My Own Personal PSA: Drinking + Dating = Embarrassment (That's Math Even a Lush Can Do)

Most of us are aware that drinking and driving is a huge no-no, but it’s only recently that I’ve begun to rethink drinking and dating.

I turned 21 in the largest college town in America, aka, New York City. With an inexhaustible amount of bars to choose from—bars to match any mood and impress every type of guy—I immediately turned my nose up at the years I’d spent meeting dates in other locations. Coffee? While it’s still light out? In those body-swallowing armchairs with the fraying and the guilty wondering about who was sleeping in them before you got there? Kiddie stuff.

Give me a dive bar with red lighting, a jukebox, and a pool table where I can sip on a whiskey and tell you how I first came to this god-forsaken town. Or a craft beer place blasting Radiohead, Vampire Weekend, and other indie-bro staples where I can attempt to wow you with my knowledge of San Diego breweries. Or a cocktail lounge with no name where the bartenders, oh right, mixologists, give our beverages the Shake Weight treatment. Give me candlelight! I look so amazing in candlelight.

Three years in however, I’m beginning to wonder if drinking and dating really has been the best idea for me. I’m not the drunk-on-half-a-glass-of-wine type of lightweight, but like many of the designated drivers polled in a recent survey, I’m often drunker than I think after two or three beers.

There was that month in college where I went on four drinking dates with a guy only to realize on the fifth date, in the sober light of day, that all the attraction was alcohol-induced. That was a waste of both our time. And awkward to explain.

There were the early days of my realization that I could finally drink straight whiskey and enjoy it. I thought I looked so badass, like a lady Don Draper, er, make that: like a lady boss. My date was late so I had a bourbon by myself, then he bought me another as an apology. I rode the L train back from Bushwick that night knowing things had gone really well. I woke up the next day thinking things had gone really well. If only I could remember our dialogue, then my roommate could tell me it was totally witty and reassure me that the good vibes weren’t all in my head. A few days with no phone call cleared that one up.

After I realized my whiskey gargling was having the exact opposite intended effect on my dates, I enacted a strict “beer only policy.” Unfortunately, the results are pretty much the same if you cheat and treat IPAs like normal beer (they are not, alcohol-content wise). You will also end up mackin’ out in some truly unfortunate and un-sexy places. At least it makes it easy to pick out those guys who will judge you in the after math for “bein’ a hussy.” Not time for those double standards.

The last drinking and dating mistake I can bring myself to admit to the World Wide Web? After a great date, feeling confident, I tipsily went in for a first kiss. “Aren’t you sick?” said the poor gent, as I pulled away.

I had drunk myself into forgetting I had a cold. Nice knowing you, here’s something to remember me by.

Coffee is looking pretty good now, isn’t it?

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