When I was a teenager I think I nailed the art of not looking as drunk as you are. Indeed, to this day, my friends and family are always shocked to learn I'm hungover when they thought I was sober the night before. Yeah, I'm just that good. I've rarely been legless, but often been very, very drunk, and have definitely been in situations that required sudden sobering up. For instance, once my friend organized a music festival, and halfway through her parents, respectable doctors turned up at the venue wanting to have sensible conversations with people. In that situation, I'm your gal. Likewise, if someone needs to speak to the police after a noise complaint, someone needs to (God forbid) care for a sick person, or even feign enough sobriety to get into the next bar: that's me.
I can't really tell you how I do it, other than sheer will power and an intense desire to never feel like I am completely out of control. There are, however, tricks that you can use to not seem as drunk as you are. Given that it's the holiday season and work Christmas parties are almost upon us, you might want to learn some of these. 'Tis the season where you worked so hard you missed lunch and dinner, and had to go straight to drinks with your bosses or S.O.'s family. One wine later, you're drunker than you ever intended, but need to put on an outward face of not drunk. Or maybe you've been day drinking with your friends and your mom calls. Or there's a building fire drill halfway through your office party. When one of these inevitably happens, here's how to not seem as drunk as you are:
1. Keep Your Eyes Open
Drunk people have a tendency to get sleepy. Focus on keeping your eyes open, but too a normal level. Droopy eyes are a dead drunk giveaway, but don't over bulge them like a weirdo. Eye drops help.
2. For The Love Of God, Stop Swaying
Swaying from side to side is sign language that you're drunk. Stiffen your body as much as you can and be conscious of your movement. If you need, hold onto something, but do it casually. If you're gripping the bar like it's the last piece of wood floating away from the Titanic, then you're in trouble.
3. Speak Slowly And Carefully
Don't rant or speak quickly because you WILL slur, I promise you, even if you think you're speaking clearly. Stick to fun easy topics and don't go into some deeply philosophical argument (even if your drunk brain wants to), because you're not cogent enough for that to go well for you, and everyone will remember you as the person who drunkenly espoused the virtue of The Beatles or something else everyone else probably already is in agreement on. Steer clear of any topics that might make your drunk ass emotional too.
4. Use Mints And Deodorant
Drunk people stink like the floor behind the bar. Mint your mouth and spritz your body with something smelly to erase the tell-tale signs of someone who has been drinking (you can smell alcohol whether you've had one drink or six).
5. Eat Something
Stop drinking and start eating. It will make you feel much less drunk.
6. Drink Water
Likewise, drinking water is a great way to help your body level out. You should technically be matching your alcoholic drinks with a glass of water, but not everyone wants to be standing in line for the bathroom all night, I get it.
7. Fix Your Makeup
If you're wearing makeup, it's probably one of the casualties of your drunkenness. By now you've probably drunkenly rubbed an eye, or sweated through your makeup, or had red wine lips replace your lipstick. A little touch up can make you look fresh, covering any alcohol induced skin redness and leaving you appearing much less drunk than you are, given that you can get it together enough to do a good job.
8. Sit, If Possible
Ever noticed how you feel less drunk while sitting? It's a good way to not stumble around, and makes it much easier to compose yourself, leaving a much smaller window for error than standing does.
I don't normally condone lying, but it can help when you're trying to look less drunk than you are. Tell people are you that you think you ate something funny or that you have a migraine. That should excuse you to sit/speak quietly/chug water and even leave early without raising suspicion.