The Teetotaler’s Turn-On
I woke up with a pounding hangover and did the first thing I always did back then after a night of heavy drinking…I made sure I was still in possession of all my possessions. Cell phone? Check. Keys? Check. Wallet? Yep, that too, and inside I was still in ownership of my driver’s license, debit and credit cards, and oh look there’s a receipt for two slices of pizza purchased at 3:30 AM, don’t recall that and…a crumpled bar napkin.
“s.milligan@[blank]mail.com” sloppily scribbled on the napkin. S. Milligan? Did I know an S. Milligan? Do I recall meeting one the previous night? Nope. So I’ll just throw the napkin away, right? Not a chance. For this was back in my first few months out of college when I was majorly hard up for some action.
I wasn’t born a natural when it came to women but I’ve always had a quick learning curve with anything and after four years of female study in college I was firing on all cylinders by second semester senior year, habitually in the zone, like MJ said, “When the rim looks like a big bucket.” And I easily expected to make a seamless transition once I entered the real world of non-college girls. Oh, I didn’t know how wrong I was. My hubris has always bit me in the ass. I was like an ace from the National League switching to A.L. batters and a DH and suddenly finding his ERA exploding. In my case, finding my consecutive nights alone streak ballooning faster than any Baldwin brother. “Real world” women didn’t put up with the simple seduction tactics of college buffoons. Thus, I came to realize, I didn’t have any tactics aside from going round-for-round with pints of Long Island Ice Tea until I won the war of sexual attrition and a girl decided she had nothing better to do than go back to my Euclid Avenue apartment to “watch a movie” with me at 3 AM.* Too bad women quit drinking LITs once they get their diplomas.
I was now about three months out of college with nary a success. How had I met S.? For the last three months when I was sober, or even semi-sober, none of my lines, my shtick, had been working. And drunk? Not a chance. Nowadays, drunk or sober, it doesn’t really matter, I can just flip the autopilot switch and the ghost in my machine can make friends, meet women, you name it, and I don’t even have to really “be” there. I’m frequently amazed to hear stories of how “on” I was on a night I mentally blacked-out. It’s like hearing about another person you don’t even know. You can literally admire yourself. But back then, back in 2001, I could barely order a drink and find my way home when I was “Memento” shitfaced.
What if S. wasn’t even female? Now that would be embarrassing. The first person I pick up in my post-collegiate life is a man. Some dude who said he could help me get Yankee tickets, or get me some freelance work, or a date with his hot sister. I’d have to write an ambiguous e-mail to this mystery person.
No, the exclamation mark made it too “gay” and flamboyant if I was actually writing a man.
Good meeting you Friday night…”
God, let’s hope it was good meeting him or her. What if I got the person’s e-mail address and then got in a blow-out fight with them afterward? Eh, they were probably as drunk as me.
“Good meeting you Friday night, you still interested in grabbing a drink this week?”
I was taking a gamble. They wouldn’t probably recall whether or not they had truly expressed interest in grabbing a drink.
It was ambiguous, unisex, and if it was to a woman it was so damn aloof and blase she might even be impressed by my total lack of typical young twenties male over-exuberance toward the fairer sex.
Almost immediately I got an e-mail back.
“Great meeting you too, Aaron! I was hoping you would write. Yeah, let’s definitely grab a drink this week, you name the time and the place!
Recall, this was back in the dark ages of the internet. Nowadays, I wake up all the time with names, numbers, and e-mail addresses from girls I met the previous night. Some I recall meeting, some I don’t. Doesn’t matter. I just throw the info I have into Google or Facebook, Twitter or Myspace, official company websites, and now I pretty much know everything I need to know both internally and externally about a person before going on a date with them. Countless times have I called off a date, or, rather, simply not contacted someone, because of something I discovered online.** I gotta think it was a lot easier for fat, ugly, annoying women to get dates–first dates at least–back before the social networking revolution and Google image search function. Sorry ladies.
But as I said, I was hard up back in August of 2001, and even if this girl was gross, I’d probably try to bust my slump. If you’re batting oh for your last thirty-five, you don’t look down on a Texas Leaguer.
I’d have to pick a dark bar and get their way early, couldn’t chance entering the place with Stacy already there, coming face to face with her, and then not recognizing her. I’d have to be drunk too in case she was heinous. Naw, check that, I’d have to be sober and sharp and on my game in case I had lied to her on the night we met. I don’t believe in lying to women in the least nowadays, but back when I was 22 I was shameless. Never flat out lies, but straight up embellishments, braggadocio, bravado, and foolish boasts. Not an attractive quality and since it didn’t help me ever succeed, only a dope wouldn’t have ditched the lame tactics. Blatant honesty is both disarming and sexy.
I got to Bar Eight early, a place so motherfucking dark it was like a haunted house. I sat at the bar and started drinking vodka Red Bulls, my secret drink at the time as the caffeine would keep me sharp while the potent vodka made me uninhibited. I always felt like Alex DeLarge when I swilled it.
