I know what constitutes fun in my daily life- writing, reading, watching a movie, or a walk in the park. But what's fun in a social context? In my 20's and 30's fun meant going out to bars and drinking and possibly dancing. A friend of mine described her 20's as a decade lost to booze.
Awash in alcohol- yet, there was an innocence to it. There weren't date rape drugs slipped into unsuspecting sorority girls's drinks. Bars closed at 2AM or 4 unlike these days in Spain where the night extends past noon the following day with after hour clubs and morning clubs. When I was teaching university students, a young woman was upset because her parents expected her home at 6AM. I couldn't imagine what the problem could be but she explained it was a time limit set. Her parents wanted her home for breakfast.
Fun, well in my 30's bars were replaced with dinners at friends' houses. There was still drinking but a different enviornment. At some point in my 40's I tried the test to prove I wasn't an alcoholic- never more than 3 drinks at any one event. I did this for a year, carefully weighing maximum effect per drink for New Year's or other celebrations. I rarely surpass this quantity and despite growing up in a heavy drinking culture (Latvian) I've managed to escape the terrible effects of alcohol or alcoholism.
These days I'm trying to figure out what fun is. Novelty holds a key. A new place (travel), new restaurants, in a never ending search for sensation. Shopping works in American for this reason but it's not what I'm looking for. I can try to figure it out in a process of elimination. Dates at this point are rarely fun, meals out with friends can be. I've discovered my job can be fun. In the end, I'm with Sheryl Crow and Cyndi Lauper.
Or in my poem, "Another Look at Happiness."