Instinctive and unapologetic, the drive to hone and flaunt one’s partying abilities seizes individuals everywhere. It’s a cross-cultural aspiration for tales of your drinking, sexing, and general rowdiness to become entrenched in local lore with large populations eventually referring to you only by an earned moniker like Dr. Party, Party Patient Zero, or simply CPA, as in Certified Party Animal.
Often times, though, in our respective quests for glory we lose sight of the day-to-day, figuring the ends will one day justify the means. Call this blinded, tragic spiral what you will—Amanda Bynes-ian, Jimmy-McNulty-esque, or very Ike Turner—but know that it can be prevented. Andrew W.K.s are not made overnight. Fly too close to the sun and the next thing you know everyone’s crying, releases are being signed, and you’re on Intervention.
There are no shortcuts to legendary tolerance and status. It takes patience, some luck, and dedication, while understanding how to not drastically push your limits. Tactics such as that have a habit of catching up with you, landing you in the hospital, police custody, or mandatory rehab—widely considered the partying equivalent of Tommy John surgery.
Avoiding the sadness spiral and continuing your journey towards living-legend status isn’t always easy. Like any exercise program, your training and liver callusing can’t be a twenty-four-seven regiment. Without breaks a bender can snowball into months and you’ll suddenly find yourself one day chugging a pint of gin during your little cousin’s first communion (1). Something like that or something like realizing you’re pregaming a Mothers Against Drunk Driving lecture (2) will, hopefully, snap you back into reality and make you confront the fact this endeavor, this rampagement, is no longer about the partying.
Call them warning signs, red flags, or pre-intervention self-interventions. This is when you realize you need to take action and land the plane on the Hudson instead of crashing it into the runway with no landing equipment. Aspiring party kings aren’t pounding tall boys while waiting on their doctor to perform their physical (3) or sipping a bottle of fortified wine while performing their community service (4). No, they’re trying to wrangle up parties and purvey fun, continuously trying to add chapters to their legacy.
No heath class or AA pamphlet is going to spell this out. They’ll speak in broad, general terms; it’ll be a lot of “undefined problems” and “failure to fulfill major roles” talk. It’ll omit objective facts like if you’re actively guzzling booze during traffic school (5) or at someone else’s intervention (6) then you’ve truly abandoned your pursuit of professional party-hood and instead accepted the route of unremarkable alcoholism.
Conditioning needs to be through parties, fiestas, bashes, and box socials alike. Dubbings of “Notorious Party Hound and Juggernaut” are not doled out for those who drink alone for hours in the dark (7) or during group therapy sessions (8). Find legitimate parties, polish your craft, and understand there are no substitutes to the real thing. Gulping down stolen mouthwash in a CVS parking lot (9) won’t help you become a celebrated partier; it’ll only help you become better at gulping down stolen mouthwash in a CVS parking lot.
The choice is yours; heroes get remembered but legends never die.