If there’s one thing that I loved about Michigan State, it was St. Patrick’s Day. It was so fun at State. I always had a complete blast. I usually had my first beer at approximately 7 AM and would continue to drink until approximately 3 AM. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint!” was my favorite phrase…because, yes that was my idea of a marathon back then.
Because it’s such a long day of drinking, it’s definitely a keg kinda day. Kegs with green beer…or just kegs with any beer! I mean, yes, there were times when it involved liquor as well. My junior year, when I lived in a room in my sorority house with four girls, we had quite a midday St. Patty’s party in our room, and I distinctly remember drinking cherry vodka straight from the bottle and then passing it along to my roommates and the four guys we had brought up there too.
Since my drinking habits senior year often followed a trajectory that went something like “don’t eat dinner, get ridiculous, drunk text, order a quesadilla, wake up with your phone in your hand, cringe at your own shamelessness, and go deal with it by eating two bagels,” there are things I wish I would have done differently. I mean I loved college and had a blast, but come on…I could have at least put the cherry vodka in a damn shot glass. Think of the germs!
Really, though, if I could go back, there is one major thing I would do differently…
AVOIDED DRINKING FROM A KEG.
Ohhh, how hindsight is 20/20!
At State, we had a lot of house parties (and frat parties) and played a lot of beer pong, and the red Solo cups were ubiquitous. I mean, I’m pretty sure they could have replaced Sparty as our mascot.
The problem is that these cups have magical properties. Seriously, they are like something out of Harry Potter. (You know how they did with that butterbeer.)
First, they hold so much beer! Sixteen ounces to be exact, which is four ounces more than you’d get in a can or a bottle. That extra four ounces adds up. It’s not one beer…it’s 1.25 beers. So if you’re drinking Bud Light, and you have “four beers”…you’re really having five beers. That takes you from 440 calories to 560.
The other major problem is that your fellow Spartans will never let your cup go empty! If you have half a cup — 8 ounces at this point, so nearly a full beer — someone always says, “Oops, you’re getting low!” and they’ll refill it for you. So now your cup is not only magically able to hold a ton of beer, it’s also bottomless.
This makes it virtually impossible to keep track of how much you are drinking. You keep getting refills and it’s like, “OK, I had one beer [note: 1.25 beers] and then I got a refill when I was halfway done and then another one when I was two-thirds done with that cup, but then I played beer pong, and I’m not sure how much I actually drank during the game because I won one game but then lost the next, and how many ounces of beer are even in a cup during a game of beer pong [note: approximately four, if you are using cans, and it’s very likely you are not, so could be more like six] and how many do you drink when you end up drinking the other team’s too and what if you drink some of your partner’s because she’s a lightweight?” and the point is HOLY SHIT YOU CANNOT DO THAT SORT OF MATH OR HAVE THAT CONVERSATION WITH YOURSELF WHEN YOU ARE DRUNK.
And excess calories aside, I’d also like to point out that this confusion also has a major effect on how drunk you’re getting! I’m willing to bet that four cans of beer would have probably resulted in me sending significantly less drunk texts than four magically refilling Solo cups. And since how drunk you get has a big impact on how hungover you are the next day — which can lead to major lapses in healthy eating and exercise — the effect is really quite big. And even if you have an awesome metabolism or you know you’ll get up and run the next day, well, not to be whatever, but there is such a thing as being too drunk.
We always talk about portion control. A keg is the antithesis of portion control.
Have a great St. Patrick’s Day, but please…try not to be That Girl.