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I’m confused: Which part of saving money, calories and time is the bad part again?

A Glass Half Full: The Upsides of Being a Lightweight

In Praise of the Lightweight

I’m confused: Which part of saving money, calories and time is the bad part again?

By Jill Phelan, St. Vincent College


I’ve only been 21 for a short period of time now, but if there’s one thing I’m already tired of hearing it’s, “You’re tipsy after just two glasses of wine? Wow, somebody’s a lightweight!”

Thanks for that nugget of wisdom. Looks like I’m done drinking now, you condescending jerk.

It has come to my attention that a certain stigma is attached my low alcohol tolerance, and frankly, I find the notion insulting because it implies that I can’t handle my booze, as if I have any control over my body’s reaction to alcohol.

A Glass Half Full: The Upsides of Being a Lightweight

Maybe it shouldn’t be something to get worked up about or lose sleep over, but I can’t help but feel that I’m being looked down upon or that I’m being considered less of an adult for getting a little giggly after a couple Long Islands. Since when was a little lighthearted fun and laughter ever a bad thing? Other than at funerals, I’m going to go ahead and say never.

However, I’m done worrying about other peoples’ judgmental comments. Yes, I, Jill Phelan, am a lightweight and I get drunk within an hour of drinking. I admit it. Sue me.

But I’ve decided that I’m going to own this character trait of mine, because I can think of three reasons why feeling all loosey-goosey after a shot of Jack isn’t as bad as you may have me think:

All of the Fun, Less of the Waiting

Just because I don’t drink as much as everyone else doesn’t mean I have any less of a good time. I’m just fortunate enough to have all of the fun at an accelerated rate. The sooner the better I always say—especially when I’m tipsy.

It’s like being on the fast track to Happytown. Before you know it, I’m talking more, laughing more, and jumpstarting the life of the party, while everyone else has to wait to get on my level of awesomeness. Come on, try to keep up, people!

I’ve often been complimented on how fun Drunk Jill is. But how would my friends know what a joy she is if they were already too inebriated to remember her? Which, if you think about it, is really a service to my friends and a way of making myself look good, so I see no downsides here.

Shifting gears a bit, maybe I’m just sipping on a little something to calm my nerves. Alcohol is a beautiful thing, because not only does it release your inner wild child, it also provides a sense of internal tranquility and composure in the face of stress—when used responsibly, of course.

If that’s the case, I can take comfort in knowing that it won’t be long before I’m feeling more relaxed, giving me all the more time to write that paper I’ve been dreading (I mean really, how did I ever get by doing homework without wine?). Moscato and I make a great team, and Sangria makes for a solid partner too.

And if you need a bit of liquid courage to ask someone out or speak your mind, you can be sure that throwing back a shot of tequila will be like taking a rapid release anti-anxiety pill. Don’t worry, you’ll be feeling pretty fearless soon.

We’re Cheap Dates

Alcohol is expensive, and it gets even pricier when you want to keep buying more and more glasses of Chardonnay with dinner, or more pitchers of beer at the bar.

Either way, you drastically cut down on that problem when you’re out with a lightweight.

The work of six shots can be done in two, and you just saved twenty bucks. You’re welcome.

And if you’re out to dinner with your beau or belle, I’m sure your significant other won’t mind saving the extra cash that would’ve been put toward a third drink. Just think, now they have extra money to put toward dessert. Because the only thing better than alcohol is alcohol and cheesecake. Yay!

Plus, it is a proven fact that wine bottles are much smaller than they look. I mean, there’s only like four glasses of magical grapey goodness in those things, right?

But as a lightweight, that bottle gets to stay in my fridge for two days instead of one, putting off a trip to the liquor store for an extra 24 hours and keeping my budget intact a tad longer. And that way I can keep my stash stocked for as long as possible.

Fewer Drinks = Fewer Calories

People always blame soda for being a source of empty calories (packing on the pounds without actually providing any benefits), but alcohol takes the cake in that category. Wine, beer, liquor—nothing but liquid sugar just waiting to load your body up with unnecessary calories that will only make you feel good until you step on the scale. You’ll find yourself suddenly remembering how much you actually drank those long nights at the bar that you once conveniently forgot.

But if you’re a lightweight, then you’ll probably be lighter in weight (taking a moment to laugh at my horrible wordplay because no one else probably will) than those folks bragging about how they can “drink you under the table.” Yeah, well at least I can fit under the table.

And can we just pause for a minute to acknowledge that whoever came up with that expression must have been seriously drunk? It makes no sense.

Anyhow, Two-Drink Tipsies don’t have to worry so much about gaining all the liquid calories that everyone else does, because they won’t be consuming as much from the start. Therefore, you still get to have a ball while staying slim. It’s a win-win!

So if people try to dampen your spirits for being a lightweight, ignore them—they’re probably just jealous that they have to spend a hundred dollars on booze to have half as good a time as you’re having.

Instead, smile and have another drink. Their comments won’t be bothering you much longer anyway.

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