Drinking and I have been super distant lately. The other day, I finally just gave it a copy of He’s Just Not That Into You and now we’re officially not talking. It wasn’t a conscious decision. I just went to Los Angeles for a month and legitimately forgot to get wasted. My entire family doesn’t drink, so when we would go out to family dinners, I would feel weird being the only one ordering a drink. I actually did it once at a place called Dominick’s because they have a hot toddy there that’s life-altering but I just ended up feeling super woozy and falling out of my chair when we all stood up to leave. Afterward, my father shot me a look that was totally “MY GAY SON NEEDS TO GO TO REHAB!” so I just decided to forego drinking entirely.
When I got back to New York, the whole “not getting drunk” thing stuck until I went to Canada, where I got Weird Wasted off of vodka sodas and ended up feeling totally hungover and miserable the next day. In the last year, the few times I’ve chosen to drink hard alcohol instead of my usual glass of wine, I always end up having the weirdest drunk ever. It’s like my mind is sober. I talk normally, there’s no slurring, but my body is blacked out. It moves like a jellyfish on Klonopin. In college, drinking gin always used to do this to me. It was my drink of choice if I didn’t want to get drunk but felt too embarrassed to order a Shirley Temple, but now every kind of hard alcohol does it to me. Is this normal? Does anyone else experience this issue or is my body/ mind just the rudest thing on Earth?
Admittedly, I’ve never been a huge drinker. When I moved to New York, I tried desperately to keep up with the lushes in my social circle but it was fruitless. I would just pass out or vomit while they would continue to party till 6 a.m., dancing around my corpse. Then I would have a hangover that lasted for two days and everyone else would be feeling great after they ate brunch. Not fair! Why was my body ~~~sO SeNsItiVe~~~ and others weren’t? Jealousy.
Despite my lukewarm feelings toward getting drunk, I still managed to spend my college years semi-wasted like everyone else. But back then, the hangovers were sort of worth it. You’d go to some wild epic house party, get crazy with your friends, make out with your crush, and create 10,000 memories. You’d then spend the next day blissfully in bed and ditching class, maybe meeting up with your friends for some greasy food and hilarious discussion of last night’s events. Drinking had this purity to it. In a way, we felt like it was owed to us. We had days to waste being wasted. The guilt wasn’t so palpable.
Then the drinking culture changes when you graduate college. All of a sudden, you’re handed a whole lot of responsibility and can’t afford to get day drunk on a Tuesday at your friend’s house. I mean, technically you could, but not without experiencing a gnarly shame spiral and judgment from your peers. And you know how much 20-somethings HATE to be judged when it comes to their drinking habits. Everyone’s afraid of being That Drunk Person everyone talks about behind their back. “OMG, they came to the party? Jesus Christ. The last time I saw her, it was at some house party. She got wasted, dragged me into a bathroom, and told me that she thought she might be anorexic. Then she peed in the kitty litter box. I don’t even know her!”
Everyone is so paranoid of their own personal growth (or lack thereof) when they enter the workplace that they often curb their drinking and give people half-BS soundbites like, “I don’t even get drunk anymore. I just can’t do the hangovers anymore. I have to work!” Of course I feel similarly and have probably said something along those lines before, but beyond the whole “wanting to be a grown up thing,” your drinking habits change because alcohol starts to lose its luster. Drunken nights all start to feel the same and you no longer have the luxury of getting an entire day deleted because of a hangover. Assuming you’re not an alcoholic and drinking for an unhealthy reason, you just get sick and tired of being sick and tired.
That’s not to say that I’m a total grandma now. I think that notion of being “over drinking” by the time you’re in your mid-twenties is a tad dramatic. In fact, just last Friday, I accidentally got drunk with my best friend in Williamsburg, took a cab home, ordered french fries from McDonald’s, and passed out cold in my bed. The only difference from my college years being that it was 11:30 p.m. when my head hit the pillow.