Yesterday, I started to talk just a bit about the booze. Man, how I love the booze.
That just doesn’t sound good, does it?
Let me start again, I love the culture of booze. I love how hanging out in a bar, with friends, can be the most relaxing place in the world. I love how the question “What’s your favorite cocktail?” can be an instant ice-breaker. I love how the discussion of beer can go on for days without anyone being the worse off for it.
I just don’t like the hangovers.
Which, I guess, is where the maxim/quotation/piece-of-biblical-advice “everything in moderation” comes in.
This past weekend was a bit unusual for me. I went out both Sat. and Sun. nights and went on a fairly good drunk both nights. Nothing sloppy, you understand, no tears, no fights, no scuffles, which is an improvement over recent years and the primary reason why going out two nights in a row is an unusual event.
At one point, I was sitting, talking with some friends about the nature of addictions, whether physical or mental and how they can be so easy and, simultaneously, so hard to quit. One of the things that I find to be most true is that everyone has some sort of addiction, no matter how mild, and that everyone is dismissive of someone suffering from an addiction that they don’t share.
That may sound a little wild, but just think about the number of times you have heard someone rant about smokers while complaining that they could not get their iced cafe mocha. Dismissive of one addiction, while nursing their own, mild addiction.
So we were talking about alcoholism and drinking and about how giving up booze for most people is not really the main issue. It is giving up the accompanying social life that proves difficult. Let’s be honest, going to the bar and not drinking requires either a monumental amount of self-control, or you probably did not have a drinking problem to begin with. Now, take that same idea to going to the grocery store and not buying snacks or candies. Or going to the video store and not getting an adult video. Or going to the coffee shop and getting only water while your friends get high powered, super-caffinated java. Whatever your jones is, there is a similar test of mental strength that goes along with any attempt to go without.
(For the curious, the candy in the grocery store is the one most applicable to me, which accounts for most of my weight not lost, no matter how much I swim and bike.)
Another facet of dinking that came up last night was the binge effect. I am at an age, along with most of my social group, where everyone is partnered up and having children. This makes big get-togethers more problematic to organize, so, when everyone can attend, it turns into a big deal, replete with lots of booze. This leads to the binge. Take a guy who does not drink at home because of his kids, or lack of desire, or whatever, then put him into the crowd he used to drink with when he was younger and single, and suddenly, there is a lot of pressure to have more than a few. And, of course, once you are having more than a few, you want everyone else to do the same.
Anyway, these are just a few of the thoughts that have been running through my head since I woke up this morning with a hangover for the second day in a row, which, while unusual, is something I must admit, is not unlikely and I still do not know how I feel about that.
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