Shuffling to the club last weekend I could barely walk straight; you could almost call it a limp. This wasn't because of my painful and unnecessary high-heeled shoes nor was it because I was prematurely inebriated, it was because I had a miniature 50ml bottle of Smirnoff strategically shoved down my pants. At 25, I do realise this is the sort of extremely scrimpish thing you do when you're 17, but my girlfriends and I were on a mission to get drunk. On a budget.
Less than an hour after entering the club my mission proved to be undeniably successful. After drinking the smuggled vodka followed by a double JD coke and two shots, the evidence of my insobriety was plain to see on the dance floor. Bouncing my afro around like Sideshow Bob, whipping it into peoples faces and momentarily blinding them, I'd lost all spatial awareness. I stumbled exuberantly into thin air whilst my friends who'd somehow remained sober, acted as robust ballasts helping me remain on two feet. I'm sure they were highly embarrassed at my behaviour, especially when I thought it a marvellous idea to start parting the crowd so I could do some invisible limbo to some dancehall music. I did nothing to quell their humiliation. As soon as Drake blared through the speakers I went into overdrive, raucously screeching "I'm doin' meeeeeeee, I'm doin' meeeeeee- this what imma do 'til it's OVERRRR!" whilst jerking my chest spasmodically. My friends were then laughing; at me or with me I didn't care, I was in a world of my own. Drunk, unaware and having lost all social morals, I was a sober person's nightmare, but somewhere, deep down, I felt I was entitled to act this way.
Before that night I'd had a five month hiatus from drinking and clubbing, though not intentionally. For some unbeknown reason I hadn't felt any desire for nights of debauched crapulence. Perhaps it was because I became used to the fact that 9 out of 10 times I went out I was the designated driver. And being the designated driver means one thing. Sobriety. Many people would ask what's a good night out without a drink- where's the fun in that? Personally, I don't really mind not drinking for the sake of knowing that I can find my way home and not be abandoned, puking on a street corner at 3am with a tenner in my purse and a lecherous rapist posing as an innocent taxi-driver offering to take me home. Aside from this reason, my reward for being the designated driver is the thorough enjoyment I get from watching my friends get off their faces.
Contrary to popular belief there are advantages to being the only sober person on a night out. Rather than guzzling down extortionately overpriced drinks you don't even stop to taste or remember drinking, you will save money. Secondly, you don't have to worry about beer goggles. You can smugly sip your diet-coke knowing that your standards won't go out the window, you won't suffer visual impairment and you won't end up copping off with a leper. Meanwhile you can amuse yourself watching friends lust opprobriously after cretins they wouldn't usually touch with a barge pole- or hop into bed with. Adding to this, in your sober state, you can take notice of just how sleazy people, *ahem* men can be when they're drunk; lurking in dark corners ready to pounce on the first girl that comes their way. Furthermore, you are entitled to be abhorrently rude and imperiously blunt to any drunk idiot who approaches you with a licentious proposition. The drunken individual wouldn't even be able to string a sentence together let alone a witty retort. They willl walk away downtrodden whilst you gleefully congratulate yourself at their riddance. Most notably though, being the only sober person gives you a solid sense of awareness and authority. Your dignified behaviour against the complete unawareness of every individual around you gives you some semblance of control. Ever played "I never ever..." with a bunch of drunk people? You're the one smart enough to keep your trap shut- they're the ones stupid enough to give their sordid secrets away. You win.
My views come as somebody who drinks though sometimes makes the choice not to. I have many friends whose personal preference it is not to drink at all, whether that's due to religion or their desired lifestyle; unfortunately I don't have that kind of unyielding restraint. As much as it's good to remain sober from time to time to cleanse your liver and all that, I'm certainly not impartial to the odd tipple...or five. Sometimes it's good to let your hair down and make a fool of yourself.