I’m slowly but surely becoming an expert on drinking. Christ, after nearly a decade of doing it, I should be. If I were still waking up every morning after a night of partying and being like, “OMG, WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT, YOU GUYS? WHY IS THERE A FLAMINGO IN MY BEDROOM?” there’d be a problem. Like, an AA problem. (Which, reminds me, this advice on healthy drinking is not applicable to those who have a drinking problem. Obviously.)
Rule # 1: Check yourself before Mama wrecks herself.
So here’s the deal. Drinking is best done slowlllllyyyyyyy. Think of it as like a car and you’re the one behind the steering wheel. Now you have two choices: you can either drive yourself to victory in a puttering Pinto or break the speed limit in a Jaguar and reach a James Dean-style fate. I rarely agree with the cliche “slow and steady wins the race!” because, hi, that’s boring, but in the case of consuming alcohol, it holds true. I’ve had certain nights when I’ve pounded like six drinks at happy hour and passed out at 10pm., thinking I’d be totes fine in the morning because, duh, I went to bed early! But that was false. I’d just wake up at 5am with a splitting headache and my hangover ready to greet me. I mean, you can’t just get out of a hangover! You can’t just trick it into not showing up. Your hangover always comes to collect. And trust me, being hungover at 5 a.m. when it’s still dark out is, well, #dark.
It’s funny because when I was in college and underage, I’d drink alcohol like it was going to be taken away from me at any given moment because I mean I guess it could’ve been! But when you finally get over the PTSD from drinking in college, you can actually, oh I don’t know, ENJOY the taste of alcohol instead of just blazing through it so you can be drunk already. “No one’s going to take this away from me, right?” a recent post grad asks to no one in particular in a wine bar. “The cops aren’t going to come break this wine bar party up?”
If you’re starting drinks early and want to keep going, you need to have like one drink every two hours. I know that sounds unrealistic but think about it: if you meet someone at 8pm and wanna stay out till closing time, that adds up to EIGHT HOURS OF DRINKING TIME. If you drink anything more than one drink every two hours, you run the risk of channeling Ruthie from Real World: Hawaii, which is not chic.
Rule # 2: Blow off 7th and 8th, have a calorie fest, and go see the new Christian Slater AKA EAT BEFORE YOU DRINK, YOU PSYCHO!
How many times have you been that aspiring anorexic who’s been like, “LOL, I’m gonna be bad tonight and just have a liquid dinner!!!” only to end up diving face-first into a 4,000 calorie pizza at 4 a.m.? Not only is choosing to forego eating counter-productive (if you eat a sizable dinner before you go out drinking, you decrease the chances of a late night shame spiral at the deli), you also increase your chances of vomiting/being terribly hungover the next day. So just eat. Have a hearty dinner. Don’t be scared. (I love it when people are more uncomfortable with the prospect of eating carbs than they are with downing eight vodka sodas. Life is hilarious!)
Rule # 3: Don’t become best friends with a stranger
Christy Cupcake who you just met at the bar is NOT your best friend. Stop touching each other’s hair and promising that you’ll do brunch the next morning because it’s never going to happen. Put away the camera. No pictures. Hon? Listen to me!
Rule # 4: If you think you shouldn’t say it, don’t say it
If you want to say something controversial to someone but you hesitate for a second being like, “IDK, SHOULD I SAY THIS?”, chances are YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT SAY IT. Things like “I fucking love you!” “I fucking hate you” “Do you hate me?” “Are you ignoring me?” “Are you gay?!”: yeah all of these would be no good. It’s not your fault you’re such a divulger when you’re drunk. Our culture mandates that we follow these complex and often contradictory set of social norms, so the second we let our hair down, we want to break free and behave like we’re in a confessional in the Catholic church. AMERICA. REPRESSION.
Rule # 5: No fighting.
No, the girl did not just cut you in line at the bathroom. No, that random stranger is not talking shit about you at the end of the bar. No, you shouldn’t go confront this person who has never said a word to you. What is it about drinking that invites so much paranoia to infect your brain?
Rule # 6: Don’t cry.
I know you think the sky just called you a bitch but like trust me, it didn’t. You’re fine. Don’t cry. When drunk people cry, they look like melted cake sitting on a picnic table on a hot summer day.