinks and enjoying life

What if something so seemingly plain and straightforward was actually utterly bizarre?

Via manasnaala.net

Jean-Paul Sartre might encourage you to reevaluate your judgements about the normalcy of the world. Sartre was a 20th-century French philosopher whose existentialist philosophy expressed a fundamental belief in the strangeness of everyday life. By recognizing our flawed assumptions about how things ought to be, Sartre believed that we could liberate ourselves from the mundane and live life deliberately.

Here's how Sartre might have described the ritual of getting drinks with friends on a Friday night, in order to point out its fundamental absurdity:

After spending five consecutive days running back and forth between two boxes—one in which we eat and sleep, and the other in which we tap plastic buttons all day in exchange for virtual pieces of paper—we send messages on small, flat rectangular computers to people with whom we are familiar and arrange to meet in a public box when the earth is at such a point of its rotation that it is shrouded in darkness from the light of the sun. There, we exchange the virtual pieces of paper we've collected over the week for hollowed-out cylinders filled with fermented wheat, which we pour into our stomachs while making noises with our throats and showing our teeth at one another as a social pleasantry. After a few twenty-fourths of the amount of time it takes the earth to perform one full rotation, we agree to depart and stumble in nocturnal delirium back to the box where we sleep.

Why does the absurdist perspective matter?

Vincent Van Gogh

It matters because maintaining a healthy skepticism about the things that society tells us are normal can help us to lead more deliberate lives.

Perhaps, after its absurdity has been laid bare, you still feel that having Friday night drinks with friends is the highlight of your week and have no intention of changing your behavior. That's great! Now you can enjoy that activity with its meaningfulness to you reaffirmed.

But perhaps this fresh perspective has made you realize that you often feel sad at the end of those strange nights—that the friends you thought were your supporters often seem in fact to seek to drag you down, and that you sometimes consume alcohol as a way of avoiding responsibility for living the life you want to live rather than pursuing it head-on. Maybe one Friday night, instead of participating in the status quo, you try writing or painting or dancing on a rooftop with someone you've always admired but never had the courage to invite out before. And maybe you'll be living a more meaningful, deliberate life as a result.

  1. What are you doing this Friday night?

    Pondering the absurdity of the world
    Distracting myself from contemplating the meaninglessness of life and the inevitability of death by enjoying drinks with my friends...like a normal person. Duh.

Getting Drinks With Friends On A Friday Night Is An Astoundingly Absurd Thing To Do

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What are you doing this Friday night?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Pondering the absurdity of the world
  2.  
    vote votes
    Distracting myself from contemplating the meaninglessness of life and the inevitability of death by enjoying drinks with my friends...like a normal person. Duh.
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