Once upon a time, I was afraid of alcohol because every single women’s magazine out there continually espouses the merits of not drinking: a tighter tummy, glowing skin, less visible cellulite, and a clearer sense of “purpose.” In college, I drank very occasionally, usually to celebrate monumental moments like my birthday or the end of the cross country season. I had not yet sunk into my current routine of drinking a glass of wine a few times a week to “wind down” or “treat myself.” The good news for all you wine fiends out there is that I didn’t become suddenly obese, or break out in uncontrollable acne, or even lose my sense of purpose once I started drinking a bit more.
Let me just clear up any confusion and tell you that I am not a daily drinker, and therefore not an alcoholic, which is something I write down every time a therapist tells me to make a list of things I like about myself. Other items on my list include:
I have a nice smile
Animals like me
I haven’t killed my pot of succulents yet
Blue looks good on me
I’m not bald
I have parents, a fiancé, and good friends who all seem to not hate me
I’m a good writer
I’m a good listener
I always replace the toilet paper roll if I use the last of it, and often set out a new roll even if the roll is just low and not yet empty
I don’t make myself throw up anymore
I’ve never burned anything down, such as a house or a community center or an old folks home
No one has ever asked me if I’m a prostitute
I don’t even know how to become a prostitute
I have enough underwear to last over 2 weeks if I don’t feel like doing laundry
I have three tattoos and one doesn’t even mean anything, and I don’t care
Chub Chub is well-fed and happy, which makes me happy
I’ve never watched an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians or any of the Real Housewives
My glasses make me look smart
My brains make me smart
The women who did my pedicure last week told me I have nice skin
I’ve never pretended to like toaster strudels
I’ve never done drugs
I’ve never told someone I hate them, even if I might have hated them
I don’t use the words “wanger,” or “bang”
I have a nice butt
My boobs are proportional
People describe me as “quirky” and that’s better than “weird”
Dressing room attendants don’t think I smell fishy
I don’t always laugh, even when I genuinely think something is funny (does that make me a psychopath?)
My head is not awkwardly shaped
I don’t care what kind of car I drive
I’m able to drive cars, so long as they’re not stick shift, and so long as someone is there to point out the difference between left and right
Most of all, and best of all, I’m not a giant, dumb-face-jack-ass.
Now that I drink sometimes, I had to figure out how to order drinks. I once ordered a vodka soda and the bartender asked me what kind of vodka I like. I said something akin to, “Shit man, I don’t know! Am I supposed to know?” Honestly, I’m not above box wine, so I really didn’t fucking care. He suggested some type of vodka that was “in the middle” and poured me a stiff one. Yikes. I also once ordered an Old Fashioned without knowing what was actually in the thing and found that I liked it. So, I started ordering Old Fashioned’s all the time, until someone told me that an Old Fashioned isn’t an appropriate drink for early-evening hanging out, it’s more of a late-night, swanky bar, me in a little-black dress kind of drink. I was like, “Yeah, whatever dude” until someone else told me the same thing. Shit.
I was also not aware that different types of wine should be paired with different types of food. So, shoot me. I drink pinot noir with everything, although according to Google, pinot noir, “pairs well with a wide range of foods—fruitier versions make a great match with salmon or other fatty fish, roasted chicken or pasta dishes; bigger, more tannic Pinots are ideal with duck and other game birds, casseroles, or of course, stews like beef bourguignon.”
Okay, casseroles?? Like, who even makes casseroles? And even before I went vegan I didn’t know what beef bourguignon is, and I honestly don’t care to find out. In my opinion, pinot noir goes well with ice cream, pad tai, cereal, fruit …anything really. I’ll drink it straight, no appetizer or meal necessary thank you very much.
I’m not a huge beer lover, but if I must drink the stuff, I like the kind that you can see through. My go-to beer is a Corona Light, heavy on the lime, complete with a chilled pub glass that I can slip into my purse and add to my stolen pub glass collection. Drinking beer feels like drinking a meal, plus, it kind of tastes like the squidgy water at gas stations meant for windshield dirt removal. Not good. And, if you’re going to be an alcoholic, you might as well drink something other than beer, right? Something that will get you there quicker, like vodka, jaeger, or whiskey. I’m not condoning alcoholism, I’m just saying.
The following is a list of my alcohol tips, for the 8 people reading this who actually need it
Don’t drink too much. You know your limits, and if you don’t, you can figure it out pretty quick. You’ll know if you’ve had too much booze if you can’t stand up straight, forget where you are, try to buy another drink from a random passerby, or wake up in a strange location with no clue how you got there. This looks fun and cool in the movies, except it’s not, because waking up in a random apartment is fucking terrifying, and losing your wallet is giant pain in the bum, and morning sickness if real my friend. So, so real.
Figure out what you need when you’re drunk. Are you an emotional drunk? You might need support, a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, and someone to slap you when you blubber too much. Are you a horny drunk? You might need a friend to lead you away from all things with a penis (or vagina) in order to control your animalistic urges.
Figure out what you like to drink and stick with that. Stop trying to be so hip and cool and adventurous. You never know what that “surprise” cocktail the bartender whips up will do to your stomach, and you’ve got shit to do tomorrow.
Don’t accept random drinks from random people. They might think you owe them something. Of course, you can totally take the free drink, because liquor isn’t cheap, but maybe also take some karate classes so you can ruin any guy who tries to cross you.
Don’t get drunk all the time. It’s fun to get boozy, but drugs might also be fun, until you’re in rehab without any friends and a deep sense of ennui. Plus, I like you, and I’m willing to bet other people like you too.
P.S. If you or anyone you know struggles with alcoholism, seek help. Call a hotline to learn where to get started, and remember how much we all love you.