Designated Party Pooper?

by admin on February 22, 2011

There’s something that’s been bothering me, something I’m worried I may have done wrong. The “victim” assures me that it’s ok, but I still wonder if I violated etiquette.

It was my BF’s birthday, and I wanted him to have fun. I gave him permission to be free to get really drunk if he wanted to, and I would take care of him.

His birthday celebration was a smash hit. Everyone had a great time, and I was lavished with praise by him the entire night for being such a wonderful sport (I was his designated driver, and drank nothing but water an energy drinks to keep awake, and made sure everyone was having fun).

It was going amazingly well, but in a very short period of time, where several people bought him several rounds of shots, he went from drunk to out-of-control, unable to speak cohesively or even stand up drunk. I called it a night immediately when I noticed him unable to stand upright without help, which upset some of the other guests who were having a good time. I already had his car keys, but also had to take his phone to keep him from drunk dialing people.

A large group of his friends wanted to keep the party going at a swimming pool they owned, but I told them, “No, he needs to rest,” in a tone that I admit was rather curt. At that point, I was scared about alcohol poisoning, which may have been overly dramatic of me but I was honestly frightened that I may have to take him to the ER. I’m sort of known as the party killer now.

Was it wrong of me to stop the party that was made by and being held for someone else? In my eyes, I was invoking “My heart will break if he dies of alcohol poisoning tonight because I love this guy” rule but part of me wonders if that was really my call to make to end the party. 0202-11

The only opinion that matters is the guest of honor at the party, your boyfriend.  If the agreement was that you were his caretaker while he consumed alcohol freely, then you performed within the parameters of your agreed upon duties which you’ve stated BF appreciates.   You were thinking of him and putting his welfare first whereas the other guests were selfishly thinking of their own need to continue the fun regardless of how that would affect the guest of honor.

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

karma February 23, 2011 at 6:45 am

What’s with grown adults who don’t know how to stop themselves when they’ve had “enough”? Geez. Natural selection I guess.

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Enna February 23, 2011 at 7:01 am

Well done OP for standing your ground. Letting him near the swimming pool? They aren’t really good firends are they? Swimming and alcohold don’t mix you only need 2 inches of water to drown in. You love him – he had had a good night by the sounds of it: now it’s hometime. If you weren’t there and his firends took him to the pool he could have drowned – they could get into serious trouble e.g. possible manslaughter charges.

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Ali February 23, 2011 at 9:50 am

Nope, you did nothing wrong. I once ended my roommate’s birthday celebration at a bar (subtly, not overtly) because I was responsible for getting her home and if she was passed out drunk I would not have been able to. I also in college was once sent to a frat party to extract someone’s high school age sister (what were they thinking?) because there were too many of the younger kids and they needed more people. Boy was the guy who was trying to take advantage of her upset, although once I said “she’s a minor” he fled and good for him. I have no patience or mercy with attempted-rapists.

Honestly, I’ve done the drink-alot parties and I hate it. You end up vomiting and feeling like crap the next day and acting like an idiot. What’s the point?

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Auryn Grigori February 23, 2011 at 10:04 am

^ (Not the OP) By the way, when I said that I gave him permission I don’t mean that I told him whether or not he could have a drink. I don’t drink often, but when I do, I am usually a pretty heavy drinker (I have a higher alcohol tolerance than he does, due mostly to careful drinking habits and a higher body weight). I spend most of night nursing my drink until I was sure that no one was driving drunk back to their home. I assume that the OP meant it in the same way, that she didn’t drink so that she could be the DD while her boyfriend drank. I also don’t think that saying “I will be the DD so that you can drink more than you usually do” is the same as “Go ahead, get dangerously hammered.”

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Tundra February 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Taking him home was the perfect way to act. However if they were in a public place, they could have continued doing what they were doing without him.
… but honestly at that point I might have wanted to stop them since they were about to be doing something dangerous, even though it wasn’t my business.

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chechina February 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

OP, unless you, your boyfriend and your friends are fourteen I don’t think a birthday party with alcohol is such a rare opportunity. Everything is cool, you looked out for your boyfriend, they’ll be other parties. Please don’t drive yourself crazy imagining what other people think of you when they’re already looking foward to the next party.

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twik February 23, 2011 at 10:39 pm

“People will puke before they get alcohol poisoning”? Then how do more than 300 people (in the US alone) die of alcohol poisoning each year?

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Lady Silver February 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm

You absolutely did the right thing in guarding his safety. The people who encouraged him to go swimming are the ones that should feel embarrassed by their behavior, not you.

