We are not drinking to forget. We are drinking to create: memories, experiences, good times, bad (funny) times, friends, lovers, random social acquaintances we only wave to sometimes. We drink the way we do everything — for a purpose.
Friends, that purpose is now.
Unlike our weak-willed, pansy-livered Crimson rivals, we enjoy an uninterrupted, break-less ride from September’s Camp Yale to Thanksgiving. By the time midterms roll around, we are sick, tired and a little bit delirious.
But we rally for The Game.
We hear the call to battle, and we answer with our hands outstretched, clutching cans of beer, bottles of Boone’s Farm and glasses of vodka. We awake at dawn, chug a Monster and begin to imbibe. By the time we reach the fields, we are rowdy, riled up and exultant — we are drunk.
The last Harvard-Yale I witnessed at Harvard involved a militant RA’s seizure of Yale booze, leaving us to mill around aimlessly, sober and cold, without even late-night nosh to sustain us. When I peered into their limp version of a sponsored dance, groping was plenty, but drinks were non-existent.
Let’s compare this to the last Harvard-Yale at Yale. I recall very little. All that remains is a psychedelic swirl of cheering faces consuming and purging alcohol in a continuous stream of uninhibited revelry.
It’s not that we’re not serious. After all, we complete 36 credits to Harvard’s wimpy 32. But the truth is, spending every waking moment going from class to club to library involves condensing time into manageable and productive chunks. Drinking, despite its numerous counterproductive elements, is no exception. With that in mind, there are some crucial steps to surviving Harvard-Yale weekend while maximizing your fun.
No beer before liquor. No wine before liquor. Probably no wine. Vodka is best, though for shots, tequila and whiskey are better. Shots are the quickest way to lose your mind for the least amount of energy. Grain alcohol will ruin your life if you let it, if that’s your thing. Don’t start drinking too early on Friday. If you drink too much on Friday night, don’t go to sleep: just let the drunk carry over into Saturday’s tailgate. Sleep after the game. Or during it. Red Bull is your friend.
There’s something about drinking at Yale that’s just as intensely focused, driven, quantifiably and qualitatively measurable as anything else we do for a grade, or for glory. When we get to the obligatory brunch tell-all, we want to have the best stories. We want to recapitulate the evening in the manner of the traveling raconteur, regale the adoring masses with our outrageous feats.
Here, alcohol is cheap if you need it to be, if not free. Connecticut’s puritanical ban of Sunday liquor sales is no real deterrent. Dubra costs $12; Popov’s a little more expensive. For the real connoisseur, there’s McCormick, the luxury plastic handle. Durfee’s has a ‘fun’ shelf stocked with ping-pong balls, plastic shot glasses and Solo cups. Shots at Toad’s are a penny a pop if you get there early. On any given night, in any given part of campus, there is a sticky plastic table with enough alcohol to kill 50 babies and even a smattering of Diet Coke, cranberry juice or whatever other diluting agent you need to get it down.
After a party that we find less than satisfying, we might proclaim, “I didn’t have enough to drink.” Or, after some morning waking in a foreign bed with a foreign shirt backwards on your torso and a mysterious smear on your face, “I had a liiiiiittle too much fun.” But the latter’s preferable. At least you did something.
We’re ready, Harvard — here, at Yale, we know how this drinking thing is supposed to work; we guzzle, we rage; we wake up feeling bad, but not too bad; we drink thematically, emotionally, depressively, manically, tragically, frequently; we drink to dance, to get up, to get down, to fight off the cold, to fight off the heat; we drink because we can, because we want to, because sometimes the best memories are not the ones you remember best.
For more Harvard-Yale coverage, visit yaledailynews.com/thegame.