Alcohol and relationships have a lot in common. Both can make you feel wonderful while you're enjoying them, and both can drop you on your bum, leaving you feeling like rubbish, crying on the couch, ordering takeout while binge watching Netflix in the dark. Yeah, that escalated really fast, but to be fair, that's what happens in relationships – they can go to extremes quickly. Obviously, everything is best consumed in moderation, whether it's alcohol or sex. But delicious things aren't always that easy to resist, are they? So we chug down booze and babes like the glutons we are, and spam our friends with phone calls with self-pitying questions like, "Why me?!" Such is life.
It's not all woeful prospects though: alcohol, like relationships, can result in great memories being forged over the course of any given night. Whether you're huddled into a booth at the back of a dive bar telling stories from your childhood or dancing on the tables at a club, the vignettes you're left with can last a lifetime. As explosive and as devastating as both alcohol and love can be, they can also inspire great sentimentality and nostalgia. Because the first night you ever got drunk in your best friend's mom's back yard swigging straight from a bottle of Jim Beam when you were still too young to have any business doing so is one of your fondest memories. Even though you spent half the night behind a bush hurling. Same goes for the first time you fell in love.
The relationships we have with different kinds of alcohol can, over the years, become so complex and full of experiences and memories that it almost seems that the booze itself takes on a sort of personified role in our lives. So what if alcoholic beverages were different people you've dated? How would they have treated you? How would you have treated them? What memories would you keep? And which would you regret?
Red wine was your dark, mysterious, sophisticated crush. You never quite thought you were mature enough to be with them, but once you finally went for it? Turns out, you knew how to hold your own alongside their seductive complexity. You watched them from afar at first, maybe studied with them at college, listening intently to their musings on Proust. You smoked a lot of cigarettes together. When you started dating, your relationship status was always hazy, but the sex was incredible. Eventually though, keeping up with the existentialist reading guide and having to take everything SO SERIOUSLY just made you sleepy, and it sort of fizzled out.
Alternately, white wine was your summer fling. He or she was loud and spontaneous, and was always organizing social events like "Sunday Funday". You became a more outgoing version of yourself with this person, and he or she was loved universally by all your friends for their inclusive, enthusiastic, chatty nature. That was until the fun stopped, and the emotionally erratic, needier version surfaced. White wine was a complete roller coaster of supreme highs and dramatic lows.
Beer is that long-term relationship that fit so perfectly, you really had no reason to believe you wouldn't be together forever. But beer is the one who got away. You were comfortable with beer, and that blinded you to your inherent incompatibility. It wasn't a volatile relationship, or a difficult one, but as much as you loved one another there was just that extra spark missing. You'll always have very fond memories of this person, even if most of them involved farts, seeing how many cheeseburgers you could fit into your mouth at once and/or excessive watching of sports games. In the end, you know they were weighing you down as a life partner, but you're still on friendly terms and will hang out from time to time.
Your mother loved gin. Gin was the person your parents always imagined you ending up with. Gin did everything right: he/she wore the right shoes, took you to the right restaurants, laughed just the right amount at your jokes. Gin had a real grown-up job, and was clearly going places. You could easily envision your future with gin, and it was not a bad one. Unfortunately, you wanted a little bit more danger and excitement, and sent gin packing. You sometimes wonder about gin, where gin is now, and what your life would have been like if you'd had settled with them.
What do you mean, "dated"? Tequila doesn't "date", which is just fine with you since you never call on tequila when you want to be treated like a lady. You snuck out of tequila's bedroom at 5AM, sans underpants (you couldn't find them and didn't want to wake him/her up), after they passed out in a pool of their own dribble. You definitely let this person do things to your butt you'll never, ever mention, let alone let a respectable person do to you again. It was, however, wildly enjoyable.
If Campari is a man, he has an un-ironic ponytail. If it is a woman, she wears stilettos on cobblestone streets and never, ever stumbles. This is the person you met in Europe on a summer abroad, who you'll never forget kissing under the Colosseum or the Eiffel Tower or in the middle of Picadilly Circus as the sun came up, still tipsy on the previous night's exquisite food and liquors. You probably had one magical week together, and then parted ways forever. You refuse to find them on social media and risk spoiling the fairytale with reality, so they'll always remain in your memory like a perfect dream.
You keep going back to vodka, don't you? Vodka is the bad habit that you just can't kick. When it's late at night and you're feeling alone, you'll call vodka. If you haven't met anyone else at the bar on Friday night, you'll text vodka. Maybe once every 2-3 weeks, you'll secretly meet up with vodka (who cares if your friends judge you?) For someone completely unreliable (who you describe as "not boy/girlfriend material"), this is the most consistently reliable person in your life. You'll only ever finally completely cut vodka off when you fall in love with someone else for real.
Champagne was the person you dated who always knew where to be seen. This was your "party" boy/girlfriend, and you went on a lot of "group" dates. The center of attention, naturally, yours included. Champagne was a little bit shady though, and couldn't be trusted, because they were always looking for the next best thing, whether it was the next party, the next BFF, or the next you.
Whiskey was that person that just didn't really care about you all that much. But whiskey said jump and you'd jump. Whiskey was dirty sexy, bad for you, but impossible to say no to when they turned up on your door step at 2AM, looking for someone to project their issues onto. He/she probably had big eyes and an intense gaze, and made you crazy when they wouldn't respond to your texts for days on end.
Images: Getty Images; Giphy