Introduction to the Drunk/Tipsy Scale

I believe that everyone who has ever had a drink in their life has had a philosophical discussion on the level of their inebriation at any given time:

“Was I drunk? Or was I tipsy?”

“Did I look like I was drunk?”

“I wasn’t drunk, I just LOOKED drunk”

“It only takes me 2 Smirnoff Ices and I’m gone”

In 2007, a highly scientific scale was created by two individuals deciphering the level of intoxication that should be reached on a first encounter with the opposite sex.  Ok, it was the BFF and I, bored out of our minds at work, emailing back and forth on what I should do on a date I was having on a particular night with a Marine. After advising me that I should have him tested for all STDs and deciding that we should meet at a “classy sports bar”, we were discussing my potential first-date demeanor. The BFF instructed me to drink only if I felt comfortable and to not give the impression that I could hold my liquor. This lead to believe that I shouldn’t drink anyway- what impression would I give??  The BFF said that she has been “Tipsy level 3”, as well as “Drunk Level 1” on a first date- each state-of-mind delivering different outcomes. I then inquired on exactly what these numbers meant. And that’s where the “Drunk/Tipsy” Scale was born. This was created by the BFF, and enhanced by moi. I have attempted to go further into explaining each level with outstanding examples of inebriation. Enjoy!

Tipsy Scale

Tipsy 1 – Slight buzz; no change in behavior or mood (slight relaxed feeling)

*after 1 drink or 2 beers

This scenario is always present at the beginning of the night. You may have the best intentions on how the rest of the evening will go, and that first drink puts you at ease. If you end up reaching the end of the scale (Drunk 3), this is usually the only time you are able to achieve 100% memory retention. In addition, your clothes are still in good shape, your hair is still in place, and you assume that you can drink that whole bottle of champagne and keep the same buzz.

Flirting in bar

Tipsy 2 – Feelings of looseness, much more relaxed, becoming more socially adept

*after 1 strong drink/shot being consumed in less than 10 min. or 3 beers

At this point, you begin expressing just exactly “how you feel” to anyone who will listen. The gentleman at the bar who you would never have the courage to even look at in the eyes becomes a bit more attainable (only in your head though!).  You even initiate conversation with that weird guy from accounting who was inadvertently cc’d on the Happy Hour email, who always sends you creepy inter-office IM messages (i.e. “Can I get some café for my little mocha-latte?”).

Tipsy 3 – Desire to dance and tell all of you life stories (still able to hold on to secrets and hidden feelings/thoughts)

*after 2 strong drinks/ 3 glasses or wine/4 beers)

This is where the party really starts. The fact that there is no dance floor doesn’t stop you from starting to dance around the small space between the bar-area high-tops. During the transition into Tipsy 3, I personally begin losing feeling in my face; yet feel a heightened sensation around my lips (all my friends who have ever heard me say “I am very aware of my mouth right now” will vouch for this).  The guy you used to date from Marketing starts to look good again, and you contemplate flirting with him once more, instantaneously forgetting that he has officially stood you up 13 times between 2008-2010. All this emotion can be validated by the slightly creepy smirk on your face that people are questioning. You receive several inquires as to “what in the hell is wrong with you”, because you have remained COMPLETELY SILENT for an hour. Five minutes later, you are telling your co-workers an animated story about the fact that you were adopted, and yes, it has made you a better person. Oh, and everything is also very, very funny.

Drunk Scale

Drunk 1 – Moderate loss of coordination, heightened feels/emotions (what the exact feelings are will be different for every person), slurry speech but still understandable, desire to party, heels no longer hurt

*3 strong drinks, 4 glasses of wine, 5-6 beers

You are no longer in control of any situation at this point. You may think you are, but trust me; decisions made once you reach Drunk 1 are NEVER made under a sound mind. The guy who was on your mind at Tipsy 2 is now engaging you in a thought-provoking conversation regarding how to properly do a Sake bomb without spilling Kirin all over the table. This conversation can surely not be understood in the confines of a bar, and OF COURSE! it’s a great idea to walk 3 blocks in your platform Mary Janes, to a place much more quiet that you can discuss this topic in further detail. Next thing you know, your friends are yelling at you because they found you in the vicinity of a Crown Vic backseat, and you are crying and mumbling some gibberish about how you’re sorry and you are so lucky to have friends who love you. You then try to hug them during the walk back to the bar, and you end up falling and breaking your heel, subsequently making you cry once again. Once you’ve stepped back into the bar, sitting down in the corner for awhile sounds like a great idea. This idea is soon abandoned after the first few bars of “Shots, Shots, Shots” blast out of the speakers, causing you to shoot out of your chair, screaming “THAT’S MY JAM!” The whole CrownVictoria incident is now forgotten.

(This is most peoples desired level)

 Drunk 2 – Massive increase in sexual desire (going home with random people), slight memory loss, ridiculous out of character behavior (great stories), bumping into other persons, meeting new best friends in the bathroom, drunk dialing, feelings of invincibility, and vomiting in the morning or later that night in your OWN bathroom.

