Friday, March 10, 2017

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

If you are anything like me, you enjoy a good cocktail.

There are so many varieties and endless reasons to consume them too. Brunch? Bloody Marys and Mimosas, of course. Long day at work? Have a glass of wine. Celebrating an accomplishment? Champagne, what else?! You put on pants today? You deserve a beer!

I never really thought twice about having multiple cocktails on a Saturday night, (unless you count regretting it numerous times Sunday morning) because that is just what people do; they go out on the weekends, and they drink. No matter what your plans entail, alcohol is always available and always delicious.

I began to realize things were getting a little Lindsay Lohan circa 2010 when Saturday nights turned into Sunday Fundays which then became followed by, “Dear God it’s Monday already, and I could really use a drink.” Soon after came margaritas accompanying Taco Tuesday, and there was always a happy hour somewhere on Wednesday. Thursdays quickly became the new Saturdays, and what was I supposed to do? Sit at home on a Friday night?!

Chicago winters can be pretty dismal, and I suddenly found myself out nearly every evening for no other reason than sheer boredom. Although I am rarely the girl who gets wasted, I was in fact, putting back several each night, and no matter how much I tried to deny my new found hobby was becoming an issue, my morning headache and bank account were there to remind me.

I decided to scale it back, but first, I was going to begin with a 30-day detox. Part of me wanted to befriend my liver, and part of me wanted to see if I could actually do it.

Rather than bore all of you with the details of things I did to occupy my time (I may or may not have alphabetized my collection of DVDs I should have just thrown in the fucking trash), I thought I would share some insight as to what being sober entails in case you wish to try it out for yourself.

I like to refer to my temporary detox as “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” and this is what I learned during my month of sobriety…

Everything is terrible if you’re not drinking.

On a recent night out, a DJ went from Aerosmith's "Dude looks like a lady" to "Twist and Shout."

Drunk, either one or both of those could have quite possibly been "my jam."

Sober, I considered taking out a loan to buy the bar just to fire him.

You’re rich, bitch!

How many times during a night out did you discover a magic card of wonder in your pocket and use that piece of plastic to buy everyone you have ever met a shot?

Booze makes you forget you have actual bills to pay, and you wake up Sunday morning feeling like you drunk texted an ex. When you stop drinking, suddenly you have a ton of extra cash, and you can finally use it to buy something other than a hangover.

You will be bored as fuck.

About two days in to my detox, I begin to wonder, “What do people who don’t drink actually do!?” Sure you can go out to eat or catch a movie, but after a few nights of both, you will need to get creative. Arcades, and Bowling, and Laser Tag, oh my!

Your house will be spotless. You may even exercise! Shit will get crazy!
                                                                                                                                    
Your patience will be tested.

Suddenly every drunk person in your presence will become the worst person you have ever met.

Remember when you used to befriend girls you met in the bathroom or listen to someone tell you the same story forty seven times yet remain intrigued throughout each version? When you are sober you will want to murder anyone who even tries to talk to you…or bumps into you…or even looks in your direction.

You will want to go home early.

There was a time when the lights would come on during last call, and all I would feel is sheer disappointment as I wasn’t ready to call it a night until the sun came up. Well have you ever been to a 4 am bar, sober? Last weekend, I made that rookie mistake.

They say giving up the devil’s juice will fill you with energy, but I promise that is not true. Being annoyed with literally everyone and everything is exhausting, and you will miss your bed almost as much as your beverage of choice.

You will lose weight.

Everyone knows alcohol is full of empty calories, but let’s be honest, that is not the main thing shattering your skinny jeans.

When you’re wasted, you get hungry. When you get hungry, you eat; and what is there to eat at 4 am? Mexican food and pizza. Plus, when you are drunk, you don’t ever actually get full, you just get tired of eating.  Sober, you know better and just go to sleep rather than shame eat mystery street meat outside the bar.

Everyone is less attractive than you once thought.

We all know beer goggles are a real thing, and Intoxicated-ville is just a stop on the way to Pound town. Once you stop drinking, you will realize how shitty drunk people actually look, and it will prevent you from wanting to have sex with any of them. Being sober is great birth control.

Everybody will think you are pregnant.

It doesn’t matter if you’re already thin or even if you lost all that burrito weight; if you aren’t throwing them back, everyone will assume you’re knocked up. You will have to order decoy soda waters with lime over and over to ensure the bartender hates you, and people won’t assume you’ve been hoeing.


Nobody can dance.

