Is drinking really worth it?

Beers and cheers

By Mairi Hughes


There’s a burning in my throat as I neck back another horrendously overpriced tequila shot and wipe away the sweat from my forehead, trying with every effort not to smudge my make up as I do. I wait in desperate anticipation for the alcohol to hit me.

The words, ‘I’m too sober for this,’ are floating around my friend circle.

I glance around the group of girls I’m standing with. Their tops have been pulled up, their skirts pulled down; all are re-adjusting their painfully high stilettoes whilst trying to bat off creepy boys who think an ‘alright, gorgeous?’ a creepy wink and a not-so-subtle-squeeze to the bum will make us go weak at the knees.

We all sway awkwardly from side to side, still too sober to actually dance. We fit right in to the room around us, filled with sway-ers, only the occasional peaked-too-soon clubber actually busting any moves that could qualify as dancing.

The club we are in is small, dark and sweaty. There’s a short delay each time I lift my feet; the bottoms of my shoes take a few seconds to detach themselves from the layer of stickiness that covers the floor. Someone standing in the circle is involuntarily jerked into the middle every few minutes by a passer-by who already can’t walk straight, and I can’t stop thinking about how weird this would all be if the music stopped.

I nip off to the toilets for a break from it all and a mirror under horrifically unflattering lighting appears in front of me. The thick layer of makeup on my face – which reflects the most effort I have put into my appearance all week – is quickly sweating off. I grudgingly wipe the black from under my eyes thinking: ‘what a waste of time that was’.

I spot some hairspray in the bathroom – a saving grace. I sweep over and make an attempt to redeem the artificial curls in my hair with an aerosol but I’m am immediately faced with a woman demanding a pound for the use of it. With the alcohol now going to my head I try my best to explain that I don’t have a pound before offering to give her it back. Mortified. Drained.

After leaving the bathroom, I re-join my friends and the swaying re-commences. A mere few minutes in and someone suggests getting another drink each – a drink to occupy ourselves with the hope of achieving a level of drunk which will make Bieber’s What Do You Mean bearable the fourth time round. Now feeling the struggle to walk in a straight line to the bar, I open my bag to discover I have no money left. As I order another drink and lift out my debit card ready to pay, it is not until after I have begun sipping on a £3.50 vodka and Tesco value coke that the barman shouts across the bar that ‘It’s a minimum eight pound spend to use your card plus a pound charge.’


Another questionable vodka coke and a couple of shots takes me up to the limit – yet another tenner down the drain.

After three surprisingly strong vodka cokes and Sourz shots, I find myself very drunk, swaying enthusiastically along to the unoriginal playlist. I almost forget to check the time. Two o’clock. I look around my friends half-heartedly swaying by my side, routinely squealing with apparent surprise when the same song comes on that we heard ten minutes ago.

Aching feet, covered in sweat, and that smell of Bamboo panging in my nostrils that I can only describe as a unique combination of BO and feet. All I can think about is how hungry I am, how good the chicken pakora from the chippie across the road would taste in my mouth. There’s a notion lingering in the air that everyone wants to leave combined with the unanimous determination to stay till closing.

‘Go hard or go home’ – really?

I would happily be at home, tucked up in bed with a box of pakora right now.

A pounding headache and an overwhelming urge to be sick; the inability to move accompanies the impending sense of regret which greets me as I wake on Saturday morning. There’s a lack of remembering what actually happened last night, though, a certainty that it wasn’t anything remotely special. It almost uncannily resembles the Saturday before, and the one before that, and the one before that…

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