An open letter to my tolerance
It was midnight on a Saturday as I sat upright, dead sober and straight-faced at a small-town Brooklyn bar. My friends fed money to the tip jar and the jukebox (all rap songs removed by the bar-owner) while I forced back a Bud heavy like it was cough syrup and sulked. This gruesome public display of depression was (and always will be) worse than any public display of affection.
Unless you’re that couple making out on the subway. I still hate you.
I caught a glimpse of my hair — once again proving that it can, and always will get drunker than I do — and scowled at the bags under my eyes and food on my shirt in the Guinness mirror behind the bar. I called a cab for the six-block walk home, slipped into sweatpants and heat up a hot pocket because beers just wouldn’t do it and I couldn’t afford a mixed drink.
Netflix it was.
Sure, I signed a contract with my own business cards, benefits I don’t quite understand and an “eh, it’s decent for a recent graduate” salary, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped trying to black out.
Blacking out post-21 is as unpredictable as your everyday coffee order at Dunkin (I said Splenda, bitch). Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes you lose your passport. Some nights, you can house half a bottle of Fireball and not remember getting home while others, the whole bottle will leave you wishing you tucked one of those airplane-size babies of Smirnoff into your strapless bra for the road.
And one more for good luck.
Some nights you’re invincible — eighteen and shitfaced again — only this time you aren’t sneaking Sparks from the Spanish deli you’d otherwise never set foot in. Others, it’s 9 p.m. and you’re already looking for a ride home because the idea of bar hopping causes physical pain. In fact, you haven’t left the bar stool since your last bathroom trip and your leg is asleep.
More than anything, you can’t stop wondering where the fuck all these seventeen year olds came from and what kind of sorcery they used to be served (YOU HAVE BRACES AND A NAMEPLATE. HOW DID YOU EVEN GET IN HERE? GO DRINK WINE COOLERS IN THE DUGOUTS LIKE WE HAD TO WINTER OF 2008).
Some nights, your tolerance is as strong as it was when it peaked sophomore year of college. Others, you’re on the floor of an AC nightclub because someone “pummeled into you” but really, you probably just fell.
So hey, tolerance. This one’s for you.
We need to talk.
I still loved you when you left me in the lobby of the diner, bruised and barefoot, waiting for an order of 4 a.m. waffle fries. I still loved you when you left me limping through the lobby of a hotel, one too many vodka-red bulls over the legal limit. I still love you every.single.time. you leave me the morning after with nothing but a four minute outgoing phone call to my ex and 47 text messages to the same four people.
(see: “wher ar eyou,” wHERE aRE u” and “wait but where are you”)
But last Sunday — somewhere in between an eight hour nap and being told my bare ass touched the floor of Revel nightclub — I came to a difficult decision.
I think it’s time we take a break, until you can commit.
Can I still handle Fireball? How many tall-boys is too many tall-boys? Will that thermos-full of Franzia leave my ex a voicemail? The real world is hard enough without having to wonder “will this Sunday Funday still hurt come Monday from the confines of my cubicle or should these bottomless mimosas might as well be water?”
Quit ripping the rug out from underneath me every weekend and LET ME LIVE.
I’m just asking for some commitment.
Until we meet again (probably this weekend),
A tired 22-year-old post-grad with a full-time job and love of whiskey