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Today’s guest blogger is Carly Oishi. Carly is the co-producer of the blog and reading series, Solo in the 2nd City. She barely keeps children alive as a nanny, knows a thing or two about bowling and sings in a duo aptly named Jon & Carly.

***

It’s 10 p.m. on a Friday night and I wake up, fully-clothed in my bed, cellphone in hand. Slowly the pieces of the lat few hours unravel. I look at the phone to see if I have a message from him to no avail. The combination of sour stomach, blinding headache, utter embarrassment and crushing disappointment hit all at once.

Yes now I remember. I met a cute stranger at a bar, drank too much vodka and kissed him in public. When he went to leave, I made a complete ass out of myself, getting in his face about meeting up later and when he handed me his business card “with his phone number,” I took that as a sign he wanted to hear from me.

But after three bumbling texts, with one polite, but vague response later, I realize I had done it again.

I’ve decided I don’t have a dating problem.

I have a drinking one.

***

When your first kiss happens at seventeen and you lose your virginity at twenty-one (drunk, in the bathroom of a garden apartment with the guy you’re not even dating anymore [because he didn’t want to be your boyfriend]), you’re behind the curve.

Add another four years to that before you have sex again, coupled with two back to back serious relationships and at the age of thirty, your “number” is still well under ten.

Hey, nothing wrong with that, but considering you didn’t sleep with anyone in college and only a handful of people in your 20’s, being spit back out into your Dirty 30’s with little to no experience under your belt is unnerving.

I’ve found that most if not all of my random hook-ups (read: completely forgettable mistakes) have all come because I was under the influence.

Dudes from OkCupid become a lot cuter, funnier and worth considering after four vodka sodas on an empty stomach. Or whiskey, depending on the day.

Here’s a list of things I probably would have avoided had I not been drunk:

1) Crying about a guy
2) Feeling bad about a guy
3) Thinking about my Ex(es)
4) Texting people I shouldn’t
5) Getting seriously bent out of shape when the above don’t text me back
6) Leaving a party/friend’s house/bar because I’m shitfaced and super depressed
7) Making 9 out of the last 10 bad decisions

Years of this bad behavior now leading up to my thirty-fourth birthday and I find myself completely clueless when it comes to interacting with men. Date sober? Kiss sober? Have sex sober? Sorry, I’m not following.

I don’t think I realized how much of this had become a crutch until people would suggest we meet for something like coffee, or I’d go to someone’s apartment to “watch a movie” after only being able to consume A beer at dinner.

The thought of being completely aware of everything in combination with not being able to dull all of the nervousness and awkwardness makes me want to never go on another date again.

I’ve developed some really shitty habits and am now panicking that I’ve been wasting a lot of “prime time” working on the wrong things and should have been trying to be in the presence of a guy without feeling the need to take the edge off.

I’m not implying I’m going to be sober from here on out. But it’s about time I start putting limits on my drinking habits (two drink maximum?) in order to really learn how to be myself, especially in the context of dating.