Every college student has witnessed a Drunk Girl Spiral, or at least segments of it. College women have perfected the drunk girl spiral, starting with shots to Fratmusic’s “Hoin’ Out” playlists and ending with somebody crying hysterically while they clutch a toilet like it’s the only thing keeping them alive. Ladies, here are the steps that lead to a DGS so you can try and prevent yourself to succumbing to it. If you’re a dude and you see a DGS in progress, head for the hills, as its only going to end in disaster.
Step 1: Getting Ready — You’re doing your hair, your makeup, and choosing your outfit. You’ve got your girl Nicki playing in the background and your roommates by your side. You take a couple shots just for fun — after all, what’s the point of going out if you’re not even going to pregame the pregame?
Step 2: Beginning the Pregame — You and your girls pack into a dorm room or apartment kitchen wearing your shortest and tightest, passing around shot glasses and bottles of Svedka like it’s your job. Everybody is having an amazing time and is super excited to get drunk. This is a key component of the DGS — it always starts with vows to blackout and make bad decisions (which will all too easily be fulfilled — but that’s later in the night.) However, things are surprisingly tame for now — silly toasts, declarations of love for the hot guy down the hall, promises to loan each other your respective outfits — until somebody whips out a bottle of every drunk girl’s best friend and worst enemy…
Step 3: Tequila — Note: Not every DGS starts with tequila, but I can tell you that most of them do. Tequila is great for stories, not so great for decisions, but girls never remember this on a weekend (especially if they’re already drinking). So inevitably our good friend Jose Cuervo makes an appearance. High-pitched squeals of excitement fill the room and the salt and limes come out. The process begins and Svedka and Malibu stand forgotten on the counter. After ten minutes of tequila shots on top of everything else you’ve drank in the last three hours, you’re all blackout and laughing hysterically in each other’s arms. This is around the time when someone pulls out a camera and everybody else immediately whips out their best head tilt and drunk girl smile. These pictures and the ones to come will be the saving grace for nearly all of you, as the Drunk Girl Spiral usually ends with no recollection of anything after the first shot of Jose.
Step 4: Leaving the Pregame — This is where things get sticky. At this point, at least one of your friends will be too obliterated to function. She’ll be lying on the kitchen floor, stuffing her face with the contents of your fridge, crying about grades, boys, or how she can’t feel her face. Her eyes will glaze over when you ask her if she’s okay, and she’ll sob incomprehensibly all over your dress. This is what we like to call a mini-DGS, as this poor girl will never even get to leave the pregame. So there you stand, trying to pick up your shit-housed friend while getting no help from the rest of your girls (who are standing on the table belting out Rihanna lyrics). This is when the seed of anger that feeds the DGS is planted. A fight ensues about who’s going to stay in and take care of her, until you all quickly realize something — you don’t want to take care of your drunk friend, you want to get even more smashed and make out with somebody ASAP. So you lug her bed or onto the couch, listen to her cry about her long-dead cat a little bit more, and then tuck her in with a trash can, a water bottle, two advils and a cell phone. You all grab your coats and keys and make your way out the door — but only after one more tequila shot.
Step 5: Getting to the Party — You’re walking along, arm-in-arm, singing at the top of your lungs — or maybe you’ve got a DD, in which case you’re all packed on top of each other in the backseat of a car, still singing at the top of your lungs. You’re on top of the world and this is the high point of the night. Everyone present is blackout and at that drunk girl stage where you love everyone around you.
Step 6: The Party — You walk in like you own the place, and immediately head into the hordes of people with only three things in mind — boys, booze, and boogie. You each grab a cup of fantastically strong juice and hit the dance floor. At this point, things get crazy. Maybe you see your friend making out with someone and are suddenly reminded of when she stole the boy you secretly liked the first weekend of freshman year. For some reason you can’t get the incident out of your head until you tell her what a slut she is and all of a sudden you two are locked in a bathroom, yelling at each other in incomprehensible drunk speak. Or maybe you challenge your friends to chug their cup of Everclear-based juice. Suddenly you’re making out with another girl in the middle of the dance floor and have no idea how you got there. Or maybe your friend went through the fridge and decided it would be a good idea to pull out a pie and start eating it with her hands. No matter what happens, you are all smashed beyond belief, and you are all heading into a definite downward spiral.
Step 7: Uh oh, I don’t feel good — At this point, things take a turn for the worse. Your stomach starts flipping on the dance floor and you sit down, only to realize that you’re seeing double. A guy tries to talk to you, but you can’t even understand English. You become confused and scared and suddenly want your bed more than anything else. Those seven tequila shots you took feel like they’re going to come back up, when all of a sudden your stomach starts cramping so badly you can barely breathe. You run for the bathroom, but there’s a huge line (as always) so you run outside and empty your stomach at the foot of a tree. After the first round of vomming, you know you have to go home, so you try calling your friends inside and begging them to come out. Problem is, they’re all in almost as bad of a state as you are. You panic, calling your ex-boyfriend, your current fling, your friend who stayed in with the flu — anyone you can think of with a car. At this point, things could go one of two ways. You convince someone with a car to come get you and you all pile in and spend the entire ride home wailing and crying so hard you can’t breathe. Alternatively, you realize you have to walk. So you haul-ass home, shoes off, dignity missing. At least one of you is running, at least one of you has to be carried, and nearly all of you are sobbing.
Step 8: Home — Finally, you make it home. You run for the toilet like it’s the only thing you’ve ever needed in your entire life. You’re crying hysterically, puking and yelling at anyone who comes near — that is, if you’re not so blasted that you’re nearly asleep. Your friends are all in other bathrooms, either throwing up or bringing water to somebody else and rubbing their back. Somebody’s holding your hair, but you have no idea who — all you want is your regular body back. You gain consciousness just long enough to scream “KILL ME! MAKE IT STOP!” at your passing roommate before slipping off into a tequila-induced coma. In between vomiting and making nonsensical requests for bagels, you probably call everybody you know — your ex, to tell him you hate him (but still want him); that new guy you’ve been talking to, to tell him you love him; your best friend at another school, who doesn’t pick up because she’s also DGSing; you may even leave your mom an incomprehensible voicemail telling her how much you need her. You text half your phone book with something that’s not even English. The time you spend in that bathroom is an assault on your dignity from all fronts.
Step 9: Hangover — You wake up completely confused, either stark naked or still in your clothes from the night before. Your mouth tastes like vomit and your body feels like it was hit by a train. The sun coming through the window feels like laser-beams cutting through your eyes. You manage to put on your biggest sweatpants and stumble into the living room, mumbling the words “What the hell happened last night?” to your roommates. The rest of the day is spent trying to recover, cringing at pictures and texts, and vowing never to do it again. But you know you will — we all do.
Message to the boys dealing with a DGS — If a girl calls you drunk and crying, know what you’re in for. Try and be gentle, she’s blackout. Also, if you happen to be at a pregame that looks like the beginning of a DGS, try and hide the tequila. If it’s light-colored tequila, fill her shot glass with water after the first three shots. Chances are she won’t know the difference. If it’s dark, fill it with Captain Morgan. Anything is better than tequila.