Alison Berkley: Sounding off on amateur night |

Alison Berkley: Sounding off on amateur night

Alcoholism has never come naturally for me.

Lord knows I have tried to overcome this little shortcoming over the years as I continue to surround myself with boys who like to party (roommates and boyfriend included), and more importantly, I want to be in good shape for New Year’s Eve.

I’ve found plenty of opportunity to train and work toward my drinking goals here in Aspen. I’ve made it to last call with stubble-faced longhairs at winning places like Cooper’s and Bentley’s and The Red Onion.

I’ve rolled with the padded bra/Diesel jeans/fur and leather crowd at Eric’s on the weekends. I know all about the beer-then-liquor-never-sicker thing and watch out for those strong drinks at McStorlie’s. I eat bread beforehand and drink gallons of water afterward, along with buckets of Advil and vitamin C or late-night gyros at the Popcorn Wagon.

But no matter what I do, the same thing always happens. I either puke, cry, say something I shouldn’t, hook up with someone I said I wouldn’t, hurt myself, spend a ridiculous amount of money, or all of the above.

Like I’ve said before (for those of you who were paying attention), I call these “bad prom nights” and for some reason they didn’t end in high school.

Last year on New Year’s Eve I threw up $60 worth of sushi in the alley behind a dance club in Boulder. How dumb is that? Puking is the worst, especially when your friends are there to laugh and take photos.

Getting run over by a snowplow would be more fun. I also get sick in the morning when I am sober enough to feel my eyeballs pop out like they’re on springs, only to plummet through my skull on the rebound. I suffer from the kind of headaches when it hurts to move my eyes, so if someone wants to speak to me I have to turn my head slowly, neck-brace style.

If I even get a glimpse of an empty beer bottle or a whiff of stale booze, I’ll for sure lose it right there … forget about what the sight of a mold-encrusted toilet seat will do.

When you live with boys, the whole bathroom scene can get pretty ugly sometimes, especially on those mornings when you’re soggy with toxicity like a dirty, smelly sponge. Times like those I go straight to Bagel Bites for a Turkey Ranchero just to make sure I absorb all that alcohol with grease and fat and bread. Really, it’s the best thing for you!

Crying is worse than puking, though. It is perhaps one of the most inherently female (and horrendously embarrassing) side effects of boozing known to woman.

My theory on this is that sometimes you drink so much that it overflows, first filling your tummy and then your bloodstream until it leaks out your eye sockets like a bathtub does when the water’s left running.

That’s why women who are 5 feet tall will bawl and big tall guys won’t (I had a short boyfriend once, and he cried, so that should further support my point).

Of course women tend to lose it when they are dumped or shut down sexually or both. (Yes, boys. It does happen.)

You’re likely to find at least one of these blubbering victims on a busy night in girl’s bathrooms at places like Eric’s or Shooters or Grottos, surrounded by friends whose slurring words of encouragement are equally as pathetic. Girls, waterworks will destroy whatever chances you thought you had of going home with him. And boys, just so you know … the fastest way to drive a woman to tears are the those very unoriginal lines:

1) “I think of you as a really good friend.”

2) “You’re just not my type.”

3) “The sex was great, but …” and

4) The never-fails crusher, “I’m just not in a good place for a relationship.” (That is just sooo presumptuous!)

The mouth gets flooded, too. That’s when over-the-top emotional statements pour out, like the ever-original, “I have so much passion in me, I just don’t know what to do with it …” I actually said that to some poor bastard once.

He shut me down and then refused to walk me home from Elevation even though I live two blocks away because I was pouting, and that is a true story.

Your mom was right when she told you “some things are better left unsaid.” Also of note: the old, “I was drunk,” excuse just doesn’t wash after 10th grade.

Sex, on the other hand, is as much of a goal as it (may very well be) is a mistake. I truly believe it is the reason most people like to drink so much in the first place. A little buzz provides the courage to make that first move, even though you’ll probably pass out before the last.

I know I definitely would not have been the least bit open to (fill in the blank) had I been sober. I’m so sure that the humiliation that comes with waking up next to this person will be totally worth it. Don’t worry about exchanging numbers … since this is such a small town, you’ll have every opportunity to run into them again real soon!

Drunk injuries are almost as painful and just as difficult to hide from. You can lie about it like I did that time I tripped and fell for no reason and hit my face on the curb the night before an important business meeting (“I had a really gnarly wipeout riding my mountain bike on Government Trail yesterday,”) but you might not be as clever. The best is when you get to tack on your hospital bill to that tab your friends forgot to pay.

So … what are you doing tonight?

[The Princess is staying in to rearrange her sock drawer and is pretty sure she won’t cry. You can wish her a Happy New Year at]

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