How To Be Drunk

Have a good day or a very bad day. Maybe even just a boring day. Drink two glasses of wine at 9 p.m.

Feel a little buzzed, a little warm, and realize the night could go either way. You could have your buzz fade and be sober and normal again. You’d go to bed at a reasonable hour and wake up feeling rested thinking to yourself, “I’m glad I didn’t decide to get drunk last night. I would feel like shit right now.” Or you could continue drinking, go to some bar and spend the next day hungover in bed ordering Pad Thai and watching movies on Netflix Watch Instantly. You choose the latter. Obviously.

Get pumped. Put on a playlist that’s titled, “dance y’know like whatever” and change into a stylish outfit. A temporary wave of excitement comes over you when a Salt N’ Pepa song comes on and you become fully committed to the idea of raging.

Invite your friend over—the one who’s a borderline alcoholic and makes you look better by comparison—to pre-game at your apartment. After splitting a bottle of wine, think about where you want to go and then remember that an acquaintance of yours is having a birthday party at some dive bar. You already said “Maybe attending” on the Facebook invite, which usually means “I’d rather eat glass!”, but decide to make a cameo anyway. “Tonight is going to be a shitshow!”, your friend tells you between gulps from a mysterious new glass of wine. Ask them where they got more alcohol and they’ll respond, “Oh, I brought my own bottle. I mean, have you met me?!” At this moment, flashback to a night when this friend got so drunk, they told you their dark childhood secrets in front of a taco truck at four in the morning. Begin to question your decision to party with them.

Leave your apartment inebriated and feeling good. Everything always seems so promising during the walk from your apartment to the first bar, doesn’t it? No one has gotten too drunk yet, avoided your texts or started a fight. For a moment, the night feels full of possibilities and that’s what keeps you drinking and moving. The possibility that you could meet someone great, attend an amazing gathering or even just get laid is more powerful than any mistake you could potentially make or any hangover you could endure. It’s what compels you to poison your body with foul tasting-liquid, act like a slightly retarded person for a few hours and maybe ingest 1,000 calories before bed. Possibility. Ding ding ding! Now that we’ve identified the reason why everyone gets wasted, can we get possibility arrested?

Go to the dive bar and embrace your drunk birthday friend. They’re already slumped over the bar and have an expression on their face that seems to convey both sadness and elation. They’ll slur their words, grab your arm and say, ” I just want to you know how happy I am that you’re here. I know we’re not really close, but I fucking love you. You know?” You kind of know because you’re drunk too, but you’re not on your friend’s level yet so you don’t really know. Imagine this friend three hours from now when they’ll be puking all over their nice birthday outfit. They won’t even have had their cake yet and all of their friends will be FREAKING. OUT. Someone who’s only medium-drunk will have to take them home and leave them on their bed half-naked with Doritos in their hair. The next morning, they’ll wake up and as soon as the light hits their eyes, they’ll know what happened. Birthday bust.

Get the image out of your head and order a vodka soda at the bar. When it comes, drink it very fast and order another one. Feel your body start to get heavy and begin to move without an ounce of grace. Experience the following emotions: Happy. Annoyed. Happy. Drunk. Hungry. Horny. Happy.

Spot a girl you sort of know and head towards her. Become hyper-aware of your intoxication and feel self-conscious. Don’t act drunk! Drink a lot. Want another drink? Get it! But don’t ever appear to be drunk! That would be unseemly and gross.

Go over to this girl and talk about the things that connect you both. Speak slowly, but casually and use the occasional big word. Become engrossed in the conversation. If you’re a straight male/lesbian, this is the part of the how-to where you attempt to get laid. So go ahead! Do it!

