In a drunken moment I may have said something I didn’t mean to say. Ever been there? I have. Not recently, mind you, but in the past, sure. I know my limits now though. I don’t drink too much… usually. And when I do, I’m around good friends, so I know I’m safe. In fact, as of recently I’ve actually given up drinking, except for gigs. I’ll still have a beer or two at a show, but other than that – nope. I don’t go to bars, I don’t buy alcohol for home, I don’t go to parties. Pretty dull? Pretty awesome, actually.
Honestly, I don’t miss it. Some people are into getting totally wasted every weekend. I see it time and time again with tons of people I know. Almost everyone my age is a drinker, and a lot of them aren’t good drinkers. By “good” drinkers I mean people who will have a cocktail, a conversation, and be fine to drive home. The people I’m talking about are the binge drinkers. Apparently, college is just way too exhausting, so every weekend my peers go to the local tavern to get f’d up. Then they either stumble home, hail a cab, or (God forbid) drive home themselves.
What a life I’m missing. I’m in my 20′s. I should be out with them, right? Nah, I’ll pass. I’d rather enjoy a good book at home, watch some TV with my family, or sit down for coffee with a friend. I don’t need some substance to make me feel alive – I have life to do that. I don’t need alcohol to make me feel comfortable – I have relationships for that. And I don’t need a drug to numb my mind – my mind is something I hold dear to my heart; I would never want to numb it.
So, what is my generation giving up? Is this what it’s all about? I try to look back a few years, talk to older people about what life was like for them when they were my age. The stories I hear are very different from what young people are doing now. Sure, they got drunk, but it wasn’t binge drinking. Or maybe it was, but very few people got as caught up in it then as they do today. My parents (and probably yours too) grew up during the hippie days. Despite my mom not being a hippie herself, she did occasionally hang out with the wrong group of people, and get into a little trouble. But at the end of the day she grew out of it, had a couple kids, and works a full time job to this day.
I’m a little worried about what’s going on now though. More and more, I see people who are not just drinking – they’re drinking uncontrollably. Not just that (cause we’ve all been there), but they repeat it every weekend for years on end. Once or twice, that’s fine. But after a certain point drinking turns into a habit, and a habit turns into an addiction, and all of a sudden we’ve got a generation of people going to AA meetings. Well, hell. Even that’s pretty optimistic. I doubt they’ll go to any meetings, or seek any kind of serious help for their problems.
Eventually these kinds of irresponsible people will have kids; accidentally and out of wedlock, no doubt. The kids will grow up, looking to mommy and daddy as examples, see them stumbling around after 4 too many drinks, and learn that it’s okay to drink excessively. Is this what we have to look forward to? Is this the future citizenry of America? Not only are we fat and dumb, but we’re drunk too? I surely hope these people won’t vote!
Oh well, I’m just getting caught up in my thinking again. It happens every now and then. That’s my drug of choice – thought. Hopefully I can pass it on. Maybe someone I know will see what I do as an example. Maybe they’ll give up their lifestyle once they realize that you can live a happy, fulfilling and FUN life without alcohol. Put down the bottles, my friends. There’s so much more to life.