I know they say not to drink alone at home.
But I probably should. Because me drinking in public, like at the bar downstairs in my building, means that I talk to strangers. And, as one friend pointed out, say "the most outlandish things" to them.
Say, for example, you meet a random man in the bar of your office building. He happens to have a big, important job at another business in your same building.
Shortly after he introduces himself, which is just as you are trying to write "move car" on your hand with your blue pen that lights up, which is what he initially remarks on, you have to explain both the sparkly pen and the need to remind yourself to move your car so as not to get a street cleaning ticket and pay more money to the asshat DC government. He agrees. And loves the pen.
And then you ask how old he is. Or rather, you accuse him of being really young. Because, you say, he looks 24. He is not. He's 35, which is a perfectly reasonable age.
You later find out he's done all kinds of impressive things in the right (read: not W's) administration. But of course, when he says he's a political consultant, and gives advice to politicians, you might, oh, ask something like, "Like you tell them not to get blow jobs from interns? And hey, remember not to shoot your friend in the face while hunting?"
Your friend T says she has to go home and walk her dog. He has a dog. She asks what kind. "A pug."
Which then prompts you to ask, "Are you gay?"
He says he is not. So you ask if it's his girlfriend's pug. Because, you contend, no straight man owns a pug. The pugs you see being walked in your neighborhood are owned by gay men or straight partners of female pug-owners.
It's his ex-girlfriend's pug.
Somehow, after all this, just as you are walking out the door he asks you to join him and his colleagues (the ones he sent ahead, saying he'd be a minute or two) for dinner at DC Coast. He is attractive but not remotely your physical type, but he is bright and interesting and intellectually challenging, and since you have had three beers you think, what the hell, DC Coast is nice, and go ahead and accept.
And then, as you are on the way there, he suggests you ditch the colleagues go to Lima instead. And you think, Lima is somewhere I've wanted to try for a while! And accept that suggestion as well.
In retrospect you are thankful that you weren't so insanely ridiculous in front of three strangers. One is enough.
Even if all these things happen, and it is an ego stroke at exactly the right time on exactly the right day, a day that you were feeling like Dark Pit of Despair Personified. . .
You should probably not drink both of the mojitos that he orders for you over dinner, no matter how yummy they are.
Because later, you will not be able to see straight. Like, you will have to close one eye to walk up the stairs to your place.
And even if you are having a hilarious time, and you are feeling obnoxious, you should definitely not gently reach into the butter dish and smear a blob of butter on your new pal's nose.
Just for fun.
And then, as you walk back to the office together, if he takes your hand, you might be a little more graceful than exclaiming in suprise, "What are you doing?"
You will be surprised that he asks for your number, and in your drunken state you give it to him, although you know it is a number he will never, ever use.
And as you totter home, you might be better off not returning a variety of phone calls. Because this will mean you leave rambling drunken messages. "Hi! It's your sister! And ooh, a big bus is going buy. And another big bus. Sorry if you can't hear me. DC is full of big buses. Love you!"
And do not call your mother. Bad idea. She will not be as interested in hearing about the random dinner as she is alarmed at how drunk you are. And how you might get mugged. She will, out of concern, talk you all the way home, only hanging up once you are firmly ensconced in your place.
She will call the next day to suggest you drink less. She will read this at some point and say she can't believe you wrote that on the Internet.
And by the way, are you drinking less yet?
But if you have done all those things, when you wake up the next morning you will realize, with that terrible hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck prickly feeling, that one of these days you will run into this fellow with the big important job in the lobby, or worse, in the elevator with the other bigwigs that he works with upstairs.
Because once you get off the elevator, he's going to look at his colleagues, swirl a finger next to his ear and say, "She may be pretty, but she is out and out nuts. And don't let her near a plate of butter."