{five minutes pass}

Are you done? OK. Moving on. The booze has tricked you into having a bond with this girl. You’re writing down numbers, promising to hang out. By the time you leave the bar, try to believe you have a new best friend (or conquest). Walk home alone completely blotto. Realize you forgot to tell your borderline alcoholic friend you were leaving, but be too drunk to care. Your body is swaying back and forth now. Drunk dial a friend you grew up with and tell them about your night. They’ll laugh and say, “You’re so drunk right now, aren’t you?!” Get defensive and say “No!”, but then sheepishly admit it. Spot a 24-hour deli and and hang up the phone. Stumble in and order baked ziti. Yes. Baked ziti. That’s a great idea! Take it home with you. Slam your door closed. Undress quickly as if you’re suddenly allergic to your clothes. Wolf down your food while checking Facebook. Write on people’s walls. Make a weird status update that just says “drunk ziti.” Drink some water in a futile attempt to curb the hangover that awaits you in the morning. Have head hit pillow like a brick. Forget to turn off the light. You’re done. TC mark

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Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • zoë

    DRUNK ZITI

  • me

    “They’re already slumped over the bar and have an expression on their face that seems to convey both sadness and elation.”
    “Slam your door closed. Undress quickly as if you’re suddenly allergic to your clothes. Wolf down your food while checking Facebook. Write on people’s walls.”

    SOOO GOOD

  • http://twitter.com/Taylor_Lorenz Taylor Lorenz

    Spot. On.

  • Scribler

    Exackly.

  • http://sixmetamorphoses.blogspot.com/ The Other Jordan

    “and maybe ingest 1,000 calories before bed.”

    That's why you have to drink until you puke!

  • saramcgrath

    i love my borderline alcoholic friend omg without her idk

  • http://twitter.com/godworm Nicholas Cox

    “…can we get possibility arrested?”

    I'm not sure if the author of this article realizes just how profound that little wisdom is. That sense of infinite possibility that you feel as you're bounding out the door with a brand-new buzz lies behind almost every self-destructive behavior I can think of, from gambling to staying in a bad marriage.

    The fun is all in anticipating how much fun you're going to have. And that isn't actually fun, is it? You keep drinking because you're not having fun yet, which is why you're already puking all over yourself before your friends even bring the cake out—which is NOT fun, no matter what people say.

    FUN is like some sort of El Dorado that no one ever quite gets to. You step out into the night thinking, “I'm going to have so much fun,” and then the next day you look at the pictures on Facebook and think, “Look how much fun I had!” But I'm not certain that FUN itself ever actually happens.

    About drinking, my philosophy is: just stick to beer. Once during a keg race in college I drank about seven beers in half and hour, and I had a great time. And the next morning I felt even better than I normally do.

  • http://twitter.com/rislynsey christopher lynsey

    Damn. This is a good how to.

  • http://coffeecalculationsandcolombia.blogspot.com Kristin

    Stunningly accurate. Loved every word of this. Absolutely brilliant writing!

  • minorlion

    Ryan, I've been reading everything you've posted on TC for a coupla months, but this one is really reaaally stellar.

  • Andy

    damn my gf stopped talking to me because i sent her texts when i was drunk. they were not even rude or anything, i was just talking about ' our future' and how i will always be there for her. fuck. she acts like i killed her brother or something. all i did was drunk text her and now she won't even speak to me. i need to leave my phone at home before i go out to get drunk. my future seems bleak.

  • johnnyboy

    goddamn amateur drunks.

  • Elisaday

    yeah, you're my fav author, i just looove everything you write :D

  • Guest-3000

    you had me at “Forget to turn off the light”

  • Mish

    INCREDIBLE, EDIBLE EVEN. JIC.

  • Alex

    DRUNK ZITI PT. II

  • Guest

    a bit borrowed from Lorrie Moore’s “How To” :)…if you’ve never heard of this…you would like it! Check it out!

  • guest

    would never happen with weed :D

  • Burgher_NY

    This is the gayest thing ever.  You and your boy split a bottle of wine before heading out…after you put on your “dance” playlist and getting pumped to salt n peppa.  Lets face it…the reason you didn’t seal the deal with that chick at the end of the night (I didn’t bother to read the rest of this gay shit) was because you’re a freaking queer. 

  • guest

    Absolutely brilliant. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/discobiscuits93 Kayla Ann Stockman

    This sounds fucking incredible.

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