Hey dingus,

How are things? I feel like it’s become common practice for me to open with something embarrassing about you, but today I’m fresh out of ideas. Eventually I’ll dive into those high school memories like that time you had to dress up as Rand Paul and everybody thought you were Rachel Maddow which was ultimately a compliment, but also great insight into your innate ability to be mistaken for a lesbian. Also a compliment, but not quite your market (also I’m never fresh out of ideas, who am I kidding, I have so much shit on you).

Anyway. Alcohol. Or more specifically, tequila. But quickly we’ll touch on alcohol. You, my lovely little hard headed over opinionated lady, are going to be pretty straight edge until junior year of high school. I could dive deep into why it is you made that decision while most of your friends said “fuck it” and picked up a beer long before you, but that’s a whole other thing for another letter. You’re controlling and it’s complicated.

In time though you do learn how to have a drink. It will start with Four Loco during Bumbershoot 2010, an experience that landed you and your girlfriends a one-way ticket to what I can only describe as a puke-apocalypse. By senior year of high school, you’ll become the designated keg hauler, schlepping kegs to and from parties in the conveniently covered trunk of your car. As far as college goes, you’re pretty tame… ish. You have your moments (may I redirect your attention to Letter 1), but all in all drinking isn’t a particularly enjoyable pastime you over-involve yourself in until the very end of senior year and into that first year out of school.

That’s when you switch your sights from AMFs (thank you bartenders at the D for 150% contributing to my truly heinous decision making) to tequila.

Let’s back up a bit.

When you graduate, you’ll have a two-month period between leaving Chapman and becoming employed. At the time, you’ll bitch about it relentlessly, but I’m telling you ENJOY IT. That’s the easiest your life will ever be. Come August, you’re going to start working in management and for anyone who knows anything about agency and management work in Hollywood, it’s a fucking nightmare.

The thing about that job though, is that it’s going to make you REALLY anticipate your weekends. Friday and Saturday nights will be spent at bars overpaying for cocktails with stupid names and falling back on (suspiciously lukewarm) tequila sunrises when money gets low. You’ll become well acquainted with The Satellite, Break Room 86, The Abbey, Bar Lubitsch, Davey Wayne’s and a whole lot of other places you won’t remember your experiences at as well as you should. The times will call for Jose Cuervo and a lot of making a half of a lime you found in the back of your fridge go a long way.

For a while you’ll be the person that is more than willing to make an ass of yourself for the sake of a good time. More than once you’ll be told, “Ma’am you can’t stand on that chair,” “Please get off the table,” “That dresser is for decoration only,” and “Ma’am seriously stop going back and standing on the chair, I can see you.” You’ll order too many drinks at the bar and always be far too eager ordering drinks for others, even when they don’t want them because, as your friend have said before, “you’re aggressively generous.”

But eventually that care free attitude will be replaced with drunk anger. You’ll pick fights and yell. You’ll overanalyze and that over analyzation will frequently be incorrect. Your sadness will only be inflamed by the fact that alcohol is an anti-depressant. The mix of a bad job and you’re growing tequila crutch will make you intolerable. That’s harsh, I know, but let me tell you – there will be a night that you rack up over $200 in tequila shots (not just for you, thank god, but still), have a borderline mental break at the bar and then proceed to be charged $160 for your failed attempt to throw up outside the Uber.

So. Not long after that you’ll take a break from drinking. A handful of various factors will play into that decision, but the testy temperament and the generally shitty demeanor will, unsurprisingly, be a pretty sizeable part of it. And, despite nearly a year of tequila gripped in those teeny tiny baby hands of yours every weekend, you’re going to be just fine without a drink. It will actually grow on you.

Because here’s the reality of alcohol – it makes you fat and depressed.

IF you drink too much. And of course, that statement may not apply to everyone. Maybe there are those in this world who lose weight from drinking and are chronically overjoyed the morning after. But you’re not one of them. Like seriously, you’re not one of them. There will be a point in your life where your friends know you as the girl who can pull the all nighter in Vegas and wake up hangover free and ready to do it all over again, but, as miraculous of an ability as that is, it’s a passing phase.

These days I’ve adopted the practice of alcohol in moderation. It works for me and it will work for you. Part of it comes from quitting the hell job and finding happiness in activities other than frequenting bars where you spend more time in line than in the actual bar (and when you do finally make your way in there, there’s so many people you’re just screaming half-hearted conversations at your friend hoping they hear you over all the other people screaming half-hearted conversations at their friends). The other part of it comes from embracing water, a better diet and the crazy idea that overpaying for one or two good cocktails every once in a great while is more relieving on your wallet and your conscious than checking your bank account at the end of every weekend with a heavy heart, massaging the headache from your temples and cursing the bad decision gods for continuing to be giant fucking assholes.

I mean, ultimately, this is what I think – I think everyone has a different limit. I thought mine was a lot higher than it is. Just because you’re a functioning drunk, doesn’t mean you’re a charming drunk. You’ll get to that conclusion on your own, but just know it’s coming. Until then embrace your time with Jose. He’s going to make you do some stupid shit.

Much love,