One Time a Guy Asked Me to Pretend to Drink

By Amber Tozer 03/31/15

“Hey girl who is recovering from an alcohol addiction that almost killed you, can you please pretend to be a drunk, just so my fucked up famous addict friend feels more comfortable around you?”


My first “boyfriend” in sobriety was a fancy movie producer who had a house in the hills. I think I wanted to date him because he was a fancy movie producer with a house in the hills. And, for this, I got what I deserved. I’m going to call him "John," even though his real name is Brian. (J/k, I just thought it’d be funny to say his real name after creating a fake name in the first place.) He’d be so mad if he knew I was writing this, but one time he told me my jokes weren’t funny, so I’ll send him this and see if he thinks this is funny. 

I had almost one year of sobriety when I started seeing him and I really thought that since I was sober I was going to do everything right. After going on a few dates, I moved past the shallow state of liking his status and into genuinely liking him—a lot. I wouldn’t say I was in love with him but it was a possibility. We would talk for hours about everything. He was easy to be around, and he turned out to be my favorite type of guy—he could communicate like a girl in conversations. He would overanalyze situations with a sense of self-awareness and was always working on himself. I like that. 

Plus, his social life was very exciting and when I found out he wasn’t an alcoholic I was like, "THANK YOU TO THE FICTIONAL SWEET BABY JESUS SITTING ON A CLOUD SMILING DOWN AT ME!" I always fall for alcoholics, but he’d have two drinks and leave half of the second one, which led me to believe he was 100% a non-alcoholic human. He asked me a lot of questions about how and why I got sober and was very supportive and cute about it.

One night, he invited me to go out with him and his famous friend, let’s call the famous guy "Cal." He was pretty well known at the time, I’d say a B-list celebrity on the A-list borderline. John said we were going to meet Cal and a girl (who was not Cal’s wife) at a bar. He casually let me know that Cal was a manwhore and his wife, who is basically a living legend, was good for him because she grounded him and that’s why he married her—but he cheated on her all of the time. This made no sense to me since whatsoever. I just figured since he was a guy justifying his friend’s behavior, I should just chalk it up to, “an idiot trying to convince a woman that his idiot friend is not an idiot.”

I guess Cal was ALWAYS with a different woman, and I could tell that John thought this was soooo cool. I guess if I were a famous guy genetically wired to want sex all the time, surrounded by women who wanted to have sex, I would probably pound all of them, but I’d ask my wife if it was okay. Sometimes, those Hollywood marriages have weird arrangements, so who knows if his wife knew or ever cared about his cheating. I was just wary of John putting him on a pedestal for it. 

After John gave me the lowdown on Cal’s dating situation, he also let me know that Cal drank a lot. I told him I didn’t care, but then he asked me something that made my stomach do a flip. He said, “Would you mind pretending you’re drinking a RUM and Diet Coke? Cal likes to drink and he might feel weird if you’re not drinking.” 

I wish I could go back in time and tell him to fuck off but I was so dumbfounded that all I could say was, “No. I won’t do that,” like a child. Then I said I’d rather not go and he quickly backtracked and said he was dumb for asking. Yes, he was super dumb for asking. It was one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard in sobriety. He took starfucking to a whole new level: “Hey girl who is recovering from an alcohol addiction that almost killed you, can you please pretend to be a drunk, just so my fucked-up famous addict friend feels more comfortable around you?” This upset me in so many ways. I think it hurt the most knowing I couldn’t be with someone who thought my sobriety would have a negative impact on whatever coolness he was trying to project. It grossed me out. 

And, this is just the beginning. The fuse of this story bomb hasn’t even been lit yet. 

Shaking off the dumb and insensitive question, I went with him to meet Cal and his fling. We went to a fancy hotel bar and sat in a booth. John took control of the drink order, still trying to cover up the fact that I wasn’t going to order alcohol, and, of course, no one gave a shit that I was drinking Diet Coke. Anyways, Cal was more charismatic than I could’ve imagined—magnetic, super funny, and engaging. You couldn’t help but want him to like you. Now, I know why John was slightly obsessed with him. He draws you in, and when you tell a joke you really hope he likes it. I was mad that I felt this way, but it was the truth.

I noticed what was happening to me and reminded myself that sociopaths are very charming. His gal pal, let’s call her "Chatty," talked so much I was grateful for her because I had fallen into the “impress the celebrity” trap. Her nonstop yapping took the pressure off. I could feel myself judging her for being with Cal, “She’s only with him because he’s famous.” Meanwhile, I’m sitting next to the millionaire movie producer who grossed me out with his stupid question. Then I decided we were all disgusting pigs. 

After a few drinks at the bar, we all went back to John’s place. His house in the hills has a patio that hangs over a cliff and offers a stellar view of West Hollywood, especially at night. Cal and Chatty took turns going to the bathroom to do lines of blow, which inspired Chatty to give us all a 45-minute Ted Talk on positive thinking. I was amused for the first 10 minutes, but then I got tired and went to bed. John stayed up for a little bit longer, then joined me. I pretended to be asleep because I didn’t want to have sex with him. No woman wants to sleep with a man who hates himself for not being as cool as his drunk famous friend. 

At about five in the morning, Cal comes barging in John’s room—naked with a boner the size of a baby donkey’s leg. He crawls into bed, wraps his arms around me and says he’s been thinking of me all night, that Chatty gets on his nerves and he wants to be with me. I was like, “Get the fuck away from me. John, tell him to get out of here.” John jumped up out of bed and sort of giggled, “Cal. What are you doing?”  

Cal: "I want to be with Amber

Me: "Get the fuck out of here." 

John: "Hee-hee."

I jumped out of bed, got dressed, went upstairs and sat down to put on my shoes. I looked up and they’re both standing there. Cal sat down next to me and put his arm around me, “Come on. What’s the big deal?” I said, “I’m dating John.” Cal said, “John, you won’t mind if Amber and I hooked up, would you?” And, good ol’ John, who has balls the size of two grains of sand said, “Well, I mean, if that’s what she wants.”   

I thought, What a fucking pussy. What a desperate fucking Hollywood starfucking schmuck. Then I shifted from blaming him to blaming myself, I deserve this. This is what I get for dating a guy because of his status. I had this coming. 

I walked out of that house and into the arms of a bunch of sober people. I told them what happened, and, of course, they were so cool about it and said all the right things and we laughed about it. It only took me about a week to turn the rage into a fun story. I would get the giggles when I thought about it.  And, after a few heated emails and a sincere apology from John, I forgave him. He was really sorry and admitted he has a huge peer-pressure problem and is working on it in therapy! I believe in you John!   

We’ve remained friends and actually tried to date again, but I can’t. He will be fine, he'll continue to make a lot of money producing TV shows and movies and I hope he finds the love of his life and stops asking dumb questions. And, I guess Cal is doing alright; he's still working and drinking and fucking. If you mention his name, everyone has a story about him and I'm sure he's probably the saddest out of all of us. I don’t know what happened to Chatty, I’m sure wherever she is someone is listening to her talk. And, here I am, dishing the dirt on all of us hoping there's a lesson in here somewhere. I've decided I'm no longer going to date rich fancy guys, not unless they give me cash or a movie deal UPFRONT. 

Once again, we are all disgusting pigs.  

The end.

Amber Tozer is a comedy writer who lives in Los Angeles, follow her on Twitter @AmberTozer.

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