This year, I’ve decided to cut down on my alcohol consumption. Partly because I’m tired of hangovers, but mainly because I’m tired of being broke.
My method includes: shopping the ABC Store to pregame beforehand, mixing my own drinks, reducing alcohol consumption in general, finding alternative nightlife activities and choosing cheaper menu options or specials. But up until this point this list of action items has simply been a method.
I’ve never been a fan of going out sober, mainly because drunk people — especially myself — are the most annoying. They’re usually talking loud, forcing a conversation, spilling drinks or crying. Not to mention, I have a slight tendency toward RBF — resting bitch face — so spirits encourage a state of friendly banter.
But this weekend, I was forced to put my method to the test. I say forced because the medicine I was on forbade it.
Any other time I would have just avoided going out, but two of my coworkers were celebrating their birthdays, so the choice was not mine.
A weekend of sobriety began with a Snapchat from co-workers still in the office enjoying free beer and wine at the end of the work day. And then the FOMO — fear of missing out — began.
After watching a high school basketball game, I headed to meet my parents to work on my new condo.
Moving and getting settled in has now entered its third week and my dad has taken over all construction projects, so I’m working around his schedule.
After being advised on everything from taking care of my cat to the best way to hang a shower curtain, I was already feeling the effects of withdrawal. And shortly after sitting down to relax, the texts started coming in.
From plans for the birthday girls and my P.I.C. (partner in crime) to updates from the boyfriend, who was probably enjoying the Southern Comfort I snagged before the liquor store closed, there was no getting out of going out.
And to top it off, I was going to be the designated driver. After all, what’s the point in spending extra money on Uber if I can safely drive?
Before long, I was chauffeuring four others Uptown to meet my birthday girls at Blackfinn Ameripub. If you’re at all familiar with this spot you know this is an aggressive move when you’re drunk, let alone sober. For one, parking in the EpiCentre is always a nightmare. For two, the venue gets pretty packed, making getting drinks or enjoying personal space a challenge.
I endured many a random conversation, overheard the worst pickup lines in history and was way too alert to overlook the drunken rudeness that comes with the territory.
However, I still managed to put on a smile on and get on my feet to perform the Wobble. It wasn’t until the car ride home, filled with backseat drivers and teasing, that I realized, I missed the sweet taste of Fireball and Red Bull vodka.
The next morning, however, I woke up feeling refreshed, which was definitely new for Saturday at 8:30 a.m. — new for any morning, even without drinking the night before. I headed back to the condo to meet my parents for chores and errands. After ripping and running with my mom all day and making multiple trips for the “handymen,” i.e. dad and boyfriend, I was exhausted. The last thing I wanted to do was repeat the night before. I drug my feet getting ready which only added to the anxiety about heading to a house party for the night.
Luckily for me, I wasn’t the only one who was tired. The late start put me and the boyfriend on the same page of, “We’re not staying too long. And then, let’s go get food.” And other friends either partied too hard the night before or had worked all day, so I had plenty of people to chat with who were on the same level. Thank goodness! I was proud of my overall positive demeanor when I left, but I will say, IHOP tastes so much better when you’re drunk.
Sunday ended on a not-so fun-day note. While I woke up in a great mood, the weather was perfect for a day at a brewery or one of my fave Q.C. patios. Still on my meds, another day would have to go by without a sip.
This time, however, I decided to bow out gracefully. I will say, the weekend wasn’t a complete bust without alcohol, but it did reveal future challenges. I’m going to have to find a lot more sober fun in the Queen City.