Monday, May 21, 2007

Do We Do Anything Sober?

When we were younger, there were a lot of activities to fill our days. This was in the era before lightning-fast internet. Before we could waste away our days in chatrooms and flirting with old people. Before video game systems with microchips that could guide nuclear missiles and before 900 cable TV channels. So we had to find other stuff to do. We played sports, we watched sports on TV, occasionally we would go to the mall or see a movie. Or maybe we would just drive around aimlessly looking for something fun to do. And, for many of us anyway, we managed to do it all sober.

Then somewhere along the line we discovered alcohol as a fun way to occupy our evenings. Then evenings turned into afternoons and then in college we discovered the revolutionary concept of Beer for Breakfast. And while the 24-hour binge drinking days are now reserved for national holidays and breakups, it has become painfully obvious to me that things we used to do on their own now ALL involve alcohol.

I don’t recall once after school in 6th Grade saying “Hey, Dan, lets go to Bryant Park and play some ball. But first let me stop off and grab a 12-pack at Albertson’s. You know I can’t shoot sober.” Or those rec-league softball games. I would be hard pressed to find a dugout without beer these days, how did we ever manage? Going to see “Snakes on a Plane?” Well, now instead of sneaking Joey and Bobby in through the Exit door, you’re sneaking Jack and Johnny in through a well-concealed flask. Even aimless driving now seems to be done with the aid of alcohol, albeit usually on accident.

Or say a friend invites you over to watch the big game on his new TV? You are actually RUDE if you don’t bring some sort of intoxicating beverage. Cooking dinner? You’d better have the right type of wine to go with it. How about going to watch sports live? Remember all those drunken assholes who used to ruin the game for you when you were a kid? Guess who those drunken assholes are now? Oh, how the tables have turned. And don’t even talk about going out at night. There are the odd occasions when you go and do something that does not involve drinking at this age, but those are usually nights you spend with relatives over 70 or under 12.

I suppose there comes a time later on, and I have no idea when it is because I know plenty of people in their thirties who drink at every social occasion, when life stops revolving around booze. And maybe not in the get-hammered-as-soon-as-I-get-home way, but more in the “Let’s get fucked up and go do this,” sort of way. I don’t know that marriage stops it either, because plenty of couple I know enjoy a good sloshing as much as their single friends. So this makes it hard if you ever want to stop drinking. Because if alcohol is not ruining your life, which is the case for most of us, their really isn’t much incentive to stop. And when every social interaction you have is usually accompanied by a cold fermented beverage, well, how does one even know when to start stopping?

Is it a sad commentary on the young people of today that we must include alcohol in everything we do? Things you never even used to associate with alcohol and now big booze-fests. Drunk Chess? Really? You can do that? Or does it just add to the endless perpetuation of stories that are the ages of 18-34? Hard to say, but I do know one thing: Try as you might to stop drinking, it is harder now than it will be at any other age. Because now when you stop you feel like you are missing out on something, where as later on, it is probably the other way around.

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9 Comments:

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent! I have been sober for 3.5 years after 32 years of hard partying. Getting sober was the hardest but most rewarding thing I ever have done in my entire life. You are very articulate. I guess being a bartender is just the education you need. About two months ago I called you an alcoholic. Sobriety is the way to go, for me anyway. Good post.

 
At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's worse is when youre in your mid-thirties and you still have the same mindset. Only it's not only drinking but other substances you can't do anything socially without. Have just a couple of beers and time to whip out the cellie.

 
At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Johnson said...

This post made me think of that song Sober by Tool

Why can't we not be sober?
Just want to start this over.
Why can't we drink forever?

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Love the Bryant Park reference. It reminds me of that rap tune.

"Back in the day, when I was young (I'm not a kid anymore), but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again."

You know, you could probably write a post about what you did while eating pork and what you've done not eating pork. You still owe me too. Cause if I'm going to hell, you're going to ... well, you've been going there for quite sometime now, but seeing you eat a meatlovers pizza will be fantastic.

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Bad at Life said...

My friends and I were recently discussing this very topic. On the one hand, I feel like it is a little sad that it seems so impossible to do anything without drinking. On the other hand, so many of the best times I've had have been whilst drinking.

It really is a fine line. The problem I've noticed that I have is that I have the most fun when I get a little buzzed up. The problem is that when I hit that point, it always seems like a great idea to keep going and get flat out housed.

 
At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Randy Marsh said...

Sobriety is for quitters. You only have a problem if you admit you do. That's why AA's first step is admitting you have a problem - so they can convince you you do. And how much less anonymous can you be than sitting in front of a group of people, in person, telling them your life's story? Last I checked, nothing makes it harder to quit than hanging around with a bunch of alcoholics.

Anyway, maybe it's the liscivious nature of this town that drives people here to drink so much. Or maybe it takes a lot of alcohol to make this town tolerable to people who come from places with significantly different value sets.

I mean, hell, when everyone around you takes the yay train to work, it doesn't seem all that bad to be drunk all the time.

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey bro, lemme get three halfies for fifty.

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger Counsellor in Cultivation said...

i go through stages where i don't really feel like drinking, so i avoid situations that involve alcohol. but then i lose all my friends. and not in a bad way, but if you're not hanging out with people, they tend to forget about you.

so i've come to terms with the fact that alcohol is just a part of life and some days i deal with it better than others. but those days are rare. :o)

 
At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

I for one know I can't read your blog without chugging three 40s minimum.

 

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