Fun on Booze

“You need alcohol to have fun.”

Sure, looking at this picture you might first laugh and think, “Wow. Check out those hilarious girls. I bet they’re having a blast!” But upon closer inspection, upon giving it more thought, your laughter would soon disappear to be replaced with worry…. and maybe even pity or disappointment. “Wow. Check out those girls. This’s so wrong.”

Worry: It’s clear these young women are drunk. Very drunk. Beer bottles and cigarettes litter the ground around them, they have doped up expressions on their faces, and they’re sprawled in such a way that their dresses have hiked up around their waists, thereby showing all bystanders (b/c they’re on a public bench) their privates. Anyone could take advantage of them in their state. This picture practically screams “sexual assault.” And yet, how many friends have I known to do something similar? How many times have I? When you’re drunk you’re not in control of your senses;  you’re inhibitions are relaxed; you think you’re untouchable. But sadly you’re rolling the dice with potential victimization.

Pity:  My bet, the person holding this camera? It’s a dude. Some guy these girls are trying to entertain. Possibly flirt with. Here they are–beautiful young women wearing cute dresses and high heels, their hair down, their makeup on, and STILL, they feel the need to “pose” like jackasses in front of some guy. I wouldn’t put it past these girls to think that they’re actually sexy doing this girl-pile on atop the bench, that they’re desirable, when in fact, they look…they look like they’re starving for attention.

Disappointment: Too many women believe in liquid courage, feel the need to drink their nights away, drink right alongside the guys, they think that alcohol makes them more attractive, makes them more daring, more “fun” to be around. This picture is all about putting on airs to the detriment of their own health and safety. They think this is Instagram worthy? I think they’re going to totally regret it the next morning.

The hardest part for me in trying to quit booze is to believe that alcohol doesn’t bring me any pleasure, doesn’t help me to have fun. Doesn’t add something to the night or make me more outgoing. It’s tied up with too many memories. Holidays. Dates. Vacations. Parties. Socializing in general. Ever since I was a sophomore in high school, I’ve had drinks.

But, I’m an adult now. In my forties. I don’t need alcohol to engage in conversation with others. I can walk into a room with ease, knowing that I can approach friends or strangers. My work, my life’s experiences have paved the way for this. I don’t require a drink to break the ice. I’m married. I have kids. I have a solid foundation. I have security in the world I’ve built around me.

So, yeah. It’s important to remember some of the facts I’ve read in my Quit-lit books. In no particular order:

(1) Alcohol does not make for good conversations. 

        People who are drunk repeat themselves a lot. How many times have I heard Mike or Rebeccas’ stories about parties they’ve gone to and the crazy shit that happens. Just our very last time at their house, Rebecca retold a story about Mike having no recollection of getting home from a friend’s house from the last time I saw her (two weeks prior). I nodded, acting like I hadn’t heard it before.

        People who are drunk tend to lose their train of thought. They ramble. They mutter. They get side-tracked. They are NOT good listeners. How many times when I went out with the group (me not drinking) did I get annoyed b/c I would start talking to someone, and halfway into whatever I was saying, they would turn and say something to someone else. They have short attention spans.

        People who are drunk are argumentative and can turn mean in an instant. I’ve seen this with my husband, his impatience, his quickness to snap at the kids or call me out on something in front of his friends. That crowd loves to tease each other, but as they drink harder, their teasing turns biting. When we were in the Dominican Republic Mike was almost ready to come to blows with another guy; they even threw food at each other in a restaurant.

(2) Alcohol does not make for good decisions.

        How many hairbrained ideas have come after a few strong drinks of whiskey? People don’t think straight when they’re drunk. Their brain isn’t processing, isn’t weighing all the risks. Inhibitions are stripped. Machoism rules the night. Just look at when William was playing darts with Chaz’s brother, and he got nailed right in the leg. Who would ever think setting the board in front of their knees is a sound idea? William bled all over the driveway from his dart wound.

(3) How can you say you had an awesome time the night before when you can’t REMEMBER the night before?

        Life is so short. We only have so much time when we’re in good health, when we can go out with friends or do things with our kids as a family. When we drink, we are denying our brains the opportunity to cement these good times in our memory. We won’t be able to recall them when we need them most–when we’re confined to resthomes.

(4) What actually is this “tipsy feel-good” feeling, anyway? How does it actually enhance your fun? Enhance your night?

        When you drink without outside interference, when you take stock of your body and the state of your mind, you realize that all the alcohol is REALLY doing is just muddling your thoughts, pulling you out of reality. It throws you into a state of “in-between.” Everything becomes murky. Hazy. You can’t hear as well. See as well. Taste as much. Sure, you have an initial jolt of energy, and MAYBE you feel a pulse of excitement or happiness, but this wears off within a half-hour and you’re left chasing it with another drink, then another drink, then another. At some point, you’re completely out of it, and most importantly, you’re left in a lower, more depressed mood than when you started drinking.

(5) Your emotions run unchecked.

        You might start the night off in a good, festive mood. You might joke, laugh, and tell amusing stories, but nine times out of ten you don’t finish this way. You either get super tired and just want to go home to bed, or you get emotional. Tears are not uncommon. Bickering with your husband happens frequently. You’re even known to snap at your kids. And yet the next morning you don’t have much recollection of this. You still have to deal with the consequences, however.

(6) How can you say sex is better on booze?

        Because your senses have been dulled by alcohol, you don’t feel orgasms as strongly. Your husband doesn’t last as long, or it’s the opposite and he can’t seem to cum for hours (and you’re left wishing it was just over already). You never remember the sex the next morning. There really is no romance involved because neither of you are “present” with each other; you’re drunk versions of yourself, you’re not you. Anything said, the sweet, loving words don’t mean a thing. And usually you’re having sex at the end of the night, so the only thing you have to look forward to is passing out. Oh, and waking up at 3:00 AM with a hangover.

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