A few days ago, I went to a friend’s birthday party at a local bar. Those of you who know me know that I’m not much on drinking. I’ll drink wine, or sake, or even some harder stuff in moderation, but I don’t got drunk, because I don’t have, nor have I ever had, any desire to get drunk. I had also never been to a party at a bar, so I knew from the beginning that this was going to be an informative experience. It was a fun party, and while I did drink a good third of a mixed vodka drink out of a small bucket and I was convinced, at length, to try the mechanical bull, I left the bar with my pride it tact and completely sober.
While I’m sure you’re all fascinated to hear about my party going experiences, that’s not what I want to talk about today. What I want to talk about is the reason I don’t want to get drunk. When I tell people that I don’t like to get drunk, the most common response is, “Ah, you don’t like to lose control,” as if my not wanting to get drunk were some kind of bizarre “control issue.” I’m going to tell you right now: it has nothing to do with control.
The first issue is that I simply do not see the appeal in getting drunk. So you went out, drank enormous amounts of beer and shots, made out with your best friend, puked all over yourself, wet yourself, and you don’t remember any of it, but you have a terrible hangover this morning… and you enjoy this? I realize that not all of those things happen every time people get drunk, but at the very least, drunk people are not their usual selves. Is your usual self or usual life so bad that you have to change it by getting trashed on Saturday night? Or is this what you consider to be “a good time?” (Note: that’s a figurative “you,” not you the reader.) Maybe I’m weird, but I like to do other things with my time. We each get a limited amount of time on this Earth, and I’d like to remember as much of mine as possible. And if I want to alter myself or my personality in any way, I don’t need alcohol to do it.
I’ve also heard the argument, “If you never try it, then how do you know you don’t like it?” People who say this weren’t listening carefully enough to me when I said, “I have no desire to get drunk.” I didn’t say, “I don’t like it,” I said that I simply don’t want to get drunk. I’m not saying that being drunk wouldn’t be fun, or that I wouldn’t like it – I’m saying that I don’t find the idea of getting or being drunk appealing. There’s a difference. For those who think I’m just being pedantic: have you ever tried touching a piece of metal in an electrical socket? No? Then how do you know you won’t enjoy it? (Note that I’m using this example to illustrate a point; don’t go stick you finger in a electrical socket. Having done it accidentally, I can tell you that it’s not pleasant.) Even if you have stuck your finger in an electrical socket (and even if, for some bizarre reason, you actually enjoyed it,) that’s not the point. The point is that there are some things we all avoid doing because they don’t seem appealing to us, and even though those things may be perfectly safe, and other people enjoy them, we don’t want to. Well that’s how I am with getting drunk.
Some of you may see where I’m coming from, and some of you might think I’m just a massive prude, but that’s my choice to make. I don’t mind if anyone else drinks themselves into a stupor, and I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with it, provided that it doesn’t become a problem, but I just don’t really want to try it, and what I do have a problem with is people who try to force me to try it. I don’t judge people for getting drunk, and I’ll even go to parties and be the sober guy, but at this point in my life I choose to drink for nourishment, water, and pleasure, not for getting shit-faced. It’s not a control issue, it’s a matter of choice.