Saturday, October 24, 2015

Why Do You Drink?

And no, that's not a lead-in for that song. 

I think about it from time to time - the days, months, years when I drank alcohol.  The nights I came stumbling home, crawled across the house and into the bathroom for a top-level meeting with The Porcelain God.  (Once I crawled right past my father who promptly woke my mother to have her go find out if I was going to live. I was over 21, or I would've gotten way worse then him laughing at me the next day.)  The time I got alcohol poisoning from a night trading shots of Scotch in my dorm room after a particularly bad break up. 

I was never an alcoholic.  I didn't drink because I needed to.  I drank because it was there and my friends were drinking, or I wanted to blot out the world, or I wanted to hush my thoughts.  Oh, I won't say I didn't come close to being an alcoholic a time or three.  If you have a drink every night and several on the weekends, you come to expect to have a drink every night.  And when you don't, you can get a little testy. 

I started drinking probably when I was in middle school.  Little nips from Dad's stash.  I'd get home from school and make myself a drink.  Never very much - because if Dad noticed his bottles were lower than he remembered, he would've tanned my hide.  The first time I got drunk, I was 16 and a friend threw a party. I told the folks she was having a sleepover.  I never thought I could be that sick.  And one would think I'd be smart enough after that night to never drink again.  Nope.  I was stupid and that was the first of many many nights spent hurling after all my 'fun'. 

Man, could I drink.  Like I had a hollow leg.  Throw back a 40 of beer? No prob.  Pound a bottle of Boones Farm? I was so there.  Of course, that was when I was young.  I tapered off the older I was and the more responsible I had to be.

The beginning of the end of my drinking happened right around the time I got married 11+ years ago.  Hubs doesn't drink.  He didn't have a problem with my having a drink, but he didn't join in. He'd tell me to go ahead and order a drink when we were out, but drinking lost its appeal.

Of course, I didn't quit cold-turkey.  Over the years, I just couldn't see the need for it anymore.  And the longer I spent not drinking, the less I could remember why it had any appeal in the first place. Fuzzy head, unfocused eyes, loss of control, hangovers? Yeah, some fun.

I had my last drink a few years ago.  Fixed myself a Kahlua and creme while I made dinner.  I had writing to do that night and I guess I thought it would loosen me up.  Nope.  A few sips in and I was like bleh.  When the alcohol started working, I felt nauseous.  I dumped the rest of it down the drain.

Oh, I still miss the taste of a quality gin and tonic.  Yum.  If they made non-alcoholic G&Ts, I'd be all over that shit.  Luckily, when I have a taste for a beer, I can run down to the store and buy O'Douls.  I'd love a glass of wine - if they made a good Riesling sans alcohol.  :shrug:

Anyway, I've spent some time thinking about why I drank.  Mostly it was to escape.  To blank out.  To not have to think about my problems for a little while.  Sometimes, I drank because, like I said, my friends were drinking and it seemed like the thing to do.  We were having fun.  Except, in retrospect, we probably could've had just as much fun without the booze and we wouldn't have had all the nasty side effects afterwards.  Sometimes I drank to 'loosen up'.  But I know now, I can be relaxed without the liquid encouragement.

Why does anyone drink?  Why do you drink?  I don't really want an answer because it's none of my business.  I just hope you to think about it a little.  If you're satisfied with the answer, more power to you. Lord knows, I'm the last person to judge anyone for drinking.  If you're not satisfied with the answer, though, maybe next time you order a drink make it straight OJ.  That way, you won't get harassed by your friends because you can always pretend it was a screwdriver or a fuzzy navel.  =o)

Mmmmm... fuzzy navel.   I do miss the taste of those.  And I used to make these things I called a stealth bomber - back during the Gulf War.  OMG, yum. Peach/Orange Juice, peach schnapps, lemon vodka. Tasted so good you never saw it coming and then BOOM.


  1. I had to laugh when I read this. I drink very little--maybe three or four times a year, and only when someone else makes my drink. Only one drink. Two puts me in la la land.

    But many years ago, we visited my sister in law who was dating a bartender. We hit all the popular Chicago watering holes. Her boyfriend knew all the bartenders and we were getting free drinks everywhere we went.

    When I got home, I hung on to my swirling bed like a life raft. The next morning I was green to the gills. That was it. I didn't touch another drink for five years. I had learned my lesson for life.

    When I do drink it's usually orange or cranberry juice with a little liquor, just enough to dull my arthritis, but not enough to put me to sleep.

    1. Oh yeah, I remember the swirling bed. I wish I'd learned my lesson afterwards. Medicinal alcohol, though. I can totally see that.

  2. I remember a hangover so bad the ends of my hair hurt. No. Really. And I had laundry and packing to do because I was moving the next day. It wasn't pretty and I blame the bartender at my going-away party because he switched out regular rum for the 151 proof stuff in my Cuba Libres. I don't drink often, or much. I enjoy the occasional glass of wine, margarita, or brandy Alexander. And beer. I like a good red ale. But one will do me. With dinner, or on a hot day sitting in the backyard after yardwork.

    Thing is, I have to REMEMBER to drink. We have four bottles of good wine in fridge. Haven't opened one in....over a year. Oops. Maybe tonight. Or not. LOLOL

    1. Oh no! Not the 151! Yeah, that'll make your hair hurt. Ya know, I wished they made better beers in a non-alcohol form. Killian's Red, Fosters... but no.

      Well, the holidays are coming up. Always a good time to crack open a bottle of wine.

  3. I used to knock it back for England, seriously. I enjoyed it too. I've always been a beer girl, don't do spirits and after I turned 50 I found Pear Cider, very nice mmmm. At 55 I've had a pint of Guinness, a glass of rose wine and 2 pints of lager this year. Back in the day I used to love a good night out at the pub, but as I got older, the hangovers got more intense and who wants a 3 day migraine just because they had a couple of beers? Not me any more. I'll stick to the occasional pint of Guinness because the stuff is gorgeous, but no more thrashing the arse off it.

    Grown up or what?

    1. Age does that sometimes - but I know people older than we are that go out and get hammered on the weekends like they're still kids. And i always shake my head. I seem to remember enjoying it at the time, but looking back I have no clue why I was enjoying it. LOL

      Very grown-up, but never staid. =o)