George Thorogood once sang the praises of drinking alone and, while the picture he painted of an angry, misanthropic loner certainly sounded attractive, it’s an activity that may not be for everybody. In fact, it probably shouldn’t be for anybody.
Drinking is really meant to be a social activity. Many of our social practices, like dating, making business deals, or dancing with a lampshade on our head, center around drinking. With that in mind, drinking alone seems kind of counterintuitive.
Why Drinking Alone Is Boring
Part of the fun of being drunk is hearing the stories afterward about what you did or what you said. Alcohol removes your filter and lets you show everybody else who you really are or who you really want to be, as scary as that may be. What good is that if there’s nobody around to see and hear it?
Think of all those hilarious observations you make and those amazing feats of human achievement, like cramming 30 pretzels in your mouth at one time. Who will document your finest moments if you’re drinking alone? And when your inhibitions are completely gone and you’re finally ready to tell the world what you really think of your job, your boss, your wife, and that stuck-up girl at the end of the bar, the bowl of peanuts in front of you probably isn’t going to care.
Let’s not forget about beer goggles—that lovely condition that allows you to see the inner beauty of the Walrus you’ve been chatting with ever since the room got blurry. If you are truly drinking alone, there is absolutely no chance that the entity you’ve been making time with is actually human.
Even if we are talking figuratively here and you are not physically alone in the bar when you drink and the target of your affection is actually real and human, there’s still no good friend there to tap you on the shoulder and tell you that she’s got a thicker mustache than Billy Dee Williams and maybe it would be best if you just went home alone tonight.
Why Drinking Alone Is Dangerous
Going home with a Sasquatch isn’t dangerous enough for you? How about the other crazy things you can do while drunk if there’s nobody around to stop you? There are a lot of late night tattoo parlors out there and Tijuana really isn’t as far away as you think it is. I’m just saying.
Of course, the greatest danger of drinking alone is that you’re going to get behind the wheel of a car. Even in the most hardcore group of drinkers, there’s usually at least one with enough brain cells firing at any given time to suggest that it might be time to call a cab. When you’re alone, your odds of making that call are reduced.
If you choose to walk home, you are still putting yourself in danger. A drunk woman walking the streets alone is like a neon sign to every pervert and rapist in a three mile radius. A drunk man walking home alone will similarly attract a lot of attention from muggers, and apparently drunk men are especially attractive to aliens who are cruising by looking for someone to probe, but this is more common in the South.
Why Drinking Alone Is Expensive
Drinking alone means that you have no designated driver. This means that if you’re drinking away from home you are going to drive home and risk a catastrophe, walk home and risk getting mugged, or call a cab. The last choice costs money, and if your cabbie is shady enough, it might be a lot of money.
Another expensive part of drinking alone is that there is nobody there to buy you a round. The cost of those drinks starts to add up fast when your friends aren’t chipping in. Even worse, there’s no friend to tell you that you’ve had enough, or that the money you’re spending is from the company payroll, or that American beer does not cost $150 per bottle, so your spending may go unchecked.
Why Drinking Alone Is Tiring
If you are actually physically alone, like sitting in your house on your sofa with nobody else in the building while you’re drinking, it can be kind of tiring. There’s nobody there to pour the drinks for you, first of all, so you’re doing that. If you don’t have the bottle right in front of you or if you’re drinking beer, you’re going to be making trips back and forth from your refrigerator or garage or wherever you keep the alcohol, and you’ll probably be taking more than one detour through the bathroom along the way.
Drinking alone seems in most ways to be more trouble than it’s worth. There’s danger, expense, and hassle, and not much entertainment value. If you can’t find someone to drink with, maybe you’re better off saving your money and your booze for the next time your buddies are free.