Don't Say 'I Love You' When You're Drunk
Greetings, sweet kittens. It's me, Zara, your digital big sister.
While I love the weekend as much as the next free-wheeling, high heel-wearing, winged liner-sporting, booze-swilling, red-lipsticked PARTY GIRL, 99.9 percent of the mistakes I've made in my life have taken place during the weekend. I've spent one too many Mondays spiraling down the dark vortex of weekend guilt, regret and shame.
But hey, don't fret. Because I'm going to be here every Friday to stop you from the awful weekend fuckups that are screwing up your life. Here's this week's Very Important PSA.
Please. Please. Please. Don't. Say. These. Three. Words. When. Drunk.
I. LOVE. YOU.
OK, now I'll stop with the incessant periods because I know they're annoying as hell, but I'm just trying really hard to get the urgency across and because you can't hear me scream and I've been told to "cool it" on the swear words, so I can only rely on grammar, babe. And I'm not college educated or anything so I know I'm not pulling it off, but I'm trying and that's what counts. Right?
But hey, seriously lady, do NOT say "I love you" when you're drunk tonight. Even if you feel it in the deepest part of your intoxicated heart, it's never the right time to reveal it when you've had a few tequila shots.
Let me tell you a story.
Four summers ago, I was living in Chelsea and my best friend Chloe* who was homeless and newly jobless was shacking up with me (for free because you know your girl has boundary issues). Anyhow she was dating this guy Lee* who she was super into. It might have even been the first guy who ever really sparked up her dead heart. Literally this chick is the most chic, removed woman on the planet. She doesn't have feelings. She works in fashion, for Christ's sake. It's impossible to be a feelings person when you work in fashion (on the business end. The designers are all hot emo messes like the rest of us).
This guy had his shit gorgeously together and she was a smitten kitten. He had a big boy job and wore shiny shoes and wasn't a loser like the rest of the Brooklyn dickheads she usually hung out with.
"Don't screw it up, with this one, girl," I warned her as I watched her get ready for her third date. She had a habit of getting blackout drunk and being really mean to boys, in fact, she had just recently been dumped for it.
I was sick and tired of watching her sabotage good things, just because she was beautiful and brilliant and got bored easily. The brilliant and the beautiful like setting nice things on fire just to watch them burn, because they know at the end of the day they'll always be forgiven because no one can resist a pretty face and a witty remark, you know?
But brilliant and beautiful people can end up alone and I didn't want that for her. One morning as I was lying in bed thinking about how well she was behaving herself, Chloe flew into my studio apartment like a bat out of a hell. Her eyeballs were swollen and bloodshot, she reeked of cigarettes and Chanel No. 5, her mane of black hair had expanded so wide it looked like she had stuck her finger in an electrical socket. My "best friend in trouble" alarms started to loudly go off and I knew she had really screwed something up with Lee.
"What did you do?" I asked her, accusingly, sprouting out of bed like a meerkat. I was feeling really smug because I was in the throes of a brief flirtation with sobriety and my skin just glows when I don't drink and I feel really beautiful and better than everyone else.
"Well, we were at the deli at 4 am because I demanded he buy me a sandwich," she said, her voice shaking.
"Oh, girl, that's nothing. Being a demanding bitch is part of your charm," I said, taking a deep sigh of relief.
Her red eyes turned cold. "GIRL, THAT'S NOT THE WHOLE STORY!"
She lit up a ciggy right there in my apartment (which I didn't care about because I smoked in there too because I'm a savage), sighed dramatically and gazed into the distance.
Wow, that BFA in theater really did pay off, I thought to myself, mesmerized by her performance.
"So, once I had the sandwich in my hand, instead of saying 'thank you,' I said 'I love you!'" she said slowly, taking about ten short, nervous drags of her cigarette in between "thank you" and "I love you."
I shuddered in shame for my dear friend. "No you didn't!"
I knew what she was going through because I had done it myself recently and had been ghosted because of it.
"Do you mean it?" I asked her quietly, silently freaking out (again) for her. We're both deeply terrified of all feelings especially love, her and I.
She did not want the gay mafia turning on her; we were the few people that actually embraced hot messes like her in this world.
"Do not bring my people into this. You did this to yourself," I warned.
"AGH. You're right," she said, her voice flat and defeated.
"Maybe he didn't hear?" I squeaked.
And then I made this big show of lying to her face and saying "OF COURSE, he didn't hear! Don't WORRY!"
But of course he heard. Because he told her he heard when he was actually telling her he loved her six months later. And even though I had attempted to convince her that he hadn't heard, she knew deep down he did and she lived in a constant state of mortification after that. She went out of her way to be a cold bitch to him just in case he thought she was a clingy psycho. Because anyone who tells you they love you within the first five dates is a clingy pyscho.
So babes, if you're on a date this weekend and you're drunk and all of a sudden, you're feeling sweeping sensations of love, keep it to your drunk ass self. Even if it's powerful and you think it's the "perfect" moment, it's not. I promise. Wait until it's the sober light of day and ask yourself if you're really in love.
I always think I'm in love when I'm drunk. And when I used to say it out loud in the bloom of my troubled youth, I would get in all kinds of situations. I would say it and then in the morning, I realize I was just wasted and didn't mean it and then I would have to tell the poor girl that I was just a drunken idiot. Sometimes her feelings would get hurt and that's the worst. Even vain mascara lesbians don't like to hurt feelings.
Or I would say it when I meant it, but beat myself up over saying it drunk. When you're drunk, there is no slick way of pulling off "I love you." And it will screw with your partner's head, too. He or she will wonder if you meant it or if you were just drunk. Or he or she will be freaked out because you'll say it too soon, like the third date. And then they'll ghost you and tell all their friends that they didn't want to date you because you're a crazy bitch who said "I love you" after only a few dates. That's not a reputation we girls want, is it now?
My brother once accidentally slipped out "I love you" when he was getting a handjob from a rando chick. He was mortified. It can happen accidentally, I get it, but I'm making you aware of this epidemic because I can think of only a few things more embarrassing than saying I love you when wasted.
So if you're slugging back the vino and you're on a date and he or she looks so cute and is staring at you with massive adoring eyes and you feel overcome with that warm feeling, that warm, tingly feeling that's both exhilarating and exciting at the same -- don't you dare verbalize it. Repress those feelings, baby.
Because you know what else makes you feel warm and tingly? WINE, girl. So yeah, resist the urge and bury those words deep inside your soul. I'm your lesbian older sister and I'm going to give it to you straight (er, gay?). Yes, being open with your feelings is nice and blah blah blah, but so is maintaining an air of mystery. Make he or she work for it a bit. Don't just go recklessly handing out "I love you's" like they're Hershey Kisses in a room full of kids, OK? Your love should be hard to get, because your love is precious as hell.
If you really want to say "I LOVE YOU," message me on Facebook and tell me you love me. Because we're family now and you can always say "I LOVE YOU" to your big sis. It feeds her ego and fills the plethora of empty voids in her life and gives her a falsified sense of connection, which she so desperately needs in these trying times. Don't waste your drunken "I love you's" on random dudes; give them to me instead.
Imagine me, sitting at the computer, wearing something really tragic and chic like a long silk nightgown. I'm braless, drinking champagne straight out of the bottle. I'm wearing false lashes even though it's bedtime because I'm in a very weird emotional place. Just as I'm about to weep myself to sleep, BAM. My Facebook Messenger ding goes off and I read "I love you." I type "I love you too" back and drift into a blissful, dreamless sleep with no anxiety because I'll know you didn't make an ass out of yourself this weekend.
And that's all for this weekend, darling.
*Names have been changed.