Alien Side Boob

John Birmingham

The Seven Stages of Drinking martinis

Mon 24th Jul 2017

Drinking martinis happens to all of us at some point in our lives. You never know when fate will blindside you. You wake up one day, the sun is shining, you have plans, dreams, and a bright path leading towards them. Next thing you know, your ass is planted on a bar stool and instead of learning that second language, or hiking the Andes to Machu Picchu, you’re getting yourself on the outside of your second martini.

It’s important to know what to expect, and most professionals now believe that the model known as the Seven Stages of Drinking Martinis offers the best insight into the very human mystery of why you can’t even start that first novel you always planned to write, but nailing your fourth Vespa martini is no trouble at all.

First, there comes ACCEPTANCE AND HOPE. During this stage your learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. You are going to have that martini. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness, but it really fucking implies it. Given the pain and turmoil of your day, you may never get back to the carefree untroubled you who got out of bed, determined to be their own best self. But you know as the bartender drowns that olive, that you will find a way forward.

As you taste the first kiss of sweet, sweet liquor on your dry, cracked lips, you will probably enter the stage we call RECONSTRUCTION AND WORKING THROUGH. You become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to the problems posed by life. Those solutions undoubtedly involve having another martini.

THE UPWARD TURN. As you become accustomed to the idea that this martini, and all the martinis to come, truly are a part of your life, that this thing is really happening, you become a little calmer and a lot more organized around the idea of getting another martini. Your anxiety and depression begin to lift slightly.

Too bad.

Because just when you can envisage getting on with your life, after one more martini, maybe two, you get slammed. DEPRESSION, REFLECTION and LONELINESS jump you from behind. A long period of sad reflection on the unlikelihood of making it to the Andes, certainly today, will probably overtake you. This is an entirely normal stage of martini drinking. Do not be “talked out of it” by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others to get off your lazy ass and book that once-in-a-lifetime trip, or learn that second language, or even start that stupid novel is not helpful to you during this part of your journey through the seven stages.

What is useful is ANGER & BARGAINING. Especially if that asshole working behind the bar has started hinting that perhaps you should lay off the Vespas there pal. You may feel like lashing out, and it is totally fucking justified. let me tell you. But don’t. It’ll just get in the way of bargaining for that next martini, which inevitably leads onto Stage Six, PAIN AND GUILT. Excruciating, unbearable, and usually involving bouncers and possibly arresting officers, it’s important you do the work and pass through to the final stage.


Seriously. You drank how many martinis? You did what with the baby goats at the petting zoo? You may find yourself denying the reality that, sadly, has been confirmed by the CCTV footage now in the hands of the police. The shock you feel at this stage is a good thing, it numbs and provides emotional protection against being overwhelmed all at once.

This is crucial if you ever want to get back to  ACCEPTANCE AND HOPE for a new day and another martini.