I feel like my posts lately have all been about funerals and extramarital affairs. So while talking to a friend earlier, about how I was planning on writing about this article my mom clipped out for me, headlined, “Mood improves when the going gets tough,” I stopped myself.
“Or I could write about the Century Club,” I said, my mind already made up. The article, it seems, can wait until tomorrow.
The Century Club, for those who didn’t have the pleasure of attending a renowned American party school, is basically a really long drinking game. The premise is that you drink beer out of a shot glass: one ounce per minute, for 100 minutes straight (hence, “century”). There is also a less intense version of this game, called the Power Hour (60 shots of beer in 60 minutes). If you skip a shot, you’re out. If you puke, you’re out. Between the alcohol, the carbonation, and the sheer volume of liquid you’re putting into your body in such a short time, it’s harder than it sounds.
I’ve never attempted this idiotic feat, but I have witnessed it a few times, the most recent of which was this afternoon. Doug and some of his friends decided to try for a repeat performance of their Century Club party a few years ago, and I was invited to keep score.
I’ve found that, as I age, I have less tolerance for college-style drinking and the people who do it. However, as I sat on that couch today with a kitchen timer and a tally sheet, telling the men to drink and calling them out when they didn’t, I realized something I’ve forgotten to mention here:
My ex-husband and I refused to get drunk in front of each other.
Who knows where these boundaries came from, the ones that made premarital sex and excess alcohol taboo, while peeing in front of each other was perfectly okay. All I can think to say is that this is further proof that I wasn’t comfortable in that relationship. My ex wasn’t bettering me by getting me to renounce my wanton college-girl ways; he was stifling me from letting loose and having fun. And I, equally scandalized on the few occasions I’d seen him over the limit, was somehow doing the same to him.
Don’t get me wrong. Drunk Doug is loud, annoying, and way too likely to vomit, but at least I can tolerate him. And he seems to really enjoy it when I drink, if only because he thinks it’ll make me an easier lay. All those details aside, there’s no aspect of ourselves that we actively hide from each other, or want hidden by the other, like there was in my last relationship.
Doug also reminded me today of the time when my ex, my brothers, and some friends decided to attempt the Century Club at my apartment. None of the guys made it much past 40 before giving up, which is another gripe I always had about my ex: he could talk a big game, but when it came down to it, he wasn’t very macho. I never really had any confidence in his ability to protect me, to pick me up, or to pin me down.
This afternoon, Doug got to shot number 85-and-a-half, before declaring adamently that he didn’t want to puke, and therefore wouldn’t be drinking any more. I have to respect that. My girlfriend, who’d come to check out the festivities, and I hung around just long enough to see the last guy spit his beer all over himself when something made him laugh, at shot 88. Then we left the guys to watch football, soak up the beer with chocolate chip cookies, and delight repeatedly in their creation of a new pet name, “Sweater Muffins.”
We took off for a coffee shop, because my friend needed to study, and I needed to borrow her laptop. And we plan to be gone just long enough to let the guys sober up a little – because college-drunk men are only so entertaining for so long, before I take Doug home and hold him to his promise of watching Bridget Jones’s Diary with me.