Every few years, there are studies in the news that boast the benefits of drinking. A few cocktails make you better at work! A couple of beers make you better in bed! Drinking unleashes your creativity!
For every cocktail on the average bar menu, there’s a study telling you why that drinking could be the answer to all your problems.
And let’s be honest: Drinking makes things better. You name it and it can be argued that a well-crafted, top-shelf libation would make the situation better. Childbirth? Needs a champagne spritzer. Voting? Chug a craft beer and a whiskey back. Sweatin’ to the Oldies? Down a squeeze bottle of Gatorade and vodka.
First and foremost, drinking makes socializing better. And not just bearable-better, drinking makes socializing pleasurable. You laugh more easily. You dance more easily. And no one cares if that laughing and dancing happens when you are in a small heap on top of the coffee table.
Before you run out and get supplies for day drinking, let’s look at specific social situations that can be made better through drinking.
If you enjoy being physically active and challenging yourself, then the point of playing golf is to actually golf. For everyone else, it is less a game to be played and more a long walk in a Polo shirt. A long walk you spend chatting with others about the stupid walk. Or better yet, driving a cart. It begs for you to drink. This is why fancy clubs provide the booze and community ones look the other way when you smuggle it in.
There’s a reason the average beer is 10 bucks at a stadium: They know you need it and will pay anything to get it. There is a good test to determine how important drinking is to an event. If the most loyal, enthused fans — people who would undergo sadistic, Saw-like torture to get access to the event — are tailgating at 10 a.m., getting so plowed that they barely make it inside the stadium, then drinking is clearly… important. Defer to the fans and get tanked in the parking lot or smuggle in tequila in your girlfriend’s bra. Bonus: Smuggling in liquor actually makes you very popular in your seating section.
Funerals and Wakes
You are wearing uncomfortable, black clothes; your great aunt’s veiny bird hand is fastened around your wrist and can’t be removed; and, you have been kissed on the mouth by roughly every relative you have. At this point, you may be weeping less about your friend or relative in the casket and more about the set of crap social circumstances you are enduring. This is why whiskey is the official drink of grieving. It makes crying okay; it encourages hugging; and it kills germs, so all that kissing won’t get you sick. Grab a glass and make a toast.
Competing on Reality TV
How is this social you ask? What else would you call being forced to share a house with 20 strangers? It’s like the seventh circle of sorority social Hell. This is just one of many reasons that most reality shows host an open bar. Heck, even a show like Survivor has a couple of challenges that offer people booze as a reward. Engaging with strangers day in and day out, while competing is so much easier when you have a mild buzz and the more you drink, the more camera time you will have in the final edit. Of course, you will be edited to look like a trainwreck, but all publicity is good publicity. Right?
Any time spent socializing with family is made easier with alcohol. The best-case scenario is that your family is filled with first-rate chefs and hosts with the most, but even the WASP-iest Martha Stewart event is still a social minefield. You need a glassy-eyed bravado to weather cutting comments about your weight and relationship status. Grandma says, “No seconds? Good for you, dear.” And you say nothing because you are too busy trying to inhale a cran vodka in record time. Yes, gran, it’s sugar-free juice.
All dates — blind, double, first, etc.— apply social pressure like few other interactions do. It’s a job interview, but the job is good sex and emotional support. It’s a job you actually want to do and not a job you need so that your one true love, cable internet, isn’t taken away from you. But, how can you be your best self when you are awash in panic perspiration and your mind is on automatic, listing every screw-up of your dating life thus far? You need the universal thought silencer known as liquor. Just avoid the ones that make you an angry-drunk.
All company events, be they picnics, gala dinners, or Easter egg hunts, include alcoholic beverages. The clear message is that you should always drink on the company dime, right? Worried about a promotion? Concerned you may not spend enough time schmoozing? Debating how to score some face-time with upper management? The answer is easy: Knock back a few cocktails. If Mad Men is anything to go by, generations of successful businessmen only brought two things to the table: Booze breath and a well-fitting suit. You can at least nail one of these.
Alright, so drinking doesn’t necessarily make everything more fun, but try explaining that to your kids. In fact, try explaining anything about drinking to your kids. It’s impossible. It also isn’t made any easier by having the conversation while some passed out guy lolls in the background like in this clip from The Detour, premiering on April 11 at 9/8c on TBS.