by Anna Breslaw
You hear approximately 7 zillion ways to “avoid hangovers,” and this is one of the most-believed ones, undoubtedly made up by a dude who likes rhyming and just wanted to mess with people
Smoking when drunk is a gateway to being a full-time smoker … and more hard-earned wisdom from a lush late-twenties booze enthusiast.
1. Making a weekly or monthly budget for drinking money will save you hundreds of dollars in bar tabs. Remember the underage nights you spent making an intricate plan with friends on how to hoodwink your way into bars with your shitty fake IDs? The first bar with fancy cocktails, then the middle-of-the-road second bar, then the last-ditch dive bar, then, if all else fails, you get someone’s older friend to buy some 40s and drink in a dorm room? Yeah, when you’re of age, you go right to the first bar and spend much more than you meant to because you’re flirting with the hot bartender with hipster glasses who makes awesome French 75s. The DAY you turn 21, begin to factor drinking into your budget, so that you aren’t suddenly the protagonist of Nancy Drew and the Mysteriously Missing Rent Money.
2. The best way to save money while partying is to bring a certain amount of cash to the bar and spend no more than that. When I was 22, I regularly dropped $50 or more on nights out multiple times a week, which, for someone living in New York on a $20,000 salary, is batshit insane. When you are drunk and open a tab, money doesn’t even feel real. It feels like you are getting free drinks! This is not the case. Not only does this solve the opening-a-tab-money-is-not-real problem, but you are also avoiding having to go to an ATM with a $3 charge in the freezing cold. $3! That’s a Pabst Blue Ribbon at happy hour!
3. If you suspect you have left your credit card at the bar, call the bar IMMEDIATELY (if you’re too hammered, have a friend do it) and check. I’ve waited until the morning after, and by then, God knows what could have happened to it. Also: Sheepishly slinking into the bar in the light of the following day to get your credit card from the smirking bartender is unavoidable. It happens to everybody; you shouldn’t be embarrassed by it.
4. Nothing good happens after 2 a.m. Everything is fine, and all of a sudden at approximately 2:01 a.m., everyone starts crying mascara-tears or fighting with their boyfriend or throwing up while trying to eat pizza at the same time. I, personally, have never once cried in a bar bathroom before 2 a.m. (After? Yeah, all the time in my early 20s.) This is also when giant creeps come out of the woodwork and aggressively hit on you. Trust me: It’s a bad scene.
5. You’re allowed to leave early. It is completely within your purview to observe D.O.L.E. (Drink one, leave early). I used to feel lame about letting my exhaustion or straight-up responsibilities dictate when I left parties, but it doesn’t make you lame — it makes you someone who will wake up for work the next day without feeling like you just got hit by the Booze Truck.
6. “Beer before liquor, never been sicker,” etc. is bullshit. You hear approximately 7 zillion ways to “avoid hangovers,” and this is one of the most-believed ones, undoubtedly made up by a dude who likes rhyming and just wanted to mess with people. Studieshave shown that order doesn’t matter — it’s the amount you drink that gives you hangovers. So pounding vodka shots before you get to the beer garden under the impression that you are making the Smart Choice and will wake up hangover-free tomorrow, is very, very wrong.
7. Going to your ex’s party when you still have feelings for him/her is not ever a good idea. Truly, never. Not even if your big plan is to show up in an American Apparel leotard and toss your perfect blowout in his face and be all, “Eat your heart out.”
8. Sex isn’t better when you’re drunk. The reason you want to make out with every single person/object in the bar and then stop is because making out is incredibly fun when drunk. Sex is less fun, especially if you’re dizzy, and doesn’t just pose the threat of whiskey dick for him — it’s also harder for you to come. You will have much better sex when you’re brave enough to try it sober. Also, beer goggles are real. One time I went home with a guy who looked like Joaquin Phoenix (when I was drunk) and Augustus Gloop the next morning. Dead serious.
9. Don’t smoke out of a stranger’s anything or drink any unknown drink. Like that time at that birthday party when you were so drunk you took a huge hit of some friend of a friend’s weed vaporizer before you found out it also had PCP in it and you had a panic attack? Yeah, don’t do that.
10. Smoking when drunk is a gateway to smoking when sober and stressed, which is a gateway to smoking when sober.Sure, it starts as social smoking, and you never think one year later you will be standing in the rain outside work, miserably puffing on a cigarette by yourself. But you will. And it’ll suck. I’m still trying to quit entirely after starting as a social smoker at age 18 and progressing to full-on addiction. One of my biggest regrets is that I ever started smoking.
11. Cigarettes will make your hangovers worse, have only negative effects on your health, and also make you look like an old, gray crone. Not to get all Lifetime Movie of the Week about smoking, but it is very easy to chain-smoke in your early 20s when drinking and barely feel it the next day. In a few years, this will not be the case. So don’t get addicted now! It will do awful things to your outside as well as your inside. As I mentioned, I’ve cut down significantly — with the help of e-cigs, I only smoke a regular one once every few weeks — but I’m still trying to reverse the lines and dullness I’m pretty sure my chain-smoking phases have left on my face. Also, I recently had a skin infection that took longer to go away because smoking regularly for as long as I did left my immune system weakened. Guys. Just don’t start.
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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.