I can't even...
by Sara "Zarine" Jessop
… be the sober friend
Hello friends. It's Tuesday, which means that it's time for another round of self reflection paired with shaming my friends. This past weekend, I had went out with some of my non-adventuring friends for some much needed “girl time.” After weeks of bed rest following my cooking incident, I was truly ready to have a grand time sipping fruity cocktails and listening to a local band that came highly recommended by their own moms.
A good time was had. There was terrible yet delicious foods, tasty drinks, and plenty of plebs to criticize for their horrendous clothing choices and awful dance moves. It soon became obvious that one of my friends was a bit more tipsy than the rest of us. She couldn't speak coherently, she fell down a lot, she got overly friendly with people she didn't know and didn't want to know her, she spilled things... And as I laughed at her laying on the ground half under the table and chairs she had just smacked her pretty head on, ice from her drink littering the filthy pub floor all around her, I had a sudden realization: I wasn't the drunk girl!
|Note, this panda is wearing white at this time of year. How gauche.|
Now, dear reader, I can't claim to have been completely sober, but I was feeling quite good about myself. I wasn't the one laying on the ground while my insensitive friend laughed at me. And then I realized something. I was now going to have to be the responsible one. Responsible for getting her off the floor and making her drink some water. Responsible for making sure she didn't fall down again, which I only mildly succeeded at. And responsible for getting us all back to the safety of her home. For while I was not the only friend she had present, I was the only one capable of rational thought and full body control. I felt both pride that I had managed to have a good time without becoming so intoxicated that I could no longer function, and old and boring for being the one who was still functioning.
Fear not, dear reader, we all got home safe and at least as sound as when we left it. No real damage was done to either our bodies or our friendships. I told this story to my Monday morning regular, who also happens to be someone I have spent some time partying with, and he pointed out to me a grisly truth: I've been that girl. Not only once, but on many occasions over the years, I have been the girl who needed to be babysat by a sober friend, or at least someone more sober than myself. I have needed to be saved from falling in the fire. Someone needed to hold my hair while I returned my drinks to the outside world. Someone was not having fun, because I was ruining it for them because I had too much.
I have a newfound respect and appreciation for those among us who regularly undertake the task of taking care for their friends. The people who sacrifice some of their own joy so that others can take it and vomit all over it, literally. I am not saying that I am going to give up drinking and suddenly become the babysitter of the Realms drunks. I have had a taste of that life now and I do not want it. After all, being sober isn't for everyone. But I have seen the annoying drunk girl I can be and I have become the responsible caretaker and I do not want to be either.
Like most things, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Can't we all just be responsible? Have some drinks to loosen up a bit, but pace ourselves so that we don't become the train wreck that falls asleep in the latrine? “But Zarine, I'm not like that when I am intoxicated...” Well, the truth is that you are. You annoy the hell out of the people who just aren't quite as awesomely fun as you. I myself always claim when drunk to be “classy as fuck.” Well, I can tell you from experience: Not all fucks are classy.
Now, now, before you get upset with me for disliking fun on a Shandar-esque level, know that I am not suggesting we all stop drinking booze and dancing around the fire and instead sip tea and sit around talk about politics. I am merely suggesting that some of you stop hogging all of the fun. Think about other people for a moment. Perhaps they would like some fun, but they never get it because you suck it all up like the new girl I just hired with the bad knees. Let them live a little too. Show them some appreciation for what they have done and will likely continue to do for you. Be someone for them to lean on every now and then and perhaps you will gain a better understanding of how important these people are in our lives. I mean, seriously, if it weren't for them most of us would be dead. And maybe you'll get a little taste of how horrendously annoying you are while drunk and you'll decide to only be slightly less annoying but also less recklessly intoxicated. next time.
I for one want to thank the people who have babysat me over the years and offer my services to them in return. And no, I don't mean free services at Alchimia Lupinaar; just because it's a business of pleasure doesn't mean I don't at least try to separate the two sometimes. I mean that if you need a sober(ish) buddy every now and then, I'm your girl. Just make sure to catch me early at a party, as my sobriety is usually a relatively short window of opportunity.
See you next Tuesday.
Zarine is the proprietor and Madam at Alchimia Lupanar, a magic marshal approved practitioner of medicine, and has 35 years of experience in giving her unsolicited opinion.