Your mom hates when you come home for Thanksgiving. Okay, that might be an exaggeration. But, if she (or your dad or uncle or grandma) raised you the right way, she’s definitely—at the very least—disappointed. Don’t let the hype of “The Biggest Bar Night of the Year” ruin your appetite for one of the biggest, most delicious spreads of the year. Funny how no one ever sells the night’s notorious, sketchy alter-ego as What Caused Your Worst Hangover of the Year. It just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?
The Night Before Thanksgiving, glorified for its expectation of over-consumption, has spoiled what should otherwise be a healthy reason to hang and catch up with your people from back in the day. Because almost everyone universally has the holiday off, the excuse to make up for lost time by drinking your face off is understood and encouraged. Every bar promotes it, and all your friends want to know where you’re gonna be.
When I made trips home to mom’s in Waterford, MI while in college at Michigan State University and then into my mid-to-late twenties while at my first big-boy job (which, to clarify, was not actually at Big Boy), my guys and I went to one designated spot in Clarkston, an otherwise peaceful town. But, nope—not annually on that Wednesday. The place might as well have had a dumpster on fire in the parking lot instead of their standard neon sign. That’s what we walked into and worse stumbling out.
Between shots of well tequila, we started, escalated, and ended the night with multiple rounds of pint glasses filled with who knows what. It was bright red and almost too strong to swallow. You wanna know what THE BAR named it? A Car Crash. Yep. And we drank enough to total every vehicle on the road.
Fortunately, getting home from a night of partying is much “safer” today… right? All we have to do is tap an app and a random car shows up in minutes to transport our drunk asses home. To be clear, we should never get behind the wheel after too many. The hook, however, is that “drinking responsibly” by only not driving under the influence won’t undo any damage you’ve done to yourself or others before you clicked, “Request Ride.” Hello, Blackout Wednesday.
The morning after, you know—Thanksgiving—was never as meaningful as it was supposed to be. I was too busy feeling like crap, regretting what I did on what everyone promised me is the best night of the year.
MORNINGS ARE BETTER WITHOUT HANGOVERS — The Drinker’s Manifesto
There was at least one of those iconic Thursdays where I couldn’t drag myself out of bed until I heard my mom’s serving fork start clanking plates. Still in my PJ’s, hair disheveled, my mouth its own dumpster, and vodka, rum, and/or tequila permeating from my pores, I was too embarrassed to make eye contact with my family. I was pale with a pastel snot green hue, and on the verge of vomiting for the entire 10 minutes I managed to sit at the table before shamefully having to excuse myself. On the other side of the dining room wall, from the bathroom, I could hear my family eating and laughing, and they could hear me reliving how much fun I thought I was supposed to have.
My mom never had to say anything, but I knew I let her down. There have been more days after the Biggest Bar Night of the Year when I took home more leftovers than what I ate when I should’ve because the only thing I could stomach was sleep.
The best bar nights don’t have to be the biggest, and the biggest bar nights don’t have to be the drunkest. Tell you friends that BDC says, “What’s up,” and that we’ll save a seat at the table for all of you.