I'm not saying that it's okay for me to drink because Don Draper does it. I'm saying that compared to chain smoking, adultery, identity theft, and depression, drinking is the safest of his vices for me to have.
When did everybody get such a stick up their ass about alcohol?
I’m probably the wrong person to be asking this, because I only pulled that very stick out of my own ass at the beginning of my junior year. As I’ve mentioned before, I was a very pretentious teetotaler for my first two years of college.
I even wrote an early blog entry on the subject, wherein, as I recall, I came to the conclusion that, “My life is interesting enough as it is; I don’t need alcohol to spice it up.” Apparently when I was a freshman, sitting alone in your dorm playing Resident Evil 4 on a Friday night passed for ‘interesting.’
I’ve come around since then. It’s tough to pinpoint exactly why I had such a paradigm shift – maybe I’d become more open minded, maybe I was getting more social, or maybe I’d realized that whiskey tastes like bottled liquid candy. Maybe it’s all three. Maybe it’s all three but especially the last one. The point is, I enjoy recreational alcohol consumption on a regular basis.
Statements like that, according to virtually every guidance counselor and academic advisor you’ll ever meet, are career suicide for college students. Or, since these statements supposedly kill careers before they even start, they’re more like career aborti- Hey, let’s move onto the next paragraph!
I can’t count how many times I’ve been reminded to carefully police my ‘web presence’ for any incriminating material that would give potential employers reason to believe that I’m an alcoholic. “You’ve got to be really careful,” speakers from the Career Center have told me. “All it takes is one drunk picture or story for them to decide you’re not responsible enough to hire.”
And we career conscious students embrace this. Before applying to the business school, my friend Bret went through every one of his pictures on Facebook and deleted about 250 that depicted him engaging in hijinx, and a certain female cast member from Writers who had invited me to one of her sorority functions started the evening by pointing at me and saying, “You can’t put any of this on your blog.”*
*On an unrelated note, Kirkland tequila packs a wallop.
I play along too, systematically untagging myself in most of the drunk pictures of me at Taylor’s that surface on a weekly basis – although this is mostly because alcohol has a way of making me look even more like a stoned child molester in pictures than I normally do, and I’ll take any excuse I can to get that shit off the Internet.
But I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I’ve decided that it’s straight up bullshit that I should live in fear of a potential employer seeing a picture of me enjoying a drink and assume that I’m an unemployable lout. Hence, I’m issuing the following statement, accompanied by some of the finer photos taken of me while completely drunk:
Dear future employers,
My name is Truman Capps, and I love whiskey.
As far as I’m concerned, Jack Daniel’s is the best there’s ever been, but Evan Williams is perfectly satisfactory and way more economical. I also like vodka and I’m coming around on gin. I hate rum in all its forms and if the opportunity presented itself, I wouldn’t even drink it with my ass.
You had to be there.
When I go to one of the dirt cheap bars here in Eugene, I can handle four double whiskey cokes – five if I’m looking to have an especially good time – spread out across however long the drink special that night lasts. Then I wander home by way of 7-11 for some taquitos, drink a few bottles of water, and go to bed. I seldom get hangovers, and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve blacked out.
King of the makeouts.
Yes, I do drink to get drunk. I like that acute sharpening of the senses after my second drink, and the inevitable shenanigans that it leads to. Moreover, I like it because it’s a fun feeling. I like to drink for the same reason I liked to spin around in circles until I was dizzy when I was a kid: Altering your ordinary perspective on the world is fun. Spinning in circles isn’t totally delicious and refreshing like whiskey, though.
Liberate our minds, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with my drinking habits – not that they’re any of your business, anyway. It’s okay for me to drink like this because I’m in college, and this is what college students have always done. You probably did it when you were in college too, only back then you didn’t have social networking sites, so you didn’t have to pretend like you wore a shirt and tie 24/7 the way my generation does.
I can't tell you how many potentially successful people I cropped out of this picture.
My drinking has never interfered with my schoolwork or my job, and I never drink alone, because there’s nothing fun about getting wasted in front of the TV. It’s something that I do with my friends, recreationally, to have a good time. It’s something lots of college students do with their friends recreationally to have a good time, and frankly I kind of resent the fact that we’re being made to feel like it’s some dirty, secret, shameful thing that nobody else does. The book ‘Everyone Poops’ comes to mind.
I hope you've been counting how many of these pictures that Rushmore sweatshirt shows up in.
You can't look at one picture from one moment in someone's life and assume that it''s representative of their actual lifestyle and personality. How would you feel if I took a picture of you on the toilet and then assumed that you were constantly taking a crap? I sure as hell wouldn't hire someone who was perennially shitting - there's work to be done outside the bathroom. What, you say you're not taking a neverending dump? Well, I'm not on a neverending alcohol binge. I enjoy an occasional drink, just like you (and everybody) enjoys an occasional crap. Get over it and give me a fucking job.
I don't remember this picture being taken, but I'd like to assume this fist bump was an exploding fist bump.
I’m not going to drink like this forever, in case you were wondering. Once I’ve graduated and made the move to Los Angeles, I’m going to have to temper my recreational drinking because I’ll have less free time and less money in a city where everything is really expensive.
More than that, though, I’m going to cut back because I won’t be in college anymore, and showing restraint is the adult thing to do. I won’t stop drinking by any means – I get the impression that mind altering substances might have some minor role in the workings of the entertainment industry – but you can count on me to cut down on the sauce once I’m in a stimulating work environment and not just cooling my heels at a suburban party school.
Way to ruin a perfectly good awkward picture of me, Megan's fingers.
That said, I don’t plan to do anything with cocaine, so if that’s something you expect of all your employees, I might be a bit of a buzzkill at the Christmas party.
Truman Capps did the final edit on this update after coming home from a bar.