Through my temporary sobriety I have discovered rhythm is a relative term. When you are hammered, you think you could dance back up for Shakira. Better yet, you are Shakira. Vodka and those hips don't lie, girl. When you are the only one not drinking, you quickly realize people at the bar are a little less Beyonce, and a little more Taylor Swift at the Grammy’s.

You will become a cheap date.

If you are training for the drinking Olympics like I was, you develop quite a tolerance. Once you take a little break and return to boozing, it’s like you are sipping wine coolers back in your parents’ basement. Catching a buzz off one drink is something I thought was about as possible as Ryan Gosling, ‘Hey Girl’ ing me in real life.



It won’t be pretty. It won’t be easy. You may fantasize about killing your closest friends, but in the end, only a few were harmed. Your insides will thank you, and really all you missed out on was a couple regrettable decisions and several cases of Gatorade.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Power Hungry Hungry Hippos

For the first time in my adult life, most of my female friends, including myself, are currently single. Many, once in long term relationships, have called it quits while others have been steadily playing the dating game for years. Despite how we all ended up here, one thing seems to remain the same; no one is particularly having a good time. It’s like we are all living in a romantic comedy, but Ryan Gosling is not playing the male lead, it’s (several years) too long, and no one is laughing.

When I get together with my girlfriends, the stories we share make me lose faith in love and gain faith in Xanax. A close friend of mine just ended it with a guy who would cry during sex but wouldn’t shed a tear for anything else (including the death of his childhood dog), and I recently went out with one who told me if it was ever going to work out in the long run, I had to have threesomes. That’s right ladies and gentleman; if I wanted any sort of commitment, I had to eat vagina for breakfast.
                                                                                         
What ever happened to boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl likes boy, boy actually calls girl, they date, they laugh, they get it on, and they live happily ever after (at least for a little while)?

It seems dating has basically become one giant game of Monopoly. It always sounds like a good idea and is supposed to be a fun way to kill some time, but half way through you wonder why you wanted to play in the first place; meanwhile someone is probably cheating or completely controlling the board, and all you are trying to do is stay afloat until your next turn. It leaves you exhausted, possibly broke, and someone usually ends up pissed off and disheveled.

Everything has become way more complicated than it should be; wait three days to call. Don’t text first or back too soon to avoid seeming too eager. Show enough interest in someone so they don’t get discouraged and look elsewhere, but don’t develop any actual feelings or risk being shunned like a red headed step child. And even when you meet someone you find interesting, you should probably keep your options open in case something better comes along, but don’t get offended if someone doesn’t think the sun shines out of solely your ass and is doing the same.

It’s a power struggle, and it seems the only way to succeed is to be the one who cares less because you can’t get hurt if you never get invested. Was it Confucius who said, “(S)he who becomes the object of desire in any relationship is the one who gives the least amount of fucks?”

Insert eye roll emoji here.*

Can we all just get over ourselves for a few minutes? It shouldn’t be this serious. If you like someone, tell them. If you are thinking about them, text/call them. If you aren’t, quick being a dick. Think they are sexy? Kiss their face. If you wouldn’t bang them with someone else’s genitals, tell them (in a nicer way, ya savage). Stop constantly trying to prove you don’t give a shit if you actually do, and stop wasting other people’s valuable time if you don’t.  


I know, obvious advice is obvious, yet we are all still trying to be the girl with the most cake. I’m just worried that if we don’t stop being a bunch of power hungry assholes, that cake just may end up being cats.



Saturday, May 21, 2016

How to Piss off a Chicagoan.

My favorite past time is traveling so I often wonder with each new city I visit if there are certain rules and regulations, if you will, that the locals implement which would make little to no sense to an outsider.

I was recently told a good way to piss people (especially the police) off in Austin is to jaywalk, even if there isn’t a car for miles. Being from Chicago, I haven’t used a crosswalk in 20 years, and playing Frogger with local traffic is part of my daily routine. Remembering to push the button and wait for the “walk” signal definitely took some adjusting, but I am glad I was warned before I racked up several hundred dollars in tickets.

Chicago is no exception. While they may not be laws, we have our own quirks which may seem silly to everyone else, but it’s just what we know/how we do things.

With that being said, here are some surefire ways to piss off a Chicagoan…

Point out our accents.

While most of us don’t say Chicaaaaaago like the old Saturday Night Live skits, after a few drinks, that long “a” may sneak into a word or two. We know how horrible it is and don’t need you to point it out to us. It already makes us want to gaaaaaaag so please spare us your best Ditka impression.


