The Drinking Spotter: Your Best Friend

While I’d like to tell all of you I am a perfect lady at all times who has never once gotten a little out of line, that would be a complete lie. In my mind, I am the utmost responsible human being on the planet…until I start drinking. No, I’m not a complete, Snooki-style shit show, but I have had my less than honorable moments, like that one formal where I had to write my date’s name on the inside of my wrist because I kept forgetting it. First of all, it was a blind date set up (a sad, tragic story of its own), and second of all, HE LOOKED LIKE A BRIAN, not a “Patrick,” so he really had it coming anyway. Or I mean, there was that time I started drinking at 9:00 am, blacked out shortly thereafter while doing Jager bombs, and blacked IN to taking shots of tequila, in completely different clothes, with my hair and makeup done, about 14 hours later. We’re still unable to pinpoint exactly what happened during that entire inebriated day, which I’ve come to refer to as “the lost hours.” Whatever, moving on.

While I’m sure always being the drunkest girl at the party has its benefits, it has more limitations than anything else. First of all, it’s obvious that Standards is never too thrilled with having to talk to the same girl over and over again about her behavior. And I mean, there’s also that whole scenario where you’re fatally hungover every day of your life, so there’s that. On the other hand, nobody likes the girl who ALWAYS controls herself and never gets a little rowdy. She’s SO un-fun that everyone just assumes she’s a sober sister even when she’s not. The goal, on most nights, is to achieve the perfect balance of drunk and fun, but not out of control. However, sometimes being in control is just not an option. Sometimes, you just need to black the fuck out.

I could go on and on about the reasons I’ve used to justify blackouts: exams, mid-terms, finals, writing a paper, student teaching, football victories, football losses, basketball victories, basketball losses, the end of Desperate Housewives, the Oscars, the VMAs, the Royal Wedding, etc…the list goes on and on. Most of these reasons are feeble attempts at justifying my own appreciation for Ketel One, but every so often, I will have a legitimate cause to cross the line of “socially acceptable drunk” and venture into black out town. The reasons are as varied as they come, and can be either a celebration or a coping mechanism: a breakup, a birthday, a fight with my mother, scoring an awesome internship, etc. When you’re having one of these nights, using shots of vodka as your transportation to the land of no return, your only salvation lies within your favorite/semi responsible BFF: the drinking spotter.

The drinking spotter is the most important person you can bring out with you when you’re in for a night of heavy drinking. She is literally a better accessory than a Ferragamo clutch. First of all, she is your best friend, so she knows your limits. I mean to say she knows your limits in the sense that she won’t cut you off when you’re taking shot after shot, but she will yell at the asshole who tries to talk you into taking a Black Cadillac after you’ve been doing Lemon Drops. Anndddd since you probably won’t listen to her anyway once you’ve decided Mr. Black Cadillac has a great hairline, she’ll hold your hair back at the night’s close.

Your spotter isn’t the same as a sober sister; she doesn’t have to be sober at all. She just has to be that best friend that can go out and have a good time, but can help keep you in line on nights when you need it most. She’s the friend that makes sure you have all of your belongings before you decide to go shack at ATO for the night. She is the friend who lets you into your dorm building in the morning when you’re dressed for whatever themed event you were at last night and can’t seem to find your keys (or your ID, or your credit card, or your dignity). Your drinking spotter NEVER casts judgment, regardless of how drunk you are getting on a Tuesday because you’ve just gone through the worst breakup of your life. She’s simply the girl who makes sure you close your tab out, because going back to do it the next day looking like a train wreck is NOT the impression you’re trying to make on the cute bartender. She’s the girl who remembers disguise an evening as a “wine night” so she can hide your money from you BEFORE you stalk your ex’s engagement pictures, thus avoiding the $400 worth of miscellaneous items from being shipped to your house later in the week…again.

The key to making a drinking spotter work is making sure it’s a mutual relationship – it’s not fair to always be the disaster in a friendship. Just remember, for every time you’re on vacation in Vegas and decide to get married to the cute boy who’s there for the world series of poker, there will be a time when you’re drinking spotter needs you to stop her from showing up at Sigma Chi to try and win back her ex after about 12 vodka sodas and a power hour.

Basically, the drinking spotter is the super-bestie: she’s always down to go out, but she wouldn’t dare complain if she had to look out for your well-being every so often, because you’d absolutely do the same for her.


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