So imagine this all too familiar scenario. You meet someone who seems really cool at a house party. Granted, you’re wasted, but whatever! You’re totally connecting. You both like Radiohead and have exes who suck. Who knew? The house party has created a safe social space for you two to spark up an instant friendship. You have mutual friends, which means they’re not complete randoms. They have context; they could easily be your friend already! So you exchange numbers and make plans to hang out while being dragged out the door by your friend who really wants falafel. (These are the scenes of your young adult life, by the way. It won’t be like this forever, not by a long shot. The strangers you meet at house parties, the unrecognizable names the morning after, the aftertaste of falafel, will evaporate slowly like a love letter to yourself written in smudged ink.)
The next morning, you will remember the conversation you had with this stranger and perhaps feel stupid. You’ll replay the exchange in your head and cringe at the thought of it before getting into the shower and washing it all off of you: The conversations, the phone number, the subsequent hangover. Everything. Or maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll defy social expectations and actually reach out to this person because you’re genuinely interested in them or maybe lonely or bored. Whatever the actual reason, you text them something that acknowledges some sort of embarrassment and agree to meet up.
Uh-oh. I mean, yeah, it could be really great. You guys could meet up for a friend date and be relieved that the chemistry translated to sobriety. I actually met one of my best friends in New York at a house party in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. We were grabbing for the same bottle of wine in the kitchen and were just like, “Oh, hi. You look like you get it. Let’s hang.” An hour later, we were wasted dancing to Hole like good gay boys and the rest is history.
But sometimes it’s not so joyous. Sometimes when you meet someone while drunk, you’ll be shocked and horrified by how they are when you’re both sober. You’ll be like, “Wait, this is the person I was planning my Friend Future with? It can’t be. Make them drunk again!” That’s the power of alcohol for you. You could be hanging with a Nickelback fan and still be cool with things, as long as there was steady supply of booze. So don’t be surprised when you find yourself getting Punk’d. Don’t be surprised when it’s two in the afternoon and you’re on your friend date wanting to get drunk again. You just want to recreate the magic. “TAKE ME THERE, I WANNA GO THERE!”
I’m not telling you to not follow up with the people you bond with drunkenly at parties. In fact, I think you should. You can never have enough friends in this world and everyone should stop acting like socially awkward flakes. I’m just saying that you should proceed with caution. Living your life wasted is like a box of chocolates. You’re never know what you’re going to get (or if there’ll be any left the morning after a bender).