Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Condemned to Drink

I enjoy going out.  I know – big surprise.  But, (yes, there’s a but) going out doesn’t necessarily mean ‘having a big one’ or being ‘white girl wasted’.  I’m about to blow your mind.  Get ready for this…

Space for you to get ready:

Ready?  Okay, so people can actually go out and have a good time without chugging back litres of alcohol.  What!? No? 
Yep! I know right!? Who would have thought?

I’ve been out drinking plenty of times, sure.  I’ve also, however, been out completely sober simply because I felt like dancing or saying hi to someone I don’t get to see often in our busy lifestyles.  Sue me.    

When you’re a chronic clubber like me, there are always people you see out in consecutive nights or weeks.  And it’s here the interrogation begins.
“Are you drinking tonight?”
“Why aren’t you drinking?”
“Oh, sober once again are we?”

Shit, I even ask similar questions myself come to think of it. Wow.  Do I?  Why?   

Has drinking excessive amounts of alcohol become the norm?  In order to justify not drinking, must we have an excuse?  Really?   

Fun fact: Apparently beer was the first alcoholic beverage known to civilisation. Yay for beer!

But it is said that alcoholic beverages have been used in virtually all cultures through most of their recorded history (apparently).  However, in our lifetimes (and probably our parent’s lifetimes, and their parent’s lifetimes) drinking has been a social phenomenon.  Recently, I’ve noticed the continuing pressure to drink while out.  Drinking can be a social thing, yes, but does being social depend on drinking? No. 

Side note while I’m at it, I may as well mention those who attack sober party-goers.  More times than I’d like, I’ve been asked “Any danger in you smiling?”  while taking 5 on a club couch.  Sorry, but sometimes if you are sober in a club full of people who are fucked off their faces, spilling drinks on you, crashing into your shoulders, or hitting on you with dribble down their face and a slur in their words, you aren’t exactly going to be smiling.

But back to the point.  People now need to have a formulated reason ready for the interrogators to explain why they aren’t consuming a liquid that accounts for nearly 88 thousand deaths each year in the US alone.  Do you hear how ridiculous this sounds?    

Strap on your thinking hats ladies and gentlemen – extravagant excuses are needed in this century.  If you can’t think of any, the top 5 commonly accepted excuses are:

‘Sorry I have a sport game tomorrow.’

‘I have work in the morning.’

‘I’m sick.’

‘I’m on antibiotics.’

‘I’m driving.’

Majority of the time, however, these excuses will get a scoff of the face as a response, or a shake of the shoulders for being ‘weak.’ 

Are you serious?

Why do we have to have these excuses? Why isn’t “not tonight” a legit reply, or “I’m just not”, not sufficient?  Or better yet – the question never needing to be asked in the first place.    

I have to say, I can drink a LOT and I still feel the need to have an excuse when I choose to have a sober night.  (Don’t mind me – I thought peer pressure was something we left behind in high school. Evidently not).   

Not to mention the fact that alcohol is one of the worst things for your body.  Over time, alcohol can lead to the development of serious diseases such as heart disease, strokes, liver disease, cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver and colon.   

Also, just because this blew my mind – binge drinking is defined as, for women, consuming 4 or more drinks on a single occasion and for men consuming 5 or more drinks.  Heavy drinking is then defined as women consuming more than 8 drinks a week and men drinking more than 15.  Guilty, anyone? I know I am. 

That doesn’t mean I’m going to give up my Saturday nights, though.  And my point still stands.  If someone isn’t drinking, who cares?  That’s their decision.  If you choose to drink – good on you!  If you choose not to drink – good on you!  I’m still gonna party with you on the dance floor either way.


Bellis, Mary.  “The History of Alcoholic Beverages.” Retrieved from http://inventors.about.com/od/foodrelatedinventions/a/alcohol.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Fact Sheets – Alcohol Use and Your Health.” Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” Retrieved from http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics

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