Ask TSJ: Should I Start Drinking Again?


LIFE IS HARD. It seems like every new day brings a new question that, try as you might, you’re just unable to find an answer for. The Smoking Jacket understands this, and we’re here to help. TSJ’s editor, Melissa Bull, and Headshots columnist, Mike Spry, set aside some time in their busy schedules to answer your questions in a feature we’ve cleverly named “Ask TSJ.”

This week’s incredible question comes from a TSJ reader in Cambridge.

Dear TSJ,

Thanks for taking the time. I hope you can help. I’m a 26-year-old grad student in a pseudo-relationship attending a university in the northeastern US. I recently quit drinking, and upon finding sobriety I have come to the realization that: I hate my boyfriend, I hate my friends, I hate my major, I hate my thesis advisor, and I hate my university. I wasn’t a heavy drinking, I only quit because I was really busy and really poor. My question is, what do I do? Do I start drinking again? Do I totally change my life?


Jill in Cambridge


Dear Jill,

Yes. You should definitely start up drinking again. You know that thing your daddy says when he’s drunk? “If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it?” There’s truth in them puns!

You’re strapped for cash, you say? Get a part-time TA-ing gig. According to my best BFF Marcee, “TA-ing” rarely involves much work — you just have to listen to your thesis advisor complain about his divorce a lot. And maybe bone him a little. (T+A! Get it! Get it?) Like not a ton — you can keep your Will + Jada style open relationship no problemo. And you’d just be doing him in his office so his toddlers won’t find out. But you can drink while you do that. PLUS probs your advisor is paying for the booze. PLUS doing the prof = free out of print quarterlies. AS MANY AS YOU WANT AS PAYMENT FOR YOUR SILENCE. I mean that hypothetically. I have never been known to swipe quarterlies myself from anyone at any time. FYI. Who would do that?

Let’s boil it down to this: What CAN’T you do while you’re drinking? You can ice skate while drinking. You can eat samosas while drinking. You can take a crap while drinking. You can build a wall of bottles while drinking. The world is your liquored up oyster, Jill.

A toast to your oyster! And shotgun it! Then down another for me, too. I’m 100 years old and I can’t do that shit myself anymore.



Dear Jill,

Stay on the sauce, get off the sauce, whatever. This is not the problem. The problem is you, or more specifically your inability to understand your environment. You’re a “26 year-old grad student in a pseudo-relationship attending a university in the northeastern US” and just now you have realized that you hate your boyfriend, friends, major, thesis advisor, and university? Well, no shit! Your friends are grad students, the worst people ever. Your BF is dating a grad student, which means he’s either a grad student, a prof, or an asshole. Your university and thesis advisor (in the northeast)? Elitist, pseudo-communist academia, populated with people who have never had real jobs, and who think uttering “Foucault” or “Žižek” ends every argument.

Short-term advice: Keep drinking until you graduate. Long-term advice: ditch all these fuckers as soon as that degree is un your hand. Don’t look back.

- Mike

Got a question for Melissa and Mike? CLICK HERE and fire away. If we use it… your life will improve immediately. 

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