My Sober Take on the 40 Lies Drunk People Tell Themselves
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My Sober Take on the 40 Lies Drunk People Tell Themselves


We all know that E! online news isn’t exactly The New York Times—if you’re perusing the headlines looking for an article that takes more than 100 IQ points to digest, you’ll be disappointed. Most of the content mirrors what you’ll find on TMZ or in US Weekly. Still, there’s some tasty food for thought packed between the headlines about Kim Kardashian, Lil Wayne and the face of  Renée Zellweger.

Recently writer Jenna Mullins paid homage to St. Paddy’s day by drawing up a long list of lies that hammered people tell themselves while they’re out in the public making jackasses of themselves under the guise of having fun.

Here are some of the real gems.

“I won’t spill this drink on myself if I bring it with me to the dance floor. Nor will I drop it on the ground, shattering it into tiny shards of dangerous glass.”

I don’t know about anyone else but this one happened to me a lot. You would think shattering one too many highballs—and the massive amount of negative attention that ensues—would stop me from taking them on the dance floor in the first place, but I never learned. And of course my big heartache wasn’t all the negative attention or embarrassment from the raucous crash, but rather the horror that I just lost all that hard earned booze!

Here’s the feeling: You need it back right now, and you will do anything to get it back for free. So you leave that mess of broken glass and vodka and tonic water on the floor for anyone to trip on (you could give a damn about anyone else) and try to sweet-talk the bartender into giving you another drink for free. Let’s hope, for the bartender’s sake, she or he acquiesces.

“A ponytail on a man isn’t creepy! It’s innovative.”

Whether or not a ponytail is creepy doesn’t matter—it’s the magically positive spin we put on people or situations that, in our sober minds, would not only be mundane but sometimes downright repulsive. I vaguely recall sitting on a stool at a dive bar around 2 pm, blitzed out of my mind on double Vodka Tonics, talking to this biker dude who was in between loads at the laundromat next door.

No, the guy wasn’t my type, but I was so drunk and he was telling me in such mesmerizing detail about how he washed his darks and whites, the separate detergents, special dryer sheets and fabric softeners, I was wholly intrigued in my super-buzzed state. Really, this guy was a laundry genius, although I do remember at one point he started to have four eyes.

“I got into my apartment and my bedroom as quiet as a ninja cat and I for sure didn’t wake up my roommate who has to get up early for class/work.”

This is another classic. I was always convinced that my roommate couldn’t hear the crazy sex going in the room right next to hers, and I was also convinced none of my aunts, uncles, cousins or great-grandparents noticed me making out with a groomsman at my cousin’s wedding and then barfing all over the interior of the stretched limo.

Once I even relapsed while living with a fellow AA, and the next day I was convinced she had no idea that the night before I was guzzling vodka in my car. Apparently, I’d had an entire conversation with her in a blackout, and the kicker is my pants were on inside out.

“I’m never drinking again.”

I can’t tell you how many mornings I woke up so very ill from booze I swore I would never take a sip again, only to find myself plastered just a few days later, if not the same evening. Though a few mishaps are bound to happen to normal drinkers—especially those of college age—racking up more than a few of the items of this list might spell a problem.

Normal drinkers I’ve seen don’t tend to lose their purse, keys, wallet every weekend or puke on themselves half the times they go out, and neither do they wake up and swear off the sauce for good. While Mullin’s list is certainly entertaining, it does describe behaviors that might point to problematic drinking.

Of  course, it’s really a matter of how low you’re willing to go; if he doesn’t look cute when you wake up hungover the next morning, maybe you’ve got a problem.

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About Author

Tracy Chabala is a freelance writer for many publications including the LA Times, LA Weekly, Smashd, VICE and Salon. She writes mostly about food, technology and culture, in addition to addiction and mental health. She holds a Master's in Professional Writing from USC and is finishing up her novel.