As you sit at that well-worn barstool with your usual drink, looking at the same people, talking about the same inside jokes, seeing the happy hour crowd morph into the trivia loving one, you start to think about changing your lifestyle. Maybe you should leave and join a gym. Maybe you should eat food that isn’t an appetizer. Maybe your friends or relatives or even your friendly local bartender asking why, why exactly are you at the bar so often is starting to make you wonder if you made proper choices in life. Or maybe they’re all just wrong, because I’m here to say that you don’t need to. Nope. In fact, science can back you up on why you’re still sitting on that bar stool like Norm from Cheers. It’s not just because you’re at a place where everbody knows your name and they’re always glad you came. Spending late hours or any hours at the bar really isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually good for you.
Early exposure to germs or germ carrying receptacles, also known as children, is important to build up early for immune system health. Though why parents don’t just let kids lick subway poles, rather than interact with the sticky-fingered Timmy at the playground is beyond me, because doesn’t one sound a little less messy than the other?
I guess in the spirit of Timmy and gross jam-covered fingers, you should consider going to the bar as the adult version of the kids’ germy playground. Jam-covered fingers aside, we’re actually a little more gross. We take direct sips from each others drinks, we eat appetizers with our fingers then touch the communal board games, and I can’t even put the state of the bathroom into words. Despite inspecting the galore of grossness, we’re doing ourselves good just by exposing ourselves to one another, because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, according to Kanye. Thank your local dive bar for being such a cesspool the next time you enter.
Too much stress, be it from work, or from relationships, or even the giant overthoughts in your brain is not good for you. It’s because your body is constantly trying to regulate your hormone levels, and overexposure to those stressors can lead to various problems like anxiety, depression, sleep issues, weight gain, and heart disease, or even excessive grey hairs and worry lines. That’s why Happy Hour is sometimes necessary and not always about networking or being impressive to your boss. It’s actually about you trying to get along with Jake from accounting, even if he sort of screwed you over in the meeting. Now you two can get past all that and with beers in hand.
I always heard this from my mom as she poured herself a glass of red at the dining table: red wine is good for your heart, and she was actually right. I say that with a hint of surprise in my tone because this is from the woman who thought I should’ve put my third-degree burned hand in a pot of dirt like “back in the day.” I didn’t, thank God. Mom must’ve read Mayo Clinic, who says that red wine in moderation is heart healthy and can protect you against artery damage. It will also taste delicious with steak. Of course, not many bars will serve red wine, but to those that do, you’re doing patrons a favor by supplying them with the alcoholic equivalent of an all Kale diet and a gym membership. Well, you sort of are, I guess?
I stupidly left socializing my puppy till it was too late. A year later, when I took her to the dog park to rectify this, she was the equivalent of the kid in the class eating paste at the back of the room. She just hid behind the water fountain until this chihuahua stopped humping her favorite chew toy. Whether you are a paste-eating kid, a scaredy dog, or an adult, socialization is important! It really is, says the the University of Rochester Medical Center, who agrees that it’s just as important for adults to socialize because it can “potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular problem and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.” It’ll also help you live longer and just make you a happier, more fulfilled person. See? Chatting up that cute woman standing near the dart board was actually your efforts to fight off future psychological risks. You should incorporate that next time in your pickup line.
You don’t need to be ashamed about yet another late night at the bar, because according to The London School of Economics’ Psychology department, people who habitually stay up late (and consequently wake up in the middle of the day) tend to have higher IQs than those normal waking up at the crack of dawn folks. Yeah, staying out late the night before while you guys throw back drinks isn’t a sign of you being a wastrel. It’s actually a sign of you being intelligent and evolved. Use those words exactly when someone accuses you of wastrel-ness.
Psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa of The London School said that a human’s general intelligence is shown through his or her ability to adapt and evolve, so when you consider how electricity has changed human nature’s instincts for a set bedtime, those who take advantage of it either by late nights at the office or late nights at the bar are capable of adapting to the new environment. And if you are in a bar, you can adapt to that environment by buying the next round. The other inhabitants will thank you.