Most weekends, I hit up some bars or clubs with my girlfriends, downing cocktails and shots and going through the night in various stages of buzzed to even wasted at times. The other night, however, I was on some strong antibiotics and couldn’t drink but I still wanted to go out so I stayed sober all night. Here’s what I realized.
- Drunk people act like children. Seriously, I’ve never noticed it quite as much before but the resemblance is uncanny. I honestly felt like I was babysitting when I was the only sober one in my friend group. They randomly wandered off and it was up to me to go to find them, they happily crossed streets without looking left or right, they yelled about wanting food (while being very specific about what kind of unhealthy meal they were demanding) and they refused to do what I knew was best for them AKA chug a few glasses of water. Oh, and don’t even get me started on when I told them that it was time to go to bed.
- There is a reason for all those mysterious bruises. Pretty much whenever I go out, I wake up the next day with some new mysterious cut or bruise on me. Neither my friends or I will be able to figure out where they came from. (This includes nights when we didn’t black out.) Going out sober, I finally figured out that I wasn’t the sole reason for all these mysterious injuries; in fact, I had almost as many as many the next day as I usually do but I was finally able to figure out that the cause is usually down to people’s jewelry, bags, or elbows ramming into me.
- That guy across the room? Not that hot. Everyone’s heard about drunk goggles, how they make you go to bed with an 8 and wake up next to a 5. Being sober at the same bar I always go to and spotting one of the other regulars I’d been lusting after for weeks, I realized he really isn’t that cute in the cold light of sobriety. I’ll try to remember that for next time I see him after a few drinks.
- Complimenting random people is actually so weird. I don’t mean in general—I compliment people during the day occasionally but in a subtle, low-key way. Girls in bathrooms? Not subtle, not low-key. I was surrounded by squealing women excitedly talking about how much they love each other’s dresses and I felt as if I were in a room full of lunatics.
- Drunken flirting is anything but subtle. I watched one of my friends use one of the moves I often employ. It’s the one where you sort of stare at a guy until he notices you and then you quickly look away. When he finally approaches you, you pretend like you haven’t been checking him out repeatedly. While this might come off way smoother when executed sober (though I have my doubts), it was anything but when she did it drunk. My drunken attempts must be equally as pathetic.
- No one looks as good as they did at the beginning of the night. This might seem obvious and yet I always end up taking drunken pictures some point in the night when I decide I look so amazingly hot, post them, and then take them down the next morning. I really have to start thinking ahead and face the truth. That 2 am drunken selfie? The makeup, the clothes, the hair—nothing looks as it was intended to.
- Bathrooms are way grosser than you think. The bathrooms often already seem kind of disgusting when you’re drunk but sober, I was so glad I had to pee less than on my normal night outs (there was no seal to break) because it was so not fun to be in that stall. Admittedly we weren’t at the most upscale establishments but still. A certain level of hygiene is a must.
- Going out is actually so exhausting. And I’m not just talking about the next day but the whole thing, especially when you hop around from place to place. Dancing is tiring, clubs are so packed, the music is deafening, it’s so hard to understand anyone… I came home and just fell into bed, wondering why I do that to myself so often.
- We should follow through on drunkenly made plans. My friends and I were talking about all sorts of things as usual and came up with a plan to go on this wine hike in the mountains that one of us had read about online. The next day, I was the only one who still thought we should actually plan it. Yes, some drunken plans are stupid, but some are actually a really good idea.