Drinking responsibly



Today I stumbled across a New York Times blog….on alcohol. It was pretty interesting –  comments on the latest entry seemed to shoot down the writer for her irresponsibility and accuse her of an addiction that she subtly hinted at (whether she really was alcoholic or simply a bit of a party girl remains unknown). Personally I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions  – one commenter pointed out:

“ I’m concerned that so many people feel that drinking wine is a sign of a problem. Wine tastes good, and many people drink it to enjoy the taste or for the way it complements food. When something tastes good, the desire to overconsume may exist without there being an underlying addiction. I know sometimes I would love a second and third piece of cake, but restrain myself due to concerns for health. I don’t consider myself as someone with a “pastry problem” because of this. ”

I LOVE cake. I have a horrendous sweet tooth (in fact right now I would love a sundae/piece of cake/a box of Pods…mmmm! I don’t usually restrain myself anywhere near enough. But what if I replaced ‘sweet tooth’ with ‘bourbon’? Would that be a problem then? Excess sugar is bad for you too. But isn’t alcohol worse? It impairs your abilities and damages your brain cells, where sugar, well, leads to fat/diabetes/etc. Hmm. Eating chocolate every night somehow seems a lot more innocent than drinking every night.

This guy goes on about how tracking down spirits from decades gone past transports him back in time and helps him experience different eras …okay, sounds like crap to me, but whatever. But he’s right when he says it’s so important how parents drink, and how their kids see them drink.

Mine never did. Ever. I never once saw them drink. Not while out – never a beer or a glass of wine, and never a spirit. My mum, for health reasons. My dad, well, “didn’t like it”. From what I could tell he had drunk before, you know, in his pre-me life, but wasn’t a fan. And he thought drinking was stupid. Ruins your life, wasteful, impairs you, etc. (Oh, and I think his dad was a heavy drinker).

So yeah, I never got to taste any kind of alcohol growing up, let alone see my parents drinking (if they had, I’m sure they would have done so responsibly. I wish they had. But I mean, if they don’t want to drink, it’s their lives). I moved out shortly after the sixth form ball fiasco. I was told I couldn’t go to the afterball. Drinking is bad, evil, la la la. I explained there would be ID required at the bar (there wasn’t, but frankly, I knew I would