We need to talk.
In light of recent events, I would like to take this opportunity to depart from frivolous humor for a bit, and make the following public service announcement:
There is an urgent social issue that has been plaguing college campuses throughout the nation. The impact has been catastrophic, with lives destroyed, friendships ruined, and many a young woman left in tears.
In recent years, it has reached near-epidemic proportions, and so it is imperative that the American public take appropriate measures to protect itself. For it is only with knowledge and power of will that we can counteract its destructive nature.
Worried? You should be, because if it hasn't already, chances are your life will soon fall victim to the tremendous repercussions of...
The Drunken Mistake.
Indeed, drunken mistakes have been on the rise ever since the early 90s, when reality television began to take root and the American value system began its rapid degradation. The seeming ubiquity of tipsy coeds on the Music Television Network had devastating effects on the psyche of the American citizen. In fact, researchers have noted a direct correlation between the annual volume of annulled Las Vegas marriages and the number of three-way kiss scenes in each season of The Real World. It is clear that many young people today are caught in a vicious cycle of monkey see, monkey do. And boy, does monkey do. Monkey do a keg stand at a sketchy house party, monkey do a body shot off of an attractive stranger, and then monkey wake up the next morning with no pants and no memory of the past 15 hours.
What follows is an actual account of actual events that actually happened to one unfortunate young college student, who did not recognize the threat that drunken mistakes pose to the American public. Some names have been changed to protect guilty parties, some details exaggerated to increase entertainment value, but at the heart of this tale remains an average girl, who learned the hard way that it isn't always a good enough excuse to blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol.
I apologize for my stutter.
The Case of McButterface
The past few months had been difficult for Sloppy McButterface. She had been having a hard time rebuilding her reputation ever since an unfortunate encounter involving the perfect storm of tequila, projectile vomit, and poor aim. But lately things had been getting better. And a fair amount of this was attributable to her latest project, the seduction of Rob Dovallsents.
She'd eye him from across the room in history lecture, conveying her sexual desires with a Morse Code of lustful blinks. Every night her heart called out to him, as did her cell phone ever since she'd extorted his phone number from one of his fraternity brothers. Her plan was set in motion. All she had to do was sit back and wait for Rob to flock to her like sorority girls to a Jersey Shore party. Except for one thing.
It seems that Rob and Crazy had been seeing each other for a couple of months, but nothing had been made official. Crazy said she didn't like labels. Many believed this stemmed from her days in elementary school, when the other kids labeled her "gross, smelly, and awkward," but she maintained that structure simply didn't mesh with her liberal lifestyle.
"So if they aren't official," Sloppy reasoned, "that means that Rob is fair game, right?"
"Wrong," her friends told her. "For, as we learned from Scott Rosenfeld's last article on Her Campus, even an unofficial relationship can be a monogamous one."
"I know, I know. I would never actually do something like that." Sloppy took a moment to readjust her push-up brassiere. "But if I see him at the party tonight, there's still no harm in flirting."
But poor, naive Sloppy was wrong again. Because there is a great deal of harm in flirting...when it's been mixed with a heavy dose of a-a-a-a-a-alcohol.
I'm sorry. I really don't know where that stutter keeps coming from.
True to form, Sloppy did have too much to drink that night, and as fate would have it, Rob had spent much of the night becoming reacquainted with his good friend Vladimir. He and Sloppy ran into each other at the fraternity party in comparable states of mental disarray.
It began harmlessly enough, with innocent talking and swaying to the music. But talking gave way to kissing, and swaying gave way to intense pelvic gyrations. It wasn't long before Sloppy found herself in young Robert's bedroom, cursing herself for having worn a bra with a clasp in the back.
"Wait," she said as she struggled to unleash Victoria's secret. "What about Crazy? Aren't you guys dating?"
Rob looked up from his belt buckle, which was giving him an equal amount of trouble.
"You're right. We're not boyfriend and girlfriend, but she'd probably be mad."
Despite being drunk, both Rob and Sloppy realized the potential danger of their next course of action. Had they been sober, they would have immediately put back on their clothes and harmlessly parted ways. But like a four-year-old child with rich, negligent parents, a drunken person doesn't understand the meaning of delayed gratification.
And believe me when I say, there was little to no delay in the gratification that shortly followed.
Sloppy awoke the next morning in a haze. Her head ached. Her vision was blurry. Her underwear was nowhere to be found. She struggled to remember the events of the previous night, but what she couldn't remember was easily inferable when she noticed the nude man sleeping next to her.
