A lesson about community service.
Liquor is a prominent theme
in my life on this blog. It’s even in the title. As much as I talk about going to happy hour and appreciating the wonder that is Jack Daniels single barrel whiskey, you probably think I am drunk more often than not. That is simply not the case. I have a job that I don’t talk about that I do very well and go to everyday. I am a productive member of society. That just isn’t as fun to discuss.
But it’s important to note that despite a proclivity for trying to outdrink my guy friends, I’ve never been kicked out of a club for being too drunk. Or carried out or passed out or unceremoniously laid out on a couch in the VIP section with my dress riding dangerously high up my thighs. That’s just not me. No shade if that’s your thing but just… wear pretty panties.
If not to save yourself from embarrassment, then to save me from having to peel your drunk ass off the floor.
I think maybe I have become Patron Saint of Drunk Girls in Public. I haven’t done anything to have this honor bestowed upon me besides be able to drink my weight in Grey Goose and still make it home safely. But now that I look back on my drinking history, all the signs were there.
There was the girl at the house party my freshman year who was half-conscious and being carried upstairs by a group of dudes. It went like this;
La sees group of random dudes carrying drunk girl upstairs
La: (to the girl) Girl, do you know these dudes?
Drunk Girl: *drunken mumbles*
La: (to man) Say, bruh, do you know her?
Man: *stutters out some manner of lie*
La: Put her down.
Man: She’s fine. I’m just gonna take her upstairs and let her lie down-
La: *elbows Man directly in the kidney with unnaturally pointy elbows* I SAID PUT HER THE FUCK DOWN.
There was the white girl in Adams Morgan who fell asleep on the sidewalk a block down from a DCPD patrol car, whom I effectively hid down a side street until they passed so she wouldn’t be arrested for public intoxication. And of course countless friends, but I don’t think they count as I consider it my duty to get whomever I went out drinking with home safely.
And then there are girls like the girl I encountered at one of my favorite hotel bars.
It is well documented that I don’t really subscribe to Girl Code, but I do believe one rule above all else; you don’t leave your girl drunk and alone at the bar. Not just because all manner of awful things could befall her. But also, because she is an embarrassment to us ALL.
I find this girl curled up on the floor in the bathroom, crying and talking to herself, after excusing myself from my date to make sure my martini hadn’t made my red lipstick bleed. She has all the hallmarks of Had too Much-osis; flushed face, unintelligible emo rambling, unfocused eyes, zero concept of appropriate behavior for the setting. I look around, sure that one of her girlfriends just left her there while she went into a stall to
sit on the toilet to rest her feet from walking in heelspee. Except we are alone. And she is VERY upset that some guy named Dan is getting married in the morning.
It is at this point that I realize that my Patron Sainthood has been activated. SONOFABITCH.
I start by sitting her up and trying to talk calmly to her until she can coherently answer my questions. Luckily she weighs exactly 97 pounds, so changing her position isn’t so hard. Getting her to stop muttering to herself like an extra from Girl, Interrupted, however? Not quite as easy.
Trying to talk to her doesn’t work. Shaking her gently doesn’t work. Raising my voice doesn’t work. So I do the only logical thing left to do…
I slap the everlasting shit out of her.
Once I have her attention, she tells me her name, and that she’s there with three girlfriends who took her out to get her mind off the fact that her ex-fiancé is marrying someone else tomorrow. Except somehow, 1 friend left for a booty call, 1 friend met a guy, and the other is flirting shamelessly with the cute bartender with the amazing rack. (I don’t blame this friend A BIT.) Over the course of their rounds of drinks, Shelly* stumbled her way to the bathroom, slid down the wall and had herself a good drunken cry. I get it. We’ve all been there. Though I am a cry in the closet kinda girl myself.
I get her to her feet, splash some water on her face and steady her with one hand while I pull her dress down from inappropriate heights with the other. More coherent now and infinitely more sad, she looks at me with big puppy eyes like the animals in that damn ASPCA commercial with the Sarah McLachlan, her eyes welling up with fresh tears.
“Can I please go home now?”
Oh, poor boo.
I brace her tiny body against my hip, and walk us out in what I hope looks like two girlfriends leaving the bathroom in a friendly embrace and NOT a stranger dragging a drunk girl by her waist to the curb. Especially because I’m 98% sure that if the hotel staff gets involved, this will be an even bigger mess.
My date sees me as we were come out of the bathroom, his facing filling with panic and what the fuck?! slipping from his lips before he can catch himself. He rushes over to us, trying to play it cool.
“Did you pick her up in the bathroom?”
I give him a brief synopsis of what has happened and he goes to pay our tab. I decide to start for the door. Halfway there, she steps in front of my outstretched leg, tripping us both. We both fall face first on the floor.
You see what thanks patron saints get?
I, being of sound mind and sober body, have the wherewithal to catch myself. Shelly, heartbroken and drunker than all the frat boys in all the land, lands flat on her face and busts her lip. Because she is intoxicated and unreasonable, what is really just a small split down her lower lip freaks her the entire fuck out. Jesus.
I gather her up and shush her before one of the two big security guys about 10 feet away turn around and all but drag her out to the cab line, trying my best to hold her up while avoiding her bleeding lip because saint or not, this girl is a stranger.
The sweet guy at the valet gives me a knowing smile and helps get her into a waiting cab. After I figure out she lives a few blocks away and make sure the driver knows how to get there, I put a $20 in his hand and close the door behind Shelly, who is sleeping soundly in the backseat. The cab pulls away just as my date comes outside.
“Did you know her?”
“No. I just found her on the floor when I went to the bathroom.”
“She came alone?”
“No, she was with some friends but they left her.”
“They left her like that?”
“Seems that way.”
“I saw you guys fall. Are you ok?” He thinks I don’t seem him holding in a laugh.
I take stock of myself quickly. Nothing seems ripped or torn or bruised. But I do have a pretty nasty carpet burn on my knee that I show him.
“Just a little carpet burn. Not even gotten in a fun way.” He laughs at me.
“I’ll make it up to you one day,” he says, grabbing my hand and leading me towards his car that’s just been pulled around by the valet. “You know,” he tells me, leaning on the open door above me, “you probably just kept her night from being even worse.”
“I know. I just wish these drunk girls didn’t keep finding me everywhere I go!”
“Maybe it’s you. Maybe when you drink you give off some kinda pheromones like, ‘Find me! I’ll make sure you get home safe!’”
“Ha! Well, clearly no good deed goes unpunished,” I say, gesturing to my knee.
“Maybe not,” he replies as he closes my door, walks around and gets in. “But maybe this can count as community service for any future infraction you commit?”
That could very well be the case. And while I do so appreciate you guys keeping me paying it forward by leaving your drunk ass girlfriends on the floor in public restrooms, maybe next time you can keep them to yourselves.
*names changed to protect the drunken