The first time I got completely smashed was a year later. I went with some friends to visit a buddy at his new apartment. We did a round of Bacardi Limon shots to christen the new kitchen, then walked down Main Street to the bars. At the second one, we had a round of Guinness followed by a round of Goldshlager, which came in fluted shotglasses with GOLDSHLAGER written on them in gold leaf. "Can we buy these?" we drunkenly asked the barmaid. "Drink two more rounds," she said, "and I'll look the other way when you pocket them."

We did two more rounds. My head spun and I spoke with a Scottish accent as we staggered back to our designated driver's car, clutched our hard-earned prizes tightly. When we got to my house, I crawled inside to get water for all of us as one of my friends threw up in the hedge. I passed out on the couch, and woke up the next morning with a headache and a violent urge to vomit.

I still drank at parties, but never again to that extent.