Sometimes, it is for the best to not drink, but it can still be possible to have fun and feel good about keeping everyone safe.
This past weekend, my friends and I went to The Highline Ballroom for a birthday celebration of a sort of friend-of-a-friend. There were some issues with getting the table together, so we didn’t have bottle service until around 1:30. I was no longer even buzzed from the pre-game, and I was having a good time anyway, so I decided not to try getting drunk at 2 AM. The Highline Ballroom, luckily, looks like a party from the stock photos that come up when you Google ‘party.’ It’s a really cool space and the music (that evening being played by the DJ So Dope) was a great mix. Most importantly, there was cake.
The point is, it was a good time, but not all of my friends decided to remain sober…or tipsy, basically a few got trashed. As the sober friend, this leads to a bit of a dilemma. Hanging out with tipsy people while sober, especially if you’re already out, can be fun, but once they start getting out of hand, it’s pretty obvious who the responsibility falls to: it’s you, sober friend.
As my best friend has been there for me through drunk-crying, drunk-flirting, and my worst sick-drunk night ever, when the alcohol hit her, I couldn’t pity myself; I had to be there for her. It is difficult though, so here are a few tips:
- Set an example. It can be good to have a sober friend who sets a precedent that they can have fun without being drunk. If you can keep having a good time, the mood will stay up, and it might make it easier to convince that one friend to switch to water!
- Water. Speaking of it, get it. Even if people aren’t thirsty, it will help slow them down, but even if they are past the point where slowing down will matter, having some water will be helpful in the morning too.
- Cab it home. Ugh, I really hate the idea of paying more than my 2.75 subway fare to get home, but rather than trying to walk a friend to a subway station and then having a long ride, sometimes you have to splurge (This weekend ours was only 13 dollars split between 5 people, I think it was worth it.)
- Stick together. Drunk people are always doing weird things, like running off, which is obviously dangerous. Also, I’ve noticed that if a friend has any control, they’ll try to be covert about their vomiting (because it can be embarrassing) You might not want to see it, but it’s good to know that someone is at that point, so stay with them.
- Be fueled by the energy. You don’t necessarily need to take care of everyone just because you’re sober. If your friends are not at the point where they need to be super-supervised, you can still reap the benefits of the social lubricant. If all of your friends are dancing crazy and you’re still feeling awkward, just follow their alcohol-fueled lead-no one has to know that you’re the sober one at first glance.
- Get everyone to bed. This actually benefits you. You don’t want to wake up the next day realizing that you aren’t sure that some friends made it safely back-laying on their sides with a trash can by the bed-so do yourself a favor and get them to bed before you tuck yourself in.
The moral is: you can still have a good time while doing the tough job of keeping everyone alive.