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Orangiste February 25, 2011 at 8:43 am

OP, you did great to get your boyfriend out of there, and you should be proud of yourself for being so strong and decisive. It is really hard when you have to be the person to make that decision, especially when everyone is having fun and you don’t want to spoil the party, and of course you will feel sorry that you had to do it, but – you absolutely had to do it. In these situations it often falls to someone to do the decent thing (see also: preventing drunk people from driving, etc) and this time it was you, and you pulled it off.

And don’t worry about what people may or may not be thinking – a bit of teasing about party killing often comes with the territory! – the main thing is that your BF is ok and that he appreciates what you did. I would guess your boyfriend is very glad that he can trust you to take care of him.

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Drunkenatheist March 3, 2011 at 12:33 am

WOAH. First off, Geekgirl, spiking your drink? SERIOUSLY!?!?!? Talk about beyond inappropriate. I had a friend (“Shane”) who insisted that everyone get drunk at a party. One night, Shane tried to sneak shots of Ketel One into a drink of a partygoer who absolutely needed to stay sober that night. (She stopped by a party to say to hi to everyone but couldn’t stay due to prior early morning commitments.) That little incident got shut down quickly by yours truly.

I don’t give a crap if someone drinks at a party I’m hosting, but I do give a crap if guests are being tricked into drinking, especially because your reasons for not drinking are personal. Now that I’m older and have more recovered/ing alcoholics/alcoholics eagerly awaiting rock bottom, as well as a practicing Muslim couple in my life, Shane does not know the wrath he’d receive from me if he tried to pull that shit again. If you can’t tell from my username (lol), I neither abstain nor am I religious, but I will NOT tolerate someone putting my friends and guests in such a position. Taking aside any religious/moral objections to alcohol, it’s called RESPECTING OTHERS’ CHOICES. GAH.

@ The OP:

A few years ago, I hosted a weekly party at my apartment. One year, we had a semi-impromptu Labor Day party. Now, before I get too much further, a few things should be noted: no one was completely sober at that party; Jane was in her mid-20s (thus had some drinking experience under her belt); and she is prone to exaggeration, especially if it gets her extra attention.

As the night progressed, “Jane” got excessively drunk, smoked pot, got the spinnies, and spent a good hour or so puking her guts up in my bathroom. After about ten or fifteen minutes, we realized that Jane had been tying up the bathroom for some time. A few of us started periodically checking on her to make sure that she was just drunk and feeling awful, not at the OH NO CALL 911 RIGHT NOW stage. As I mentioned above, all of us were under the influence to some extent. (I think the most sober person had still put away four or five beers.) Jane’s girlfriend (“Sally”) came into the bathroom and took her pulse; in her drunkenness, Sally panicked and was convinced that Jane had alcohol poisoning. Long story short, we had to get anyone underage out of the apartment, call 911, call Jane’s mom to get her to meet us at the hospital, and stay with her there.

In the end, Jane just overdid it a little bit, and once she got into the hospital, she basically gave up on the dramatic nonsense, vomited one more time and wanted to leave. (Seriously, I’m not being mean-spirited; the paramedics showed up, took her vitals and realized she was exaggerating the whole thing. She was quite capable of walking out of my apartment without stumbling and speaking without slurring.)

Even knowing that she was fine, do I regret calling 911? Hells no! A) I still wouldn’t want to run the risk of something bad happening to her and B) she wound up with a $500 ambulance bill to go to hospital across the street; the hospital she “couldn’t walk to.” It was a nice little reminder to her for the future — and kept most people in that circle from drinking to excess around me.

I’ve been in the position of having to cut people off, and it really sucks. I had more written, but I’ll be honest with you, writing about one friend in particular made this comment way tl;dr and led to some emotional ranting from me.

But enough about me… The point is that you did nothing wrong whatsoever and even if you HAD overreacted a hair, you intentions were rooted in concern, not because you wanted to be a party pooper. (To be clear though, based on your description of the night, I would have done the same thing!) Your boyfriend’s friends sound like wieners if they’re going to seriously hold that against you. Even if they think they’re just teasing you, that can get really infuriating after awhile (if, for no other reason, because it’s such old news).

Is there any possible way you could try explaining your side to your boyfriend’s friends? After I typed the line about teasing, I’m sorta wondering if they think they’re just teasing you and don’t realize that it legit upsets you.

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Adica March 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm

@Tara: People puke *because* they have alcohol poisoning. It’s just a matter of their body hopefully having recognized it soon enough for the puking to do any good, which isn’t always the case.

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