How to: Be Sober at a Party


Sometimes you opt to be the driver for the night. Sometimes you’re taking medication for your mysterious rash. Sometimes you’re outright insane and choose it without any explanation. Whatever the reason may be, you may find yourself out on a Saturday night completely, bone dry sober. For most twenty-something year-olds, this sober-party world is strange. The people, the environment, the sounds and smells all seem foreign through the eyes, ears, and nose of sobriety. You may start feeling confused, angry, or even scared.

But it’s okay.

As one of the aforementioned insane people, I have spent most of my twenties abstaining from alcohol. Unlike most people in my age bracket, I go to bars, birthday parties, concerts, family functions and work completely sober. In honor of this month’s Provocative Penguin theme, I have put together some tips for all of you out there who have chosen (or are forced) to spend their Saturday in the dry and lonely arms of sobriety.

1. Drink a lot of water.

First, it’s really good for your skin. It’ll give you a nice glow and not in the I’ve-been-throwing-up-all-night-because-I-drank-too-much way. Also, it’s free. But most importantly, pre-drunk people get very uncomfortable when they’re around someone not drinking. If they notice that you’re not holding a glass/bottle/can, they immediately start questioning why you’re not drinking. If you’re not wanting to admit that you’re not supposed to consume alcohol with your newly-prescribed gonorrhea medication, it’s best to drink water. The mere act of sipping on something, anything, seems to ease their discomfort. By the end of the night, the glass doesn’t even need to contain liquid. Just having it in your hand will suffice. Once, I lost my glass and noticed a stumbling drunkard heading straight for me ready to angrily question the emptiness of my hands. Out of desperation, I grabbed a vase from the fireplace mantle. The damn thing still had flowers in it. It was equally effective.

2. Don’t drink too much water.

This caveat is important regardless of whether you’re at a friend’s place or out for a night on the town. Biology dictates that the more people drink, the more they have to urinate. If you’re at a house, and as the night progresses, the likelihood of someone camping out in the one available washroom increases. This can occur for many reasons, including illness from too much consumption or forgetting how to unlock the door and deciding to sit in the bathtub for the duration of the night out of spite for the doorknob. In public places, the washrooms become increasingly dirty as the night goes on and only sober people seem to notice/care. And you, my friend, will do both.

3. Sing like no one is listening. Dance like no one is watching. Basically, imagine that everyone around you is Helen Keller.

Everyone thinks they have to be really drunk to get up and sing karaoke or get their dance on. Wrong. Everyone else around you has to be drunk. That way, no one will remember you singing/dancing and you can belt out Miley Cyrus all you want or try that new dance move you’ve been practicing at home.

 4. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.

Arrive alive people. As the sober one, it is your responsibility to ensure your imbibing friends don’t hop into their cars after downing their twelfth shot. However, as the responsible one that just saved someone’s life, you deserve to be rewarded. After dropping off your friends, take their car home with you and get all your grocery shopping done or go on that weekend road trip you’ve been meaning to take. Just don’t be a douche and return it (whenever that may be) with an empty gas tank.

5. Get drunk.

The truth is, it’s hard staying sober when everyone else around you is drinking. A lot of the time, it’s downright unenjoyable. So why waste another minute having a crappy time? Grab that beer, down that shot, and catch up with your stumbling friends. So your head might hurt from the adverse reaction to your medication. And maybe your friends are a little pissed that you all have to hitchhike home. But have no fear! If you drink enough, you won’t remember any of it anyways.

About Brooke Lynn

Brooke spends most of her free time contemplating who would win in a fight between a miniature lobster endowed with unicorn magic and a giant cockroach. She chooses the giant cockroach 62.54% of the time. When she’s not thinking about invertebrate street fighting, Brooke spends her time learning how to read. [More by Brooke]