There comes a time in people’s lives when they will find themselves drinking much too much, tripping over their own feet and falling down in public places. It just so happens that this period of life often coincides with the time when people leave home for college. The business of falling while inebriated can be rather funny to the faller at the time, but the next morning, more often than not, a feeling of shame can set in. While the faller usually tends to feel post-fall embarrassment, standing, less intoxicated onlookers tend to feel embarrassment for the faller immediately. To help deal with these overwhelming feelings of awkwardness, one might do one of the following things: point and laugh, pretend like it didn’t happen, or be completely relieved it was not you who fell and play it cool by expressing disdain for the faller and his/her inability to maintain composure.
I’ve since graduated from college keggers, a scene rife with many occasions of falling. However, that doesn’t mean that my life is devoid of all falls all together. I still am a witness to a good fall now and again because I am only human and so are those around me. And because I can be a very self-conscious person, when I see someone drunkenly fall, my first reaction is to be thankful it’s not happening to me.
Last night, Preethi, Denise and I were all at Slim’s in the City to see Owl City*. There we were, being swept away by his buoyant music. Song after song, we inched closer and closer to the middle of the crowd, standing close enough to people to smell their shampoo. I was loving it. I had started thinking about Seattle, about the rain and if it really rains that much there and if I could get used to it. In the middle of his set, I decided I was going to explode, so I quickly found the restroom and relieved myself.
Walking back to the middle of the floor where I had left everyone, I walked past the bar and saw a woman who looked, at first, as though she was going to lean on the bar, but then who completely tumbled to the floor. Her friend (her boyfriend perhaps?) standing next to her reached down to help her. Immediately, I did a number of things. I quickly looked away and then I felt my upper lip curl. I mean, were we at a tailgating party? Was this a kegger? No, I didn’t think so. I was still thinking about how some people should really learn their limits when I finally found Denise in the middle of the crowd. Preethi had disappeared somewhere, and it wasn’t too long before Denise said she would “brb” and slipped away.
A few songs later, it started to get rather lonely in the middle of the crowd by myself. I checked my phone and saw that Preethi had texted me that she wasn’t feeling well and was getting air outside. I made my way to the exit and saw that Denise was with her. I was just about to tell them both about what I had just seen by the bar (and almost added a “Can you believe some people??”) when Preethi apologized for stepping out. She had started overheating and getting dizzy, then when she went to get a glass of water from the bar, she started getting tunnel vision and then she fell over. (Yes, I know! That woman! It was her!) She said that some stranger had helped her get outside to get air. But because she is a nice person, she did not add that a stranger had to help her because her own friend had turned up her nose and snubbed her and walked away. (Thank you and sorry, Preethi!)
So, my advice is to never be overly judgmental when you see someone fall because maybe they only had one drink (as Preethi did) and are really just suffering from too much heat and/or dehydration. Also, make sure to look and to look good because it might just be your friend falling down by the bar with the strange man catching her.
*Owl City sounds just as he does when recorded! His back up singer for this show was wearing a sports bra. Or perhaps it is more accurate to call it a crop top as it was not overly flattening but really rather flattering. She is that lucky person who gets to say that she went to work in her crop top and that no, she does not work at Hooters.