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“We’re all such magnificent liars.”
I can’t remember who said that. I think it was either Kierkegaard or Taking Back Sunday; their respective ruminations are equally depressing. The point is, as a species, one of the things we truly excel at is lying. We do it to ourselves, to each other, to our bosses, to the doctor when he asks how often you eat fast food or have unprotected sex. To everyone.
Whether it’s out of malice, indifference, or self-preservation, it doesn’t matter as long as the lies make our days and choices easier. As Barksdale foot soldier Slim Charles from “The Wire” so poignantly stated, “If it’s a lie, then we fight on that lie.”
Nowhere is that statement more true than when alcohol is involved.
How many lies about not drinking tonight, this week, or this month have you told yourself recently? Do you need an Excel spreadsheet to add them up? If you answered yes, then you’ve probably told yourself some of these lies.
LIE: “I had a rough weekend. I need to chill out for a bit.”
This lie usually lasts through about 6:30 p.m. on a Monday.
Every phenomenal, drunken, “I swear to God I’m way too old to ever try this again” weekend begets an opposite Monday. It’s science. However great your weekend, that following Monday will be inversely awful. You wake up to Skip Bayless yelling about LeBron James on your TV, the drive thru line at Dunkin Donuts is more backed up than the bridges in a disaster movie, and when you finally slink into work eight minutes late, you remember you have a conference call. There’s always a conference call.
So while the made of molasses hands on the clock refuse to let your day from hell see an end, you start daydreaming of alcohol. It doesn’t have to be good alcohol, either. By 4 p.m. you’d be willing to funnel a Four Loko through a questionable tube sock.
LIE: “I’m going to start saving some money.”
You believed it this time, too. Like an Alzheimer’s patient, you really thought you’d put the $89 you spent last week on Fireball shots alone into a savings account. A vacation fund, maybe. You’ve been trying to get down to the Caymans for a year now, and that money would be a great start.
But your buddy’s birthday is on Tuesday so you’re flying coach on the Rumple Minze 747 instead. Some girl from Tinder wants to meet up for drinks on Wednesday. There’s a football game Thursday night and Hooters has unlimited wings. Friday is Friday and Saturday is Saturday. Sunday brings NFL football back into your life.
And Monday brings $108 in overdraft fees on your checking account.
LIE: “I’m going to be healthy this week.”
You started the week with such good intentions, too. Skipped the Taco Bell breakfast temptation in lieu of some eggs and toast. Grabbed a Clif Bar and some fruit for lunch instead of getting the usual–of course you have a usual–at Quiznos. Hell, you even went for some grilled chicken and asparagus for dinner instead of crushing a Little Caesar’s $5 Hot-N-Ready. You’re what, two or three meals away from a Tony Little Gazelle infomercial?
Oh, but there are a couple of rogue Bud Light Straw-Ber-Ritas in the fridge. If you don’t drink them, your roommate will. May as well get a slight buzz before bed, you know? Sleeping sober is for people from Utah.
LIE: “I’m going to make sure my parents no longer think I’m a Hall of Fame degenerate.”
This one (hopefully) only applies to the more recent graduates, but if you’re living that “Grandma’s Boy” lifestyle, the tightrope act between still drinking like you’re in college and your parents not abandoning hope and writing you out of the will can be tricky for you, too.
One can only wake up naked under the kitchen table and in a puddle full of Busch Ice so many times before people start asking questions. Speaking from experi–I mean, based on what a friend told me, that’s an interrogation usually reserved for North Korean prison camps.
So maybe you try the straight and narrow for a bit. Your parents marvel at this new you: full of zest and energy, going to work on time every day, even offering to mow the lawn on the weekends. Then one night, dad starts asking why half his bottle of Glenlivet is gone–and hey, why are there feet sticking out from under the kitchen table? Son of a bitch.