So many people I know live and breathe by the timetable where they can go to the bar and have a drink. Ninety percent of these people are not what I would traditionally call alcoholics, but I know a few. I also know drug addicts, sex addicts, and what I call fall from reality addicts, but I’ll get into that later.
I never was a big drinker, I’ve had my moments though. I’m a lightweight when it comes to drinking in about every sense of the word. Other then the vague memories of having a sip of Dad’s beer now and again it was a few years before I had any alcohol at all. On that subject though, growing up we hardly ever had any alcohol in the house. If we did have alcohol it was either one of those get together where all my parents friends came over and we had beer in the house, or my mother’s high school friend came up to visit and they got loaded on peach schnapps. Before my brother was born I was dropped off at my grandparents so my parents could go out bar hopping, but this only happened once every 6 months or so. Ironic how much a five-year old can remember. The one thing I can say is that for my whole life until my mother started dating again there was one bottle of vodka (ironically a low proof crap vodka) that my parents got at their wedding which was never ever opened. Other then the schnapps this is the only alcohol I remember in the house. I don’t remember there ever being alcohol at my grandparents house, but my grandfather smoked the occasional cigar, for special purposes only.
Alcohol wasn’t demonized in my childhood, nor was it really celebrated to the extent that my friends party with it. It was there, an occasional beer with the neighbors, but all drinking was done in a social setting. So by the time I was a teenager my only concern was getting caught, not looking forward to being an adult or letting loose. The first new beer sip from alcohol I ever had been at a band party my junior year in high school. My girlfriend who was 20 at the time brought a forty to the party and I snuck off with her and a few friends to go drink it. I think I had two mouthfuls and that was it for me. My mother was picking us up in an hour and I scarfed peanut butter rice crispy treats to try to get the smell off my breath. My friends though I was drunk because I kept asking them to smell my breath, I was just paranoid.
During my high school career I had no more alcohol.
At college the first half the year I can say that my friend list wasn’t too big socially. It wasn’t that they were bad people, I was the type that was the geek, but didn’t want to be the geek and was trying to get out of the mold. (If you don’t understand that you never were a geek) The second half the year I got a new roommate and things changed, we went to parties and I always got a 40 oz Zima – yes this shows I was a geek and a wuss – but I didn’t like beer and hadn’t ventured into hard alcohol. I started smoking specifically because of these parties – girls would come up asking for a cigarette – you then learn to carry smokes on you.
I can say though (probably because I was drinking Zima) – that I never got drunk that year at college. After that year I left college unfortunately it looks like – never to return.
The following year a friend of mine drove us down to the college to visit some friends – this is the first time I got drunk. For the record I had two bottles of Boones – a beer – and about 8 glasses of punch that turned out to be 75% 151 rum. We went for a walk and everyone but me wanted to go back to the party. I wanted to keep walking as I knew bad things would happen if I didn’t. When we got back to the party, my friend who drove said he saw the color drain from my face and I turned white as a sheet – he rushed me to the bathroom. I kept saying I wanted t o go out walking and I would go by myself – they were having none of it.
In the bathroom stall I puked so quickly I didn’t have time to turn my head and reach the toilet – leaving a mess thankfully I didn’t have to clean up. I can’t tell you how many times I have been drunk since that moment – but it’s only a handful of times a year. I keep alcohol in the house, but it rarely gets drank and I have had some bottles of liquor for years now.
Now I’ve given my background.
I witness my friends that I described above constantly drinking and partying like there is no tomorrow. I can’t understand or comprehend it. It’s a mystery to me that I don’t think will ever be solved. I feel they need to sit back and assess their lives and wonder why they are dumping money and brain cells into this. It saddens me that they do not see more to life then the next party. In many ways I’m not much better, to me it’s the next web page, book, movie, or video game. I prefer stimulation but something outwardly that can move me, the way alcohol never will. I think the crisis with which alcohol affects people is growing and sadly it is taking too many of my friends along for the ride.