*3-6 strong drinks, 4-6 glasses of wine, 8-10 beers

Ahh, Drunk 2 is the origin of so many great stories (told only by the people who can remember what happened). A few examples if Drunk 2:

  • Professing your love to Brazilian club bouncers within 10 minutes of meeting one another. You guys want to get married and think Vegas is a GREAT idea, but you forget 1: he’s on a bouncer’s salary, and 2: you’re on Ocean and 6th street with only $16.00 for travel expenses
  • Having an argument with a friend from work regarding the fact that you are pissed he didn’t show up to your birthday party last night. He swears he was there and so do all the other party goers. You think he is just being a jerk and walk away huffing and puffing. Then you think for a moment, and suddenly a memory pops into your head that you screamed his name when he walked into the house, embarrassing him. You sulk back over to his desk and apologize.
  • Texting your “Situation” near the end of a night onSouthBeach. After it has been determined that you are going home alone, you think it’s a wonderful idea to send 1-3 word texts to the one person you know will come through for you. After 10 texts of “Sup?”, “Where u at?”, “What u doing?”, and “Hey”, you forget who you’re texting and why, and pass out in the back of the cab.
  • Attending “Ladies Night” at an establishment where bartenders are not used to women tipping on these nights. You and your cohort slam down a $20, in hopes that the lady behind the bar will “take care” of you with the free libations. She takes this as a free pass to get you completely out of your mind. Your next memory is calling your friend the next morning, inquiring as to how you all got home and why there are French fries strewn all across the front seat of your Cavalier.

Drunk 3 – Vomiting in public, blacking out, passing out, hitting your head on the toilet seat, being place in the detox room in the club, loss of earrings, shoes, cell phone…morning pain/embarrassment, you make a promise to never drink again

*7+ strong drinks, 7+ glasses of wine, 11+ beers

No one WANTS to ever be at Drunk 3 voluntarily. Although Drunk 1 is the most desired level on the scale, Drunk 2 can get by sometimes as ideal, only because there are moments you truly want to forget ever happened. But no one ever starts out the night proclaiming “I definitely want to pass out on the floor of the bathroom at Purdy and then throw up in the corner”. Moments created during Drunk 3 are ones that will last forever.

Now, I tried really hard to not to inject myself into any of these examples, or allude to the fact that any of these things have happened to myself or my friends. But to fully understand the highest level of intoxication possible, I must put myself out there and recall the story of how I got the slight dent located on the left side of my forehead. So here it is my friends, a perfect example of Drunk Level 3:

I spent a most boisterous night out for my birthday in which I made the mistake of running into one of my old college buddies who happened to have millions of dollars spilling out his pockets. He was 6’9”, and 300+ pounds, so I couldn’t really say no when he said I should tag along while he celebrated being himself all night. I drank things I never drink (HENNESSEY) and hung out with people I never did (one of Luke’s most celebrated ladies), and the night was awesome and foggy all at the same time.

At the end of the night, I somehow reached my friend’s apartment, and passed out on her couch. When I woke up, I had the obvious urge to release the entire contents of my stomach. I knocked on my friend’s door, but it was locked, so I couldn’t use her bathroom which was inside in her room.

Now this is sample floor plan of her apartment, and the source of my next dilemma. As you can see, there is another bathroom in the house, located across the hall from her roommate’s bedroom. He was passed out as well, so I finally decided I would risk it and do my thing in there. I get inside and prepare myself to heave…

My next memory is a dream I’m having of my grandmother and cousin running through a field, laughing. I awaken from my dream, and I find myself on the floor with my head on the toilet seat, as if I was taking a quick nap. My head is throbbing, and I just assume I fell asleep for a minute. The pain in my head is excruciating, and I put my forearm against my head in agony. When my pull my arm away from my head, I see blood on it, and a sick feeling comes into play. I stand up and look in the mirror, and there is an inch-deep gash in my forehead and blood all over my face!  I come to the conclusion that I must have passed out, hit my head on the sink/toilet, and blacked out, falling to the floor. I have no clue how long I was out, because everyone else was asleep. Now this situation is not intentionally funny, but it’s actually quite hilarious. The hilarity is heightened by the fact that my friend’s roommate could have stumbled into his OWN bathroom at some point, seen me on the floor with blood over the place, and assumed that a massacre occurred in his ocean-view apartment. After I cleaned myself up, and everyone else woke up and heard the story, I proceeded to finally get into my friend’s bathroom, and comfortably threw up for 2 hours. This incident also revealed the fact that I am apparently the loudest vomiter (NEW WORD) on the planet, and that according to mature, Jewish-mom etiquette; I should have been drinking a “BEER” (pronounced “BIYUH”) to help the hangover.

WARNING!  The drink amounts are a rough estimate. Your personal tolerance level should be taken into account when calculating you placement on the scale


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