A Lightweight’s Journey Back To Glory

A Lightweight's Journey Back To Glory

I write this a defeated man. A man with blurred memories of his recent weekends and vivid memories of his three-day hangovers accompanied by Scaries that would force The Rock into an extra cheat day. I’ve spent the last four Fridays following the same cycle. I start at a very standard happy hour, but then suddenly I wake up the next morning with no recollection of how I got home, with a half eaten meal on my side table, and a smoldering ashtray next to it. I know how gross that all sounds, but I can assure you that that’s not normal for me. Yeah, I enjoy a few cocktails on Friday and Saturday nights, but blackouts are few and far between in my life. That’s not say I have an incredible drinking tolerance because I surely don’t.

Although, aside from a few instances, I’ve always been pretty good at sending myself home before I start resembling an overgrown toddler in public. I reserve that behavior exclusively for my birthday and major sports victories. I know my limits and have always thought I was pretty good at pacing myself. But now the buzzes are hitting me quicker than ever and things start to get fuzzy for me before the sun even sets.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve become a lightweight.

I didn’t think this would happen to me this early on. In my four short years of life after college, I’ve established myself as a regular at a happy hour spot near my first job. Even after my bartender broke up with me, I stayed the course and kept myself on a steady diet of $4 PBRs and discounted (read: free) shots of Jameson. I was, as some would say, riding the wave. Well, that all changed in the midst of a horrendous workday hangover that left me chugging pedialyte and having hot dogs delivered to my desk on a Wednesday. It was in that moment that I made the all too common pledge to stay dry during the workweek.

This obviously is not the most original idea I’ve ever had. I know I’m not the first person to make some form of sobriety pledge and I won’t be the last. Honestly, it was probably the 300th time I had told myself this while dealing with a terrible hangover. But this time was different; I actually stuck with it longer than a week. For the better part of four months, I steered clear of the sauce from Monday until happy hour on Friday. Aside from occasional glass of red wine. For the antioxidants, of course.

This was all fine and dandy during winter in the northeast. The time of year when most people hibernate in their apartments with loads of delivery food and Netflix. But now that it’s springtime and coming up on summer, my friends feel the need to make “plans” with me. And it’s rather intimidating knowing that I’ll be homeless drunk when everyone else is just hitting their stride. Some people will say things to me like “You’re a cheap date now! Congrats!” And those people are assholes who I won’t leave my drink unattended around.

So henceforth, I am pledging to all of you that I plan to correct this. I’m going to get my ass back in drinking shape. Don’t call me a hero. I don’t do the things I do for the praise. From here on out, I’m going into training. Starting tonight it will be IPA’s for dinner and Budweiser for dessert. I know Mich Ultras are the new hotness, but like they say, “No pain, no gain” or something like that.

A high performance athlete like myself knows that in order to be successful in your training, you need to have a goal that you’re working towards. Well my Super Bowl will be the crawfish boil that my friends are hosting in 3 weeks. Attending this event with me will be the girlfriend, her older brother, and her younger sister who will be celebrating her 21st birthday later that evening. So to say I need to make a good showing is an understatement. I want to, no, I need to make it through the day and night and I plan to train for it with the intensity that Rocky trained for when he was fighting Drago.

Is this the healthiest choice I’ve ever made? Well, I’d care not to say. Will I regret this decision in the long run? Time will tell, but it beats the piss out of the regret I would feel after blacking out in front of the girlfriend’s family. In my opinion, you only get one of those and I’d rather not waste it on what could be a very average Saturday.

Thank you in advance for your support. I promise this definitely won’t blow up in my face.

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Kevin Caulfield

Chicago based stand up comedian. Writer. Idiot

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