Oct 09, 2013, 09:00AM

The Art of Drinking Solo

On comfortable silence and catharsis.

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A friend of mine called me today and this is sort of how our conversation went:

Her:  “How are you today?”

Me:   “Lousy.”

Her:  “Why? What’s wrong?”

Me:  “I got wicked drunk last night”.

Her:  “What’d ya do?”

Me:   “Nothing. Stayed home.”

Her:   “Who were you with?”

Me:    “No one. I got drunk alone.”

Her:   “Uh oh. That’s not good.”

Somehow, revealing to someone that you actually drank more than a few alone is perceived as a sure sign that you are caught in some downward spiral into a dark scary place.

I’m not going to get all Zen about it, but I think you just need to drink solo from time to time. You have to have a good one on one with that inner self no one really knows or rarely gets let out. It makes for good catharsis. I’m not heartbroken, dissatisfied, depressed or addicted. I’m happy and calm but sometimes engaging in drinking alone works all the bullshit away. I personally like the comfortable silence of drinking alone. After a few rounds, I drift into the zone and a quiet warmness sets in.

If you want to indulge in solitary boozing, there are a few things you need to set in place to do it right. First, you need to power down. Otherwise, you will definitely do something ultimately embarrassing. Cell phones and alcohol are not a good mix. After imbibing you are feeling wonderful, and you want to share that wonderfulness with someone else. Don’t. Drunk dialing may be a source of amusement for you but it’s rarely so for the dialed victim who has to endure your slurred nonsense. Same goes for the computer, lest you find yourself commenting or posting something you mistakenly believe is hysterically funny or profound on Facebook. The next morning you realize you wrote jabber that’s full of typos. Drinking solo does not involve socialization with anyone but the authentic you.

It’s also a good idea to be fully stocked. Once begun, there is no leaving home so score the booze beforehand. You might want to dip into the madness with vodka martinis. But what if you don’t start out with enough vodka? You are left trying to take shots of dry vermouth all night. Also, pick your poison wisely. You may love piña coladas, but do you want to drink them all evening? Try to keep it simple. Too much work or too many ingredients confuses the whole aura of getting there alone. When I’m drinking solo, I like whiskey on the rocks: fill with ice, pour and repeat.

There are also advantages to being alone. You don’t have to be polite. You can drink whatever the hell you want. At social gatherings, you may accept that full-bodied Shiraz but what you really want to order is a shot of tequila with the salt and lemon on the side.

Plus, you can wear whatever you want. Your bathrobe, the old paint-stained t-shirt.  I happen to like my flannel pajama bottoms and a hoodie sweatshirt. Make sure you pick something super comfortable, because you just may end up sleeping in it.  In the morning, you may not remember all of the solitary event, and you'll probably feel lousy and fuzzy headed. But sometimes that's the perfect solution to clear your mind.


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