The DUI experience vs the flock
You find out who your real friends are when drunk
Writer’s note: This post was originally published on Medium’s “We Need to Talk” on August 11, 2021.
I watched her make a running leap onto the hood of my car and rolled my eyes. I was leaving regardless. Since I couldn’t go forward — and risk her falling — I put my car in reverse. Boom! I hit the car behind me. Liquor is usually when some of our worst decisions are made. In my case though, it oddly always teaches me a lot more about friendship.
I have always been someone who could hold her liquor, mainly because my bladder usually says, “Yeah, you’ve had enough.” (TMI, but it is genuinely the reason it’s much more difficult for me to get to the point of being “drunk” and definitely not “sloppy drunk.”) But less than a handful’s (no thumb) worth of times in the past 19 years (because obviously I never had any liquor before the age of 21 — let’s go with that), there’s been that one cup that got the best of me. And this happened to be one of those times.
I may be wrong, but I feel like everyone has had one frenemy in their social circle. This is the person who you always side-eye because you can never tell whether you all are really cool and she’s just having a bad day, or are you tolerating her because you two have the same friends. The person I’m thinking of was within my college social circle and constantly rubbing people the wrong way.
I knew it wasn’t just me after a good associate of mine pulled me aside after arguing with her and told me, “Your friends are a reflection of you. Be careful who you hang out with. Birds of a feather flock together, and this might not be the flock you want to be with.” This was a pretty solid dude who I’d never seen lose his temper before, so I was particularly surprised when he blurted that out. I took note.
Of many arguments between the two of us — including her saying, “What the f**k does that have to do with me?” when she found out my mother came to visit me at school — our final blowout was over something trivial: a CD. I cannot remember what we were originally arguing over. I just recall not having the patience to deal with her that night and asking for my CD. Instead of her handing me my CD, she opened her own compact CD disc player. (Generation Z, these devices held about 30 to 50 CDs and were usually used to shuffle music or to be the laziest CD holder ever). Then she smacked all of the CDs out onto the floor.
Now Sober Shamontiel would’ve jumped in her face and told her that stunt was ignorant as hell. Tipsy Shamontiel, however, is the “happy friend,” the type of person who wants to dance nonstop (with or without a partner), the one who hugs everyone, who flirts heavily with that one guy she would usually be too-cool-for-school around and who just wants to be at peace. Tipsy Shamontiel, ever the peacemaker and nothing like me on a regular day, chose to pick up her CD and stroll to the door.
Our mutual friends saw me as I quietly marched out of the door, leaving my coat behind. I headed to my car to go home. But these three friends (including her cousin) came jogging out after me, asking me not to drive. I shrugged them off, saying I was just not interested in the foolishness of the CD smasher. Two of the three knocked on the passenger side of the car. A few of their neighbors saw us outside, and one guy and a girl came out, standing near the front of my car. I ignored them all and started my engine. My third friend realized how serious I was. To my surprise, she hopped onto my hood and let out a loud “please.” That’s when I put my car in reverse and hit the car behind me.