The First Time: Part Two of Two

The thing is, up until a certain age, throwing up seems like just another hilarious check mark on the list of Things That Prove a 21-26 Year Old Had A Good Night. This list also includes but isn’t limited to: Lost Money, Cell Phone Died, Got Lost, Tipped Too Much/Didn’t Pay, Publicly Urinated, Did Coke, Kissed a Stranger, Fucked a Stranger, and Ate Halal. The More Intense List includes: Stole Something, Ended Up In A Different Borough, Fucked A Friend, Got A Summons, Bought Drugs, and Ate At Wo Hop.

So the other night, I drank after three days of not drinking. I finally felt like I was no longer decimated from New Year’s, but I still wasn’t trying to get belligerent. As I sat around a low table with my friends, drinking white wine and eating takeout, I felt like I was, in 2014, drinking responsibly. No vomiting, a glass or two of water, food, a relatively early night. A few bottles later, we responsibly decided we would be remiss not to shower the general public with our glorious presence, and paraded to a bar in the West Village.

“Maker’s on the rocks,” said my bar voice. My bar voice is the voice that always seems to order a fucking Maker’s Mark, no matter how much my inner monologue is saying “WINE SPRITZER, BITCH.”

Before I knew it, I was sweating bullets in bed at 6 in the morning, heart whirring, head aflutter, and I knew that pulling the trigger would ease my stomach and blood pressure, allowing me to go to sleep. I threw up pure bourbon, as per usual, thus leading me to believe that I had been doing well, metabolically speaking, for the majority of the night.

Luckily, my schedule permits me to wake up at noon and still have five free hours before I have to do anything, so it’s not like I was in peril of being fired. However, as I trudged to work later, still wiped out, I had a very upsetting thought: I don’t even really like alcohol. One of those fleeting, post-haze meandering ideas, but it stuck with me, and it’s kind of distressing.

As I stated in the previous post, getting drunk is a rite of passage, and alcohol is a huge part of our society. One that I believe, when experienced correctly, can provide a joyful experience, a connection with others, a direct link to history, and fodder for good conversation: A bottle of mezcal bought in Oaxaca at a street market, wine from a Long Island winery gifted to you by a family friend. These are reasons to talk about tradition and explore something and somewhere new without leaving your house. But the more I think about it and the older I get, the wretched recovery time of a post-bar experience is in no way proportional to the fun I have in those last couple of hours. Also, I don’t realize the sheer quantity of time I spend drinking. I realize this post makes me sound like a gutter-strewn boozehound, but I assure you, I get straight As, am extremely punctual, and shower daily (no claims about hair washing). This is the worst part of all.

I’ve been watching a lot of “Sex and the City” lately, specifically the first two seasons. I’ve had a couple of realizations. First of all, Miranda – arguably the most realistic, intelligent, and successful of the four main women – is put in the most horrific outfits. I’m talking deranged shit, ensembles even the most down and out bums wouldn’t put on. Second of all, Samantha’s vagina is referenced at least three times in every episode. But most importantly, the one phrase that’s uttered on the show more than anything else is: “Can I take you to dinner?”

Mentally weeding through countless invitations to grab a drink, I couldn’t think of one time I’d been asked out to a meal. At some point, we stopped eating dinner. We all started skipping food groups and going straight for the hard stuff. The attending of restaurants may transpire, but only as a beard, as a fake storefront for the specialty cocktail list we’re really there to sample. Day drinking became a hashtag, brunch a tri-weekly occurrence, and under-eye circles just another thing we have to cover up in the morning.

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