A Farewell To Binge Drinking

 

(Published in Thought Catalog, Hello GigglesNothing Mag, and Medium, 2013)

 

We bullshit each other far too often, so I’m just going come out and say it: it’s over.

You probably expected this, considering we haven’t been happy since college. How I miss our date nights, when we’d test the limits of the Taco Bell drive-thru and you’d convince me to wear astronaut masks in public. Even the frequent amnesia was excusable, since our friends always carried a digital camera. In those days, we could spend twelve hours together and go to bed without fighting. I think of it fondly as our honeymoon period.

Memories were what kept us together, but by the nature of blacking out, I couldn’t keep making them. My priorities slowly shifted, and I grew tired of Pedialyte and Advil for breakfast. Through the hangovers I found myself longing for a different social calendar, one populated by adult-drinking and morning workouts. I envisioned myself buzzed on just one pour of Cabernet at a friend’s tasting party: charming enough to drop the perfect Archer quote, sober enough to do Runyon the next day.

Don’t get me wrong, these last few years have been a blast. For as much as I complain, recent blackouts have given us some of our greatest stories—remember when I made out with the juggalo? Because I don’t—and I can’t thank you enough for all the bacon-wrapped hot dogs.

That said, when things got rough, they got really rough, and our attempts to keep things interesting only worsened the problem. The last straw was that devil’s threesome—when Adderall entered the picture, you completely snapped. Thanks to that hotheadedness, it takes me two hands to count the toilet brands I know. Blame that or the eleven-year itch, but I’m finally ready to call this quits.

Realistically, we’re still going to run into each other, and temptation can be tough to avoid. In some instances, a casual reunion might actually be okay—social functions that require me to bare midriff aren’t going to un-inhibit themselves. That said, know this: I don’t want to see you unless it’s on my terms. My brain cells and liver discussed it with my dignity, and that’s how it has to be.

We both know it will be easy for you to move on. You’ll have tons of options, from new freshmen who spend nights on frat couches to closeted fathers who spend nights on Craigslist. You’ll help others with emptiness find their solace and regret. You’ll ruin countless Saturday morning Bar Mitzvahs and even a few 5Ks. It’s time for your next adventure, and I honestly wish you well.

My plans, you ask? They involve lots of morning farmers markets, nights spent reading, and maybe even some volunteer work. I’ll be fine—bored, but hopefully okay with it. Part of growing up is refining your taste in fun, and everyone else in this decade seems to be coping just fine.

This is goodbye, then. Send Panda Express my love. And wish me luck crossing my hardest hurdle: getting over you without wine.