Thursday, April 5, 2007

Why Are People Always Trying to Get Me Drunk?

Like at speed friending last night, where we were standing around a bar table and the topic turned to drinking, as it's wont to do. So there's me, Insouciant Dude, Insouciant Woman #1, and Insouciant Woman #2 — and I got in trouble the last time I used the word "insouciant" in my blog, so I'm gonna tell you right now, it's not an insult so don't email me — and I think Insouciant Woman #1 (or maybe it was Insouciant Woman #2) asked Insouciant Dude what he was drinking. "What do you want me to be drinking?" Insouciant Dude replied insouciantly.

"Gin and tonic," she guessed. Insouciantly.

"I am drinking a gin and tonic."

"No, really?" And thus I watched an insouciant conversation begin.

Insouciant Dude talked about his hardcore drinking fun in Budapest. Insouciant Woman #1 refused to drink in Hoboken — lucky for the denizens of Hoboken — because she'd get lost trying to drive along the clusters of Hudson county bridges while intoxicated. "I love how that's your reason for not driving drunk," I said, guzzling Sprite, cause I'd be driving home soon myself. Insouciant Woman #2 told us a I-guess-you-had-to-be-there story about getting drunk, unable to find her way home, and stranded in the middle of nowhere, hitching rides to South Orange.

So then we came around to my turn to tell a drunk story. I should've just made something up. I have my pretty decent first drink story, but my sober mind couldn't put it all together quickly enough: beginning, middle, end; schoolhouse lies about the power of the spirits; neuroscience experts-to-be reassuring me that only the inhibited brain cells would be killed off; that "blue stuff they use to disinfect combs." It was a mish-mosh of half-finished sentences, half-remembered experiences, and none of the eight paragraphs of context I included in my post about it. Instead I just said that I only started drinking in my senior year of college and I didn't do it enough to have any good drunk stories.

I might as well have said I was from Mars. I get this response a lot, and it's gotten old very quickly. "You don't know how to swim? Well, we gotta teach you!" Or "You've never gone out dancing? This weekend, you and me, I'm taking you to a club." For some reason, it's never anything I know how to do, like, "Are you telling me you really don't know how to do differential calculus? Well, sit yourself down, cause I'm here to make you smart!" Writing this down, I might point out that it would get less old if anyone actually followed through on their promise to turn me conformist, but anyway....

"You have a lot of catching up to do." I think it was Insouciant Dude who said that, but suddenly all three of them were offering to take me out. Tonight. "We've gotta get you drunk!" Like they really need an excuse to hit the bars till last call.

Here's the thing: I fucking love drinking. I love everything about it. Beer is a pussy frat-boy drink for me; I'm a hard liquor person. Gets you drunk faster. Vodka, rum, tequila... anything this side of Everclear really. (Grappa and rocket fuel excepted.) And none of that mixing liquor with fruit juice wussy crap. That's fuzzy navel-ly girly and a perfect opportunity for the bartender to stiff me on that sweet, sweet ethanol. Point is, you can partake in something for years and years and years and still be a dilettante, and you can be relatively new to something and be totally into it. I don't need that pity encouragement, let's just go out.