What that drink says about you
On Saturday, I went out to a sort-of-upscale Irish sports bar in the Lower Haight to watch the Michigan State football game with some other alumni. Besides the fact that there would be other green-and-white-clad people there, the bar’s attraction was their bottomless mimosas. For $8, you could have as many of those little darlings as you wanted. Because the game started at 12:30 Pacific time, I figured it was much more appropriate to get tipsy from some champagne and orange juice than from a couple of long islands. I planned to be the classiest drunk Michigan State fan in San Francisco.
When we got to the bar and found the tables of green and white, I caught a glimpse of the mimosas. What I liked was the large pitcher on the table. What alarmed me were the tiny champagne glasses. Girls in lots of makeup with perfectly tousled hair wearing football jerseys sipped from the delicate-stemmed glasses like they were at a fucking Sunday afternoon tea party with their grandmothers. Despite how much I love champagne, I decided this would not do. It would not do at all.
Instead, I ordered a Blue Moon. For the longest time, I thought beer was disgusting and that it smelled like vomit. I couldn’t understand why anyone drank it. I only drank it when I played drinking games in college and even then, I drank it like a shot — to get it over with as quickly as possible. I’ve since learned to tolerate some beers, but it’s not really the beer that I like — it’s the message it sends. In this case, I was trying to meet new people, thus I wanted to look approachable and not as weird as I actually am. Drinking a Blue Moon while watching the Spartans says hey, I’m not just drinking beer to get crunk. I like a good beer. Otherwise I’d be having a PBR. I’m not uptight, but I’m not pretentious either. You can talk to me about this game and I’ll probably know what you’re talking about. Let’s be friends.
The girl sitting across from me came back from the bar with a tall glass of something clearish and bubbly with a lime, and I asked her what she was drinking. “Ginger ale,” she said, and I thought WHAT A SQUARE. Even as someone who originally wanted to be a nondrinker, I used her drink to make a complete judgment on her personality. (Even though she went to school at Michigan State, she thought Canada Dry ginger ale was better than Vernors ginger ale, when Vernors is the OBVIOUSLY SUPERIOR CHOICE, so it may partly have been that that skewed my judgment).
When I ask someone “What are you drinking?” I’m not asking because I really care. (Do you ever ask someone what they had for dinner and really want to know the answer? Unless you have children, I’m guessing the answer is no.) I’m asking because I’m going to go ahead and base your personality on your answer. Here are some common drinks and what I think about you when you drink them at a bar (or what I think about myself when I drink them):
Water: You’re the designated driver. Or you’re trying to sober up. You’re responsible, probably more so than I am. Will you bring me a water later, when I’m too drunk to realize I need one?
Rum and coke: You just turned 21 and don’t know what else to order.
Long island: You are outgoing and entertaining. You’d probably be that way even if you weren’t drinking four different types of alcohol.
Gin and tonic: You’re a classy motherfucker, because I don’t think these taste very good. Since you like something that isn’t very tasty, then you’re a unique little snowflake.
PBR: The obvious judgment is that you’re a hipster, but really it’s probably that you are a college student or an unsuccessful young professional, or very nearly unemployed, or a writer, and this was the cheapest thing on the menu.
Whiskey straight: You probably read poetry for fun and buy music only on vinyl. You probably actually have a working record player. You might have father issues and are perpetually sad. I’m too intimidated and immature to speak to you.
Tequila straight: You are an efficient drinker. I’d like you to manage my investment portfolio.
Wine: You are European. Or, if you’re American, you would rather be anywhere but here. You’re hoping this wine gives you a headache so you can feign distress and go home to your bed. Unless you’re at a wine bar, in which case, carry on. And order me a bottle.
Shots: It’s your birthday. Or you are a bachelorette.
Pitcher of beer: You are in a fraternity, or you really like to use the word “bro.” You like to laugh and spill things. You have a loud voice but you don’t mind because it makes people look at you. I’ll mock you until I go home, secretly upset that your tab was so much smaller than mine.
Soda: You are pregnant.
What do you think? Would you have judged me for having that mimosa? What drinks would you add?
Note: Context is important. Drinking wine with dinner is much different than drinking wine at a bar, just like drinking a Bud Light at a tailgate is different than ordering it on tap. No offense was intended. If you were offended, I apologize, but you should probably go have a drink.