I have not decided if it’s preferrable to be sober or drunk at a party of drinkers. I usually avoid this dilemma by offering to be the designated driver. This is a vocation that, in my peer group at least, is lauded as an admirable sacrifice, a necessary evil, and assumed to be a commitment to having less fun than other revelers – but occasionally I’ve noticed this position remains vacant and no one talks about this. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the sauce. Love it! But I value being alert and in possession of my faculties (such as they are) as well. Tangential to my greater preferences, in the case where I am at a gathering and have elected not to imbibe, I often as not end up in conversations such as the following:
“See, I don’t like to see a guy kissing a guy. It makes me uncomfortable. I don’t have anything against it, I mean, I don’t think it’s wrong or anything… [ ed. – I will edit the comments on the subject of homophobia for brevity. He went on at much greater length, trust me. ] … See, here’s what I think about it… I used to belong to this group… This group, they were called the Varmint Hunter’s Society, * and what this consisted of, is going out in a field, and you take a rifle, and you wait for a squirrel to pop his head up… and you shoot the squirrel. See, now I think the same guy that would be kissing another guy, he would find it offensive that I liked to do this thing. The thing with the varmints. And I wouldn’t want him telling me what to do. So I don’t tell him what to do. You know what I mean? I mean, I think everyone should decide for themselves what’s right or wrong… [ ed. – Dear reader, be informed that I am shortening his story up significantly in the interests of your viewing attention span. I’m sure you get the general drift ].”
“Yeah, yeah, cool. I get it. …. So, what about a gay varmint?”**
I can’t help but feel slighty resentful of all the time I have spent listening to someone in this sort of a scenario. I mean, I don’t mind being on the quiet end of a conversation. But getting cornered and forced into hearing someone’s “life philosophy”, especially given while they’re slightly hampered and significantly plodding about it and definitely not listening to anything you might offer (their own sloppy monologue taking precedence) — well, it gets a little wearying and especially so when it occurs twenty-five times in one party.*** And I hate to say it but specifically in the case of some men, they don’t even have to be drunk to treat me as if I was a vase of flowers or some mealy-mouthed wallflower incapable of holding my own in a conversation (I am neither). At this juncture I’m thinking specifically about talking with another man at this same party who at one point asked me my age – it’s 29 – and then repeated several times, “Wow, you don’t look a day over twenty-seven!” as if this was a solid-gold compliment for me to tearfully hang onto as I plied my hag-like wrinkles in the vanity mirror that night. At the parties I’ve been to in the last year where I am meeting new people, do you know how many times a man has asked me what I do, how I was educated, or what the names or ages of my children are? Zero. P.S., men at large – if I ever am single again (God forbid) a simple pause in your drunken ramblings as to a line of inquiry into my life will probably render me so stunned and grateful I will administer an under-the-table handjob as a matter of gratuity.
(As I write this it occurs to me that given my own proclivity for conversation and general know-it-all-ness people may feel the same way about listening to me when I’m sober. Ouch.)
And really, thinking about this now, I should really be happy I am not in the dating sphere. And even if I were, by the way, I’d be hitting church functions to look for a man, a case in which I would probably suffer slightly less boredom and assuredly fewer alcohol-infused lectures.
** I am as equally smart-ass while sober, tipsy, or on my lips wasted. Probably the most when I’m sober, really – because listening to this sort of rambling discourse with no opportunity for a recipricol silence has often landed me in the position where my mind gets bored and goes to silly places. The number one thing I have discovered when this occurs is that men don’t like to think they’re being made fun of. Give them a few drinks and if they think I’m making fun of them (I’m not – I’m just “being funny”) they will suddenly turn on me and offer a surprising amount of baleful malevolence, if not threats of physical violence.
*** Lest my alchoholic friends take umbrage, let me say that many drinkers I know are fun to be around the duration of the party. I also must take this brief, cowardly moment to apologize for my own wild or slobbery ramblings when I myself am on the other side of a few stiff G-&-Ts. Kelly(W), I guess I’m really referring here to Saturday night. I’m just glad you’d had enough to drink to not be bored off your tits.