Sloppy was horrified. She leapt to her feet and scrambled to find her clothes, all the while hoping that Rob wouldn't wake up and that the stiff shape beneath the blanket was simply a misplaced bottle of Corona.
In a flash she was out the door and down the stairs. She prayed that she hadn't left anything in Rob's room, that he had used a condom, and most importantly, that no one had seen her leave Rob's room with telltale sex-hair.
Unfortunately for Sloppy, someone had seen. It is unclear who this witness was, this inconsiderate gossipmonger, but within the course of 48 hours Sloppy noticed smiles from Rob's fraternity brothers and death-stares from Crazy's sorority sisters. During each walk to class, Sloppy faced an overwhelming fear that excrement was about to collide with a personal cooling unit.
She didn't have to wait long.
On Monday morning, Sloppy was on her way to French class when she came face to face with her worst nightmare. The acrylic-stained hands. The faint smell of Franzia. The eclectic outfit that paired a Salvation Army shirt with American Apparel leggings. There was only one person it could be.
"Can we talk?" asked the serene, girlish voice of Crazy Artmajor.
Sloppy nodded wordlessly and followed Crazy into the women's restroom. The door hadn't even closed before Sloppy collapsed into a mess of shrill sobs.
"I'm so sorry!" she shrieked, guarding her face with her backpack. "It wasn't my fault! It was the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol!"
"Did you just stutter?"
"Yeah. I do it sometimes when I'm nervous."
Crazy giggled. "Sloppy, I'm not here to yell or scream. I just wanted to tell you face to face that there are no hard feelings."
Sloppy was certain that she misheard her. She left her backpack firmly in front of her face and asked, "Huh?"
"It's really okay." Crazy approached Sloppy and placed an acrylic-stained hand on her shoulder. "Sure, I've been seeing Rob for a while, but we've never talked about being exclusive. I mean, he's asked me to be his girlfriend a couple of times, but I've said no. So I really don't have any warrant to get mad if he does something with another girl."
Touched by the heartfelt speech she was hearing, Sloppy slowly lowered her backpack and looked Crazy in the eye.
"Now I know everyone's making such a big deal about all of this, and my friends have been a little hostile to you over the last few days, but you really don't need to worry about me. I understand how these things can happen." Crazy opened up her purse and began to rifle around. "In fact, I wrote you a poem to show you how I feel about the entire situation."
Crazy removed a folded piece of paper from her purse and held it out for Sloppy.
"A poem?" Sloppy was in disbelief.
"Yeah. I find that it really helps me to sort through my emotions when I write things out in the form of a poem. This one's a haiku."
Sloppy smiled and took the paper from Crazy. She had been expecting a slap, at the very least a face-full of spit followed by an obligatory "Whore!" But this calm, understanding girl had simply written her a poem. She felt so foolish. She was still smiling as she unfolded the paper and started reading.
To a dumbass bitch
Who couldn't keep her legs closed:
I'll rip out your throat.
Sloppy had barely read the last word before an acrylic-stained fist came careening towards her face.
* * *
How could this fate befall this poor, young girl? Why was the evil influence of alcohol not a good enough excuse to appease a wronged woman’s violent rage? And, worst of all, why have I resorted to a string of melodramatic rhetorical questions to disguise my ineptitude at segues?
Well, there are two reasons.
First, to treat alcohol as a villain would result in a nasty case of cognitive dissonance for your party-loving peers. After all, it would be far too troubling to turn against a friend that you invite to every party you throw, a friend you rely on to transform a dank basement and a busted stereo into a spirited shindig. Frankly, in the choice between a stranger who has done you wrong and the key ingredient to a Friday night fiesta, there’s really no competition.
Secondly, and more importantly, to blame it all on booze would be letting you off too easy.
Be honest. When you call your friend a self-centered idiot after six or seven shots, it’s because you’ve been thinking that for a while. And when you drunk-dial your ex after getting home from a party, it’s because a small part of you misses him (and a larger part misses the sweet lovin’ he used to provide).
Alcohol is not a sinister fiend that coerces you to say and do terrible things. Alcohol is a pushy friend who forces you to say and do all the things you’ve always secretly wanted to. Those things that you never could because of silly obstacles like common sense and consideration for others.
So if you worry that you may throw yourself at a taken man, limit your intake for the night. And if you have to work at holding your tongue around your obnoxious friend, don’t treat your Solo cup like a bottle of water. Because in those situations, anything you say or do can and will be used against you.
However, if you wake up in a pool of urine, with a stranger's pants on, slowly realizing that you accidentally went into your neighbor's bedroom instead of your own...
Blame it on the alcohol.