As a major drinker staring down the barrel of a major drinking holiday (this goes up one day before 2018’s Saint Patrick’s Day) I am filled with excitement. St. Patrick’s Day is a lot of fun when spent with good people, and if my story about going into the Dallas purge didn’t give it away, my fellow drunks and I make a big day out of it. However, I know not everyone went to college in a town so boring it was compulsory to major in speed-chugging with a minor in keg-stands. Therefore, as a veteran shitshow, this seemed like the ideal time to throw out some tips to make sure you get the most out of your Saint Patrick’s Day, and don’t end up spending it over a toilet or in a cell.
1) Wear green. Just… just fucking do it. I don’t really care how much you hate “conforming” or “going with the crowd”, this is not a battle that’s worth the effort to wage. I see it every year, someone at the bar skips the green and gets progressively more annoyed through the night as each conversation they try and begin kicks off with a pinch or a question about why they forgot to wear the festive color. I treat these people like giant red flags, because dollars-to-donuts one of them will be getting into a bar fight when their patience snaps. Don’t sabotage your own night, put in a bare minimum of effort so that you can enjoy yourself in peace.
2) Slow and steady. Remember that, unless you drink aggressively with some frequency, you are not equipped to slam five shots and chase it with a beer as a way to kick things off. More likely, what you did instead was assure that you’ll be passed out or puking within the next hour. I know this is a big event, and it’s really tempting to go hard on those, but keep in mind we’re discussing Saint Patrick’s Day here. As in, it goes all day, or night, or however you celebrate; the point being that you’ll probably want to keep conscious and having fun for more than a couple of hours. Stick to beer, wine, or light cocktails early on, get a gauge for how everything is hitting you, and make your moves from there. If the group wants to take shots and you know you won’t be able to hang, decline. Or, in case your friends are dicks, tell them you have to use the shitter. They’ll be too drunk to try and take apart a lie that simple, and much too impatient to wait. Your body is your own, your pace is unique, and you don’t want to go all in before the day has properly kicked off.
3) Rotate Beverages. Statistically speaking, most of my readers are not in the exact perfect range of early 20s where you can drink without getting a hangover. To those of you who are, enjoy it while you can you bastards, eventually we all lose that super power. For the rest of us who’ve already started paying for fun with the brown bottle flu, it can be easy to get lost in the swing of things and go way too hard on the booze without supplementing. On behalf of your own body on Sunday, I implore you to put a little effort into drinking more than beer. Water is ideal, I personally double-fist on almost every drink, downing water after booze before I’m allowed a refill. It doesn’t stop hangovers; however it does make them more tolerable. Don’t forget a little caffeine in the rotation as well. I’m not “saying” mix booze and alcohol, because after Four-Loko we’re apparently all supposed to pretend we never heard of vodka and Red Bull, but again this a day-long event and you’re downing a depressant. If you want to make it all the way to the evening, you might want to take an occasional pause to throw down a soda.
4) Don’t pinch strangers. I know, I know, I accounted for this happening in the first entry, but there’s a big difference between saying “A lot of cars are stolen in this town” and “Hey it’s totally cool if you steal cars here.” Knowing its common doesn’t make it okay, and generally speaking it isn’t great to grab a piece of someone’s skin and squeeze without permission. Maybe it takes a little of the fun away from you to lose that power, but it also minimizes your chances of inadvertently getting involved in a bar fight and being tossed out, or worse, having the cops called. A lot of people are having a lot of booze, so low-key assault isn’t the best way to break the ice. Just steer clear of the non-green people and their drama if possible, but if conversation is unavoidable then keep your hands to yourself unless you’ve got consent to do otherwise.
5) Plan your travel. If you’re doing a house-party, this might seem less relevant, but remember that every guest you have still has to make the trek. In the event you and your friends are doing the usual move of going to a bar, it’s even more relevant. Can’t exactly crash at a bar the way you can at a friend’s house. Rideshares are going to be jacked up, and driving while drunk is not an option. Public transportation is a solid boon, assuming you’re fortunate enough to live in a big city, although of course that’s far from universally applicable. Should you have to be driven, then forethought is your ally. Figure out the bar you want to go visit, and what friend lives the closest to it. Meet at that person’s place before the boozing starts, and then split an ULW (Uber/Lyft/Whatever). Being close will minimize the cost, and dividing it between multiple people should soften the cost of surge pricing. Alternatively, if one of your friends is super-awesome, you might have a designated driver. Treat that person like fucking gold, because they are, and make sure to take care of them through the day. Otherwise, just think through your options before you hit the sauce, because once you start drinking none of that will be easier.
That should be enough to see you all through tomorrow in one piece, even if that piece is incredibly drunk. Remember these tips, down some green beer for me, and try not to puke indoors if it can at all be avoided. Hope you all have a safe and fun Saint Patrick’s Day!