Tina Fey - tablets, tossers and times of frustration

“Why aren’t you drinking?” | Tablets, tossers and times of frustration

Here is a story about an interlude with a dick. Woooaah, slow down, not that kind, *Daniel Cleaver [from Bridget Jones] voice* you dirty bitch – although that in itself would be a cause for celebration. Phallic shaped cake, anyone?

No, this tale involves (what seems to be) the root of all my problems – a man. Not just any man, I’ll have you know – I’m talking about an ignorant man *inserts sassy eye roll emoji*. Or, more specifically, a fuckboy.

It was March, I was at one of my best friend’s birthday parties and it wasn’t long before I was introduced to (let’s call him) Ben. I’m going to cut an incredibly long story short. Ben was a monumental knob. Not because he was lent on the bar, looking at me like I was a freshly cut piece of meat given to him on a plate (he literally looked me up and down repeatedly whilst I was chatting to him *voms*). And nor was it because he wouldn’t stop talking about his band from London launching their EP (I’m sorry, but I really really couldn’t give a flying fuck).

No, Ben got right under my skin simply by asking why I wasn’t drinking. Ok, I tell a lie. Back when I briefly wasn’t drinking from Jan – May, I had no problem with people asking me why. It’s when they just. wouldn’t. drop. it.

“Oh, I just don’t feel like it tonight,” said Sarah Mullaney, liar of the century. I’m no maniac, but I do love a cheeky tipple every now and then. A vodka cranberry here (my signature drink, allowing me to feel ultra badass when I smoothly utter the phrase “make it a double”), a sex on the beach there (oh stop it, you).

Time passed and it wasn’t long before, yet again, Ben was asking me why I wasn’t drinking. Oh Ben, you’ll never learn. He started to become pushy, suggesting I was being boring and insistent on fixing this clear character flaw I possessed. Whilst, deep down, I know that I should never have to justify myself to anyone, in that moment, I felt incredibly small and, giving into my insecurities, I opened up about my choice.

“I’m kind of on, like, some erm, tablets… at the moment,” I awkwardly mumbled, pausing to look around and feel the awkwardness build in the air, embracing me as one soul mate would another.

“And it’s recommended I don’t drink when I’m on them, you know, the tablets.” That, my friends, is the painfully long winded code for: I’m on antidepressants and, if I become Paralytic Penny for the evening, I’ll be on a bit of a downer tomorrow morning. However you call it, a squiffy, sloshed, steamin’ or (my personal favourite from my trusty idiom site) steampigged Sarah would not have been good for anyone, at that moment in time (I’d like to add that I’m back drinking now and I have since been steampigged).

But, obviously, that’s not something you just blurt out to someone you’ve only just met, especially when (if we are politely speaking), you’re not that keen on the aforementioned dickhead person.

I wondered what would happen after I revealed my, so-called, secret. You say that you’re on tablets and people typically have one of three reactions. The first, being the most desirable – they don’t react. Ok, that’s a lie, they do react a bit – after all, it would be slightly chilling if they just stood there as still as a statue, right after you’ve divulged some deeply personal information. No, when I say people don’t react, I mean that they simply acknowledge what you’ve told them, maybe continue the line of conversation and then move on. Because one individual taking tablets really isn’t anything that extraordinary, when you think about it, right?

The second reaction to my going to confession (or, at least, what felt like it), is somewhat less desirable, but isn’t anything that can’t be worked with. You become the sympathy case, awarded the prestigious victim vote, as I like to call it. Some cock their head to one side, releasing an ‘awwwww’ in perfect timing with a long exhale, whilst others try to look deeply into your soul, as if they’re trying to see what you’re going through. The problem with me being that, for some reason unbeknownst (beautiful word, there) to myself, my pupils are always dilated. In short, I always look like I’m terrified or incredibly high on a substance that even the best dealers are yet to get their hands on. So, if you do try to look into my soul, my eyes probably aren’t the most accurate starting point.

And finally, after announcing to the world that yes, there are actual reasons why people don’t drink, as opposed to just being ‘boring’, the last reaction is from, what I call, “the changers.” The people who, for one reason or another, think they know it all, think they have the right to tell you to alter your behaviours because, apparently, they know best.

Is it even worth asking how fuckboy Fred reacted (sorry, I think we’ve called him Ben. Although, ‘Fuckboy Fred’ sounds like an incredibly apt name for a 2017 supervillan, don’t you think?)?

