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“Do you want to start over?”
I was speechless. My perfect, hilarious plan had backfired and I had no other choice but to leave the bar immediately.
Alcohol can turn the nicest person you know into someone you don’t recognize. Every Sunday, I curse its existence and then come crawling back to its clutches on either Thursday or Friday night.
Disclosure: Because I don’t have a better way of describing it, I will, until further notice, be referring to this:
The lobster claw handshake. I Googled it for the better part of an hour trying to find a correct term for it but was unsuccessful. It’s a dainty handshake that is reserved for women when they are meeting a new man. If during this story I say “lobster claw handshake,” just know that I am talking about something that resembles the picture above.
There’s a threshold for most when drinking vodka/sodas. Anything past three and you’re venturing into dark, unchartered waters. Such was the case with yours truly last Friday. After relieving myself in a bathroom that was filthy beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, I was handed my third double vodka/sodas of the night somewhere around 11:15 p.m. Friday night. As any experienced drinker knows, vodka/sodas creep up on you. You don’t realize you’re fucked until it’s too late.
It was after I took a sip of this third drink that a funny idea formed in my brain. A girl just one year younger than myself stood next to my roommate. I walked up to the two of them, and after a brief introduction, she reached her hand out to shake mine. I thought that introducing myself to a very pretty girl by giving her a dainty, “lobster claw” handshake would 1000% get a laugh.
It didn’t go over as planned.
“You’re kind of a douchebag. How often do you get laid?”
Have you ever been so drunk at a party that not only do you insist on taking over the rights to the aux cord, you also refuse to play anything that isn’t sung by the late, great Whitney Houston? No? Because I have.
And when you start the night out with close friends arguing over what should be getting played at a medium-sized pregame, you know that the night could take a turn for the worst. This is me telling you that my Friday night did not go very well.
What is it about Friday night that brings out the animal in someone? Sure, the obvious answer is that it’s the culmination of a tiring work week. You need to let your hair down and tie one on. But does it go deeper than the obvious? Is there a reason everyone feels like they have to go out on Friday night rather than stay in and wake up feeling refreshed on Saturday?
For a single man in his mid-20s like myself, I look at every weekend as an opportunity. As someone relatively new to the city of Austin, I jump at most invitations for house parties or bars where there will be like-minded individuals such as myself. Ideally, I find a girl at that bar or shitty house party who wants to have sex and we leave to go do that.
While I’m not the drinker that I was when I was 21 or 22, I can still hang with the best of them. I can compete if you ask me to be a role player for a game of flip cup. I can shotgun a beer in a respectable amount of time. I won’t be the first one done but I won’t be the last either. The point I’m trying to make is that I can still party. I’m not dead, I’m just 25. A player in his twilight years. Tiger Woods circa 2012. It’s sad, but you can’t look away from the trainwreck you know what I mean?
Friday night, as we all know, can spiral out of control quickly. For anyone under the age of 30, there is an inherent need to get drunk following a day in the office that, if we’re being honest, is almost always unproductive and generally sluggish.
At the beginning of every week, I go through an incredibly stupid diatribe internally. Sunday night or Monday morning is when it hits me. A series of empty promises that never come to fruition.
“I’m going to stop drinking so much on the weekends.”
“I’ll stop judging people for being dumber than I am.”
“Try harder to learn people’s names.”
“This Saturday is the Saturday that I start going to the gym at noon instead of going to a brunch for bottomless mimos.”
It mostly involves cleaning up my act. Staying in on Friday and Saturday to save money and just not feel like a massive piece of shit come Sunday. Being nicer to people who deserve respect. That attitude – that feeling that I should just take a weekend off – lasts until around Thursday afternoon, when my batteries are fully recharged and I completely forget about anything that happened the previous weekend. Here’s the problem. By Thursday afternoon, I’ve forgotten about anything embarrassing that I said or did the weekend prior. As far as I’m concerned, no one remembers anything past what they had for lunch.
So Friday in the office went off without a hitch. Other than a devastating defeat in table tennis to the bad boy of Grandex, I had a fantastic day. I stopped off at Trader Joes for a bottle of pinot grigio with every intention of having one to two glasses and falling asleep before 1:00 a.m. This, of course, did not happen.
At 9:45 p.m. last Friday, I found myself taking shots of Tito’s in an apartment down the hall from mine. Shots of vodka are always dangerous and irresponsible. I drank last Friday night like a fifth-year Alpha Phi who had just found out her dad had in fact, put in a good word and gotten her that job in New York City with Piers Morgan.
By 11, I was so drunk that I decided that as the resident DJ, it was a good idea to play Whitney Houston’s 1991 rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” To put it bluntly, I was shitfaced. Three sheets to the wind. Absolutely mangled. I stood at attention, wobbling with my hand over my heart as I waited for Whitney to finish the song which was recorded before I was breathing. With blurry vision and three friends pushing me out the door, we called a cab to take us to downtown Austin.
And yet, I sit here now laughing about it. Am I the asshole for making an admittedly obnoxious introduction?
You couple this failure of a Friday night with an ignored call to a girl who I’m supposed to see in two weeks and you have a depressed Johnny D, right? Wrong. Just two hours after my FaceTime call got ignored, I got this:
We’ll see ya on Sunday. I take Ls on occasion, sure. Say what you want about my personality and my demeanor, but never count me out of the game. I am The Comeback Kid. I am the roach in your apartment that you can’t kill. Tom Brady in the snow bowl versus the Raiders. Reggie Miller against Spike Lee and the New York Knicks. Sunday should be one for the books. .