To All the Drunk Girls I’ve Met in Bathrooms Before


To All the Drunk Girls I’ve Met in Bathrooms Before

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

As an overworked millennial trying to make a living in Mumbai, life can get pretty unforgiving. Especially on days when creativity refuses to make an appearance despite feeding your brain endless cups of caffeine and taking several power naps. In this nihilistic world, where confidence and happiness are sold as exclusively as a Sabyasachi limited edition, it’s hard not to feel like the Bojack of your life. But the silver lining to this phase is that you also become adept at hunting for the silver lining. For a lot of people, unwinding comes easy: A Netflix binge, reclaiming a childhood hobby, yelling at random strangers on the internet for not wearing the right shade of woke, or a nasty Sunday brunch. My confidence booster though? Drunk girls inside a pub bathroom. You see, there’s no one who can make you feel as dope about yourself as a drunk girl in that sweet spot between tipsy and all-out smashed.

Drunks girls in public restrooms are the stark opposite of the salon ladies we have to encounter all our lives. If the latter is hell bent on pointing out everything that is wrong with your appearance, drunk girls will compliment you like their increments depended on it. Expect nothing less than an intense PowerPoint Presentation listing out every single strength that you had no idea you possessed. Sometimes, it’ll also be accompanied with a loud pitch and a generous helping of tears. This is basically the middle-finger to all your haters.

And this is exactly why men and women have such contrasting experiences inside pub restrooms. For men, it’s just another space that can foster “locker-room talk”. But for women, it’s nothing less than an IRL matchmaking app. Except instead of men, we find ourselves surrounded by drunk girls who will remind you a hundred times under a span of five minutes that “your hair really brings out the colour of your eyes” or that “lipstick is dope”.

At some point or the other, all of us have been lucky to meet our own personal drunk godmothers who channel their inner critic to give us the five-star validation we really deserve.

But it’s not all mushy and girly inside here. Drunk girls always have each others back even when things don’t look good – they’ll lend you a pad, hold your hair while you puke your guts out, and even come together to give you a quick touch-up after.  

Unlike random Tinder hook-ups, drunk girls are not only honest about their feelings for you, but also do not expect anything in return. As this essay titled “In Praise of Drunk Girls”, observes, “The drunk girl acts as a confirmation that despite all evidence to the contrary, you’re doing okay. You’re cute, you’re friendly, you’re worthy of attention, and not just in the eyes of the people who are obligated to love you already. If a total stranger (wasted as she may be) can observe it, it must be true; she forces you to see yourself as you’d like to be seen in your most secret heart.”

At some point or the other, all of us have been lucky to meet our own personal drunk godmothers who channel their inner critic to give us the five-star validation we really deserve. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told that my smoky eyes are just the right kind of smoky or have had a haiku about how great my dress was. I’ve received the greatest boy advice, motivational self-quote, and guffawed at the funniest joke inside the safe confines of a Narnia-like cubicle. The women’s restroom, with all its intoxicated inhabitants, is a dressing room, a boudoir, an open mic, a salon, a gossip corner, and a therapy room all rolled into one.  

A Reddit thread where women revealed their favourite encounters with drunk girls inside bar bathrooms, echoes my thoughts. One user recounted the time she met, “The Irish bride who couldn’t lift her huge dress. She was doing the ‘Bout to piss myself’ dance and I said ‘I’ll help you piss for a drink’. She and I went out when we were both done and she screamed to the whole bar ‘THIS LITTLE THING HERE?! SHE IS THE WORLD’S BEST PETTICOAT HOLDER! SOMEONE GET HER A FUCKING DRINK’… my boyfriend had to help her new husband carry her to the limo a while later.” Another wrote, “Threw my guts up in a bathroom sink while the drunk girl rubbed my back, held my hair and washed the puke down the drain, saying, ‘Look! It’s like it didn’t even happen.’ She also called me beautiful. Good times.”

It’s got me thinking about who are these women if not fairies who’ve touched our lives in the brief minutes that it takes us to pee. I’m certain the only way we can ever do justice to their benevolence is by passing it forward. If you feel like complimenting a girl for that great posterior, don’t hesitate. Because you can be sure of one thing, when a woman fondly talks about the “one that got away,” more often than not, she’s talking about that drunk girl she bumped into in the washroom. The one she instantly became BFFs with but whose name she forgot to ask.