Walk three people wide across the bike path.

It’s a simple concept really; If you want to take a nice leisurely walk along the beach, by all means get your lake on, but do it on the actual sand, grass, or those wonderful concrete elevated steps the city made to keep people like you from blocking the entire path. Joggers and Bikers use it to get exercise without becoming road kill on a city street, and many are hauling ass.

You wouldn’t casually stroll through the middle of a busy intersection so use that same logic here, and stop being a literal walking hazard.


Actually enjoy Malort.

There is a long standing tradition here with out-of-towners, and it is to ruin their day by making them take a shot of Malort. If you have never heard of it, Malort is a wormwood liqueur that tastes nothing short of broken dreams and regret. It’s horrible, and we live for something called “Malort face” which is the near vomit induced look new victims make after one sip. If you are one of the few people to actually like the taste of Gypsy tears, you strip us of the pleasure in your painful initiation.


Compare us to New York.

While we both have neighborhoods and skyscrapers, that’s about where the similarities end. Both cities possess good and bad qualities, and one isn’t better than the other, just different. Remember how your parents always compared you to your sibling? It’s kind of like that, but with several million people doing the comparing.

You can like two kinds of pizza, you guys.


Say you live in the city when you in fact, reside in Naperville.

If someone from here asks you where you live and you say, “Chicago,” you better be prepared to respond with a specific neighborhood, not a suburb 45 minutes away.

Stop trying to make Schaumburg happen, it isn’t going to happen.

Honestly, there is no greater way to piss off a true Chicagoan than to pose as one so if your favorite bar shares a wall with a Petsmart or Chipotle, stop claiming to be one of us.


Call Chicago “Chi-Raq.”

We know we have a gang/crime problem, but people make it out to be much bigger than it actually is. Most of the city is very safe, and if you aren’t looking for trouble, you probably won’t find it. Do things happen? Of course. This is a major city, and you’d be hard pressed to find any heavily populated city with zero crime. One Spike Lee movie, and suddenly everyone thinks I put on my bullet proof vest to go to the corner store.

Just to clarify, the only annoying article of clothing I ever need to put on before I leave the house is pants.


Constantly talk shit about our sports teams.

We are aware the Cubs haven’t won a World Series since the early 1900s (they are currently killing it though), but that seems to be the only thing people focus on regarding our city’s sports. Did you forget we have two baseball teams? Also, who remembers the Bears in the 80s or the Bulls in the 90s? No matter what you say about LeBron James, he will never be Michael Jordan, and you can’t take good ole number 23 or the masterpiece that is “Space Jam” away from us.

If you need more recent examples, see exhibit Blackhawks who have won three of the last seven Stanley Cups.

Put ketchup on your hot dog.

Look, I get it. Ketchup is delicious. If a condiment war broke out, I would enlist Team Ketchup all day, but with that being said, I would treat it like a red-headed step child if you brought it anywhere near my Chicago style hot dog.  Sport peppers? Absolutely. Neon Green Relish? You bet your ass, but Ketchup? Not within these city limits. It may seem silly, but when it comes to our hot dogs, logic isn’t a priority…only mustard and celery salt.

Use empty seats on public transit to store your shit.

Did you do a little (or a lot of) shopping on Michigan Avenue? Have a plethora of bags? Then call a fucking Uber or hail one of our million cabs to avoid being the asshole who hogs up a row of seats while the rest of us are forced to test our personal space boundaries with dozens of strangers.  


Remind us that Kayne West is from Chicago.

Ever since Swift Gate 2009, out of town friends and family love to tell us how Kayne West was born and raised here. Thousands of famous people hail from Chicago, but every time Mr. Modestly does or says something stupid, we get reminded he is one of our people. How soon you guys forget Jeremy Piven and Vince Vaughn, The Cusacks, Walt Disney, Buddy Guy, or Bill Fucking Murray.

Oh, and you like boobs? You can thank Hugh Hefner for paving the way with pictures of them, also from here.

Park in somebody’s “Dibs” spot.

Not only will you piss someone off, you will probably come out to a mountain of snow where you clean car once was. People do not fuck around when it comes to claiming the parking spot they spent two hours digging out. If you aren’t from here and see anything from lawn furniture to vacuums lining the streets during the winter, it’s best to leave them where they lay or get stabbed. I’m kidding. Crime isn’t as bad as they say, remember?