Stacy arrived. Stacy found me in the packed dark bar somehow. Stacy was cute. Stacy didn’t drink.
Let me repeat that: Stacy didn’t drink.
Are you fucking kidding me?
How had blackout me, childish, dopey, idiotic, drunken young me picked up such an attractive teetotaler? I had to have been slurring, had to have been slobbering, had to have been acting moronic. I was scared to ask for that night’s highlights. So I didn’t.
I just started drinking hard, because I felt like I was on a date with an alien. It was nerve-wracking. I didn’t know any one my age who didn’t get loaded back then. Was she religious, allergic to alcohol, I didn’t know. Again, I didn’t ask.
But she liked me, she really liked me. I hadn’t lied and told her I was famous, rich, important–I was un(der)employed at the time even and I had honestly told her that–but she thought I was hilarious, awesome. Sometimes, you just thank your good fortune and don’t ask questions. When you’re young you do at least. When you get older you realize there’s no such thing as a free lunch and there’s no such thing as a teetotaling, attractive girl that could like a insane, immature alcoholic and still be normal.
That first date we had a decent enough time and I again got blackout drunk and woke up the next morning in Stacy’s bed. I was batting 2-for-2 in remembering how my nights were ending with Stacy but it didn’t really matter because I was hitting it out of the park each time.
Later, I would come to realize, to learn, that of course Stacy wasn’t normal. She didn’t drink because she had been drinking since she was 14 or something and she couldn’t control herself on the sauce. One drink led to a zillion which lead to her dancing on bars and filling her belly-button with cheap liquor to be slurped out by gross men and to one night stands and to getting her stomach pumped. Frequently. Stacy was indeed crazy.
So she had quit drinking totally, but she still loved the craziness surrounding the lifestyle. She was drinking vicariously through me. She goaded me to get drunk, drunker, drunkest. Bought me my drinks even, got mad if I wasn’t drinking them fast enough. “Back, when I was drinking, I’d be three vodkas up on you right now!” she’d taunt me. Stacy actually only liked me when I was drunk. That’s fine, I used to only like me when I was drunk too.
I was drunk a lot back then.
Our “relationship” lasted a few months.
The Road to the Final Four
Quick, boastful recap on last week’s basketball predictions. You should have followed the Vice Blogger, yes you should have. Make that your mantra in all areas of life. For you’d be a rich man as I got every single Sweet Sixteen pick right, and only missed one game all weekend (Michigan St. over Louisville.)
Let’s discuss Tom Izzo, who now has a strong claim to being the best coach working today. 5 Final Fours in 10 years (with a bonus Elite Eight during that time) all with relatively sub-par talent. Incredibly. I mean, has he had as many future NBA players under his helm in the last decade as say Roy boy has had this year alone?! And what about Roy Williams, now in his 7th career Final Four. A terrible in-game tactician, no question, but how can you deny his greatness if he gets a 2nd title? Or what if that scumbag Calhoun wins his 3rd? Makes me sick to my stomach to think of it but you would have to then rate him as, at worst, the 5th best coach in college basketball history (and I’m even including old fucks like Henry Iba and Branch McCracken in the debate)**. Finally, Jay Wright, destined to be the best coach in the game sooner rather than later. A title at such an early age would put him on a legendary path.
I’m rooting for no one, but I’ll predict UConn over Mich St., UNC over Nova in a game the Wildcats will really want vengeance for due to the 2005 screw-job (but unfortunately won’t get), and UNC over UConn. I don’t think even Roy can fuck up here.
My wishful thinking prediction includes Jim Calhoun crying, tearing apart the press conference room, and retiring before UConn goes on probation.
Voodoo White Magick of the Sun
6% ABV from a bomber
Yet another Voodoo sent in trade from Sickpuppy at Should I Drink That?, I was grateful to acquire it, but sad to admit I didn’t really love it. Whites just aren’t my style. They’re always too weak for me, and such is the case here. Now, I don’t mean “weak” it terms of ABV–6% is certainly respectable enough, especially for a witbier–but I mean more in terms of bite, complexity, and boozy flavor. The hops don’t really come through here nor does the spiced coriander, bitter orange peel, and juniper which is supposedly in this one. Voodoo also claims this brew possesses “Jeremy’s favorite [mystery] spice,” again, something I didn’t really taste. Not that I’d know what to be looking for! The fruit doesn’t really come out, I hate to say it. I suppose this could make for a decent summer beer on a hot day. And, as Voodoo claims: “Blows away carbonated water!!!!!” Fair enough.
*Oh college girls, how many times they actually came back to my room drunk at 3 AM and literally and quizzically said, “We aren’t really going to watch a movie right?”
**And I assume the same has happened in return to me. Hello ladies!
1. John Wooden (despite UCLA’s easy west coast regional route to championship games and blatant Sam Gilbert cheating)
2. Adolph Rupp
3. Coach K
4. Bobby Knight