How To Drink At Home By Yourself, Part 1


Have ‘one of those days.’ Sit at a desk in a small room and unconsciously nash your teeth until it’s too painful to continue. Hear your jaw click whenever you open your mouth too wide and mention this to people and they’ll say, “It sounds like you’re stressed out” and you’ll think, “When is anyone not stressed out, seriously, someone answer that question.” Think, “I’m going to have a drink when I get home.”

When someone invites you to hang out later, to go to Happy Hour or their coworker’s Birthday Drinks Thing or to their Couch To Watch Law & Order: SVU, respond uniformly to their requests: Wish I could, but I’m just really not up for drinking tonight. This is half of the truth; you’re not up for drinking tonight with other people. Tonight, you drink alone.

Take the subway home and when a chubby 7-year-old accidentally puts all of his weight on your foot, resist the urge to kick him.

Go to the liquor store and spend no more than $12 on a bottle of wine. Buy Yellowtail or Barefoot or some other Native American-inspired brand that you used to drink in college when you wanted to feel sophisticated. As the cashier swipes your debit card, wonder if it’ll get declined.

When you get home, peel your clothes off and find your sweatpants. Karl Lagerfeld once said that sweatpants are a sign of defeat, so now you like to wear them whenever you’ve given up. Pour yourself a glass of wine and rest it on a side table and consider wearing a pair of comforting socks. See the glass of wine from the corner of your eye and channel Kirsten Cohen or some other first-world-problem-with-a-drinking-dilemma television character. Sip your wine. Release an over-exaggerated sigh. Finish your drink and refill your glass.

Once you’re two deep, grab a refill and turn on the television. Watch Law and Order: SVU. Get indignant if it’s an episode where Stabler and Benson are ‘taking a break.’ “Who is this bitch, even. Who is she, making out with Stabler when he’s separated from Kathy. GTFO. Oh Benson, you work in computer crimes now? Since when? You don’t know shit about computers. Give me a goddamn break with this crap. I love this show.”

Refill your glass. Decide that you’re hungry and pull up Seamless Web. Want something extremely specific that you can’t have, like a Bloomin’ Onion. Wonder how they even make those Bloomin’ Onions that kind of look like an untreated wartime STD or something but are so damned delicious that who cares, really? Wonder if you can type ‘Bloomin’ Onion’ into the ‘Special Instructions’ section of your order, if that will make one magically appear. Settle on your usual BBQ Chicken Burrito, which is the worst thing Tex-Mex has done to your bank account, your waistline, and America. Refill your glass twice while placing your order. So Seamless.

Channel surf while waiting for your food and pick the show your roommates never let you watch more than four consecutive episodes of, like Degrassi. Immediately become emotionally vested in the plotline. Refill your glass. When someone dies, graduates, gets shot, loses their baby, accuses a teacher of sexual molestation, almost falls off of a roof, lies to someone they love, is confronted about their drug problem, or comes to the powerful realization that nothing will destroy their relationship with their best friend, let a single tear trickle down your face. Life is so hard.

Now you’re in the mood to cry. YouTube “High and Dry” by Radiohead and close your eyes and imagine an idyllic montage of you and everyone you’ve ever slept with picking pumpkins and making out in cabs. Picture things that never even happened, like the time you snuck some frosting onto your lover’s nose and they had no idea it was there so they just stood around looking helpless and boy that thing that never happened was so cute, wasn’t it? This would make a great opening scene for a Jennifer Aniston film.

Your doorbell is ringing and you wonder if it’s not The One Who Got Away coming back for you, well, one of them at least, mostly all of them got away, actually, if you want to be a stickler about it. Wipe away your Degrassi tears and walk to the door. “Francois,” you say, “Is that you?” You don’t know a Francois, but you wish a Frenchman would show up on your doorstep to validate you with his tongue and judge you for drinking cheap white wine. Alas, all that awaits you is a BBQ Chicken Burrito, which happens to smell like defeat. Good thing you wore your sweatpants.

Eat your burrito like it did something wrong to you. Poke and prod it with a fork and watch its insides spill all over the tinfoil it came in and all over the floor. Stupid burrito. Spill some rice and beans down your shirt and feel really good because no one can see you. No one knows about the burrito massacre taking place in this recliner chair right now. And no one will find out, not no one.

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image – Derek Gavey