“Well, what tablets are you on?” he enquired. Whilst I wanted to point out that curiosity did, in fact, kill the cat (and I wanted to put his opinions in a bag and, individually, throw them all in a deep river), I just mumbled some bullshit about them being “not for anything important.”

Thanks to the beauty that is hindsight, I now know that this was not the way to go.

“Surely you can drink with those? One wouldn’t hurt. Besides, I have a mate who was on…..” he blahed (my new word for people talking utter shit that, frankly, I couldn’t care less about and cannot be bothered to repeat. “… he drank absolutely loads and was fine, so you’ll be ok if you have a few.”

Well, I’m sorry fucking Greys Anatomy, I didn’t realise that you’re a doctor as well as a band member!

He continued to push about the drinking. As if it was a “Cinderella, you shall go to the ball” moment, when, in reality, it was a “Sarah, you shall drink until you’re passed out on the floor” moment. Not that I’m trying to imply he had any bad intentions, I don’t believe he did, I just don’t agree with pushing someone to drink when they clearly can’t or don’t want to.

I don’t tend to tell people I’m on anti-depressants. Declaring that you’re on tablets is awkward enough. And, when people like our (not) friend Ben feel the need to ask “why aren’t you drinking?” and “what tablets are you on?” (not like that’s intrusive, or anything), it just makes me want to jump onto the rooftops and scream to the heavens:

“I’m on happy tablets to make conversations with chauvinistic pigs like you more fucking bearable!” and with an added patronising “hun” thrown onto the end for good measure.

I probably sound like a mad woman, but if I were to put it in simple terms (if you haven’t already guessed), I’d say that it just gets right on my tits when people can’t let go of the fact that you’re choosing not to drink.

Because they act like drinking alcohol isn’t a choice, like it’s a necessity to function and a must-do when you’re out. Ok, for some people it’s a must, but for others, it’s a choice. Unlike oxygen, food and water, you don’t need alcohol to survive and at that time, I didn’t want to drink. I was very much content with a glass of coke and indulging on the Hairbos that were meant to be for the children.

Of course, I didn’t have lady balls big enough (or even just a pair of lady balls to begin with) to say any of this at the time. It’s always the way when someone gets right under your skin, you think of the best retorts and comebacks afterwards.

You’re going to want to slap me with a slimy, wet fish for this. Instead, I continued talking to him or, rather, he continued talking at me about the whole drinking sitch, his EP etc, we had a dance and, somehow… ended up briefly kissing.

I know, I know, I kissed the pig! Argh! Fuckity fuck fuck and shitting hell! Not good, Sarah!

In my defense, he was stuck to me all night like how that bit of toilet roll (annoyingly) won’t separate from the back of your shoe. And, at the time, I was in a bit of a crappy place in my head – so the self-esteem boost (in a way) did me some good.

But, before you abandon this essay and judge me for giving into my weaknesses, I’ve saved the best bit till last.

After I kissed our arrogant amigo Ben, I pitied the fool (aka myself) and legged it. Well, I spent the remainder of my evening bobbing in and out of conversation with my friend’s parents and extended family, avoiding Ben until (sacre bleu!), the pig sniffed me out.

At that point, I was thinking “A B C D E … F this” and decided I was going do an actual runner and leg it. But, Ben began asking if I wanted another drink (alcoholic, despite all of the above!!), started up yet again the painful talk of his music and, I believe, may have been trying to woo me.

Side note: The most successful attempts of wooing Sarah normally involve her one true love, la comida, which is Spanish for FOOD. Garlic bread, chicken nuggets, pizza, lasagna, ooft – maybe even some chips – now we’re talking.

I wasn’t going to hang around for this whole ‘wooing’ malarkey but, equally, I wasn’t going to lie my way out of it, either. Primarily because (and those who know me will also agree) I am a catastrophically shocking liar. Me and lying just don’t get on. But a white lie, now, that I can kind of work with.

It was in a bid to freedom and an act of desperation that I blurted out “I’ve got to go! I’m, er, having my haircut early tomorrow so … I need to get some sleep. Bye!” Worst. Liar. Ever.

It was with that utterly crap (but partly true – I did get my hair cut the following day, *cough* at 1pm *cough*) confession, that I felt justified enough to abandon a now staggered Ben, say goodbye to the birthday girl and dramatically flee into the night where my taxi was conveniently waiting.

Whilst I may not have found my Prince Charming (just another fucking frog to add to the ever-growing list) and did not lose a glass slipper, at least I made it home before the clock struck midnight. Even if I was running away…

Image credit: ministry principles.co.uk