by: Adam Guerino
Note: “Serial Dater” is a series that came in response from a magazine asking Adam Guerino to write a dating column. He realized the irony that anyone would ask him for dating advice and decided to write a dating column based upon the theory that no one should ever ask his advice about dating.
For those who think they need liquor to “relax”, there is a fate worse than vomiting. It’s called word vomit. The same device you may use to not be nervous is the same one that blocks your ability to be tactful. Drinks aren’t always your friend, they’ll pose as such and make fun of you when you’re too drunk to notice. The same applies to dating. Always remember: Only you can prevent drinking and dating.
And sure, you might seem uptight without a drink but you’ll also be less likely to embarrass yourself by accidentally talking about your ex, hiccuping, or, worse, making drunk face. If you’re unfamiliar with what “drunk face” is, it’s when you look like you are trying to do long division while simultaneously tasting something sour and rocking back and forth in place. Except you’ll feel like you’re looking sophisticated, relaxed and super cool.
I’m not just talking about the first date, either. Though I’ve been guilty of that. I’m also talking about when you’ve been dating someone for a while. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been an upstanding citizen and model of sobriety–whenever you get drunk it will only appear to them as though you are showing your “true self.”
It might seem like letting liquor take the wheel is entrusting your life with someone you’ve known for years. In reality, you don’t know this person–you’re too drunk to know them. The only time you know you’re drunk self is when you’re too drunk to remember. You might remember glimpses and blurs of a great night with no anxiety and low stress but you might wake up to a false impression. Who this person hung out with isn’t you–unless you’re drunk all the time. At which point, the first step to quitting is admitting you have a problem. But for those who just drink to relax a bit, do you want to make a genuine first impression or some exaggerated version of yourself?
I’ve had relationships where the extent of our happiness and co-existence depends upon our lack, or surplus, of drinking. Some may wait until they get drunk enough to tell me what’s pissed them off the past weeks while others may wait until they’ve had a few drinks to tell me they like me. And sure, you can become a mixologist, you can become a chemist and make it work. But inevitably, you’re in a three-some replationship with an inanimate object. (And if you think liquor is a living thing, you’ve had one too many.)
I believe that drinking is like bringing out some cartoon character expression of yourself. You might be funny at times, confident and devil-may-care when you’re drinking but more than likely, liquor has just turned off some of your personality that includes caution, restraint and responsibility. Sure, booze affects people in different ways but not everyone who drinks think they are drunk. If you want to use liquor to make a first impression, you’ll just be delaying the inevitable for when all of your extremes balance out. If you want to put your drunk foot forward, be confident you can walk a straight line. (And no, that isn’t a gay joke.) Otherwise, you’ll just be putting the wrong foot forward.
Adam Guerino is a writer in Chicago who works nationally as a stand-up comedian event producer. Guerino is the creator of OutLoud Chicago a production effort bringing queer entertainment to the mainstream with rotating venues including Queer Comedy at Zanies and Barefoot Ballad at The Hideout. His benefit series We Are Halsted seeks to get the queer community to support the queer community by raising funds and awareness for queer homeless youth. For more information and a calendar of upcoming events, www.adamguerino.com.