When Shots are Not Optional
Sometimes shots are necessary.
Shots are necessary on the morning before your wedding, when you wake up full of angry, twitchy nerves, darting snappy comments at anyone who dares look your way. They are necessary after getting your pubic hair ripped off in rural New Hampshire at 9:45 AM in preparation for your European honeymoon while your cousin and sister whisper about how to deal with your nasty bridezilla demeanor. Shots are necessary when you haul your red, raw bikini-line to your cousin’s house, where she has prepared a brunch so beautiful it should be in a foodie magazine but you can think of nothing better to do than pick fights with said cousin and aforementioned sister. At this point, it is really best to find a bottle of vodka, pour kiddie-cup sized pours into whatever lovely vestibule may be on hand, and let that shit burn its way down your throat at 10:53 AM. You will be much nicer to everyone and people will enjoy your company much more than they did prior to the shot.
Shots are necessary when you go on your first overnight since having a baby. It’s not a bad idea to ask someone to pour you a shot of Jameson during that last tedious minute of wheeshing and whirring to get every little last drop as your boobs are being sucked in and sucked out in rhythmic synthesis by the ol’ ball and chain that is your breast pump. Your baby is only a few months old and your body’s ability to process alcohol is downright virginal. This shot of Jameson will knock you senseless and it will be glorious.
Shots are necessary when you are failing to get drunk, when alcohol consumption is not working the way it should. They are necessary when you’ve consumed at least 6 drinks over a 6-hour time period (nullified by too much bread and butter at dinner, too many picks at other people’s plates), when you’ve denied yourself red wine with dinner even though it’s what you wanted but you knew it would screw with your stringent Tanqueray-and-soda-only long-term drinking plan [sidenote: who knew Tanqueray was spelled with a Q and not a G?]). Shots are necessary when you’re slammed against too many sweaty bodies and the music is loud and doesn’t make you want to dance but makes you want to yawn instead, when your attitude is puffy and lethargic and cranky and not fun and bouncy and giggly. This is a good time to cozy up to the bar and request something strong and serious. Tequila is bright and warm and energizing. It’s fun to lick salt off your hand. After taking the tequila shot, Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock’s duet from 2002 will inspire you to sing along instead of roll your eyes and you will be much happier.
Shots are necessary when you’re 34 at a bachelorette party populated by 26-year-olds with creamy, poreless skin who nod sympathetically when you try to explain how hangovers become biologically different past a certain age. These beautiful girls will agree with you, saying, “Oh, I know! I definitely can’t drink like I used to in college,” and you will realize it’s no use trying to explain that hangovers past 30 are a different animal altogether, that hangovers past 30 will invade your psyche in troubling, nefarious ways, making you second guess major life decisions, making turning your head side to side unbearably dizzying. Hangovers past 30 will make you wake up the morning after the hangover and vocally give thanks that it is no longer the day of your hangover. This is when it’s time to shut up about how bad hangovers are and accept the blue jello shot from the kind twenty-six-year-old’s unwrinkled hands, because she looks pretty damn carefree, and maybe she possesses fonts of wisdom you’re too old to remember, and shit, it’s a bachelorette party, so live a little. It’s been so long since you’ve had a jello shot you’ve forgotten how it’s supposed to be consumed, but as you use your tongue to awkwardly dislodge the soft, translucent portions of jello from the plastic cup and guide them down your throat, you’ll be surprised at how delightful the whole experience is and you’ll say, “Wow, these are delicious!” and the best part is you’ll even forget to worry about which kind of vodka you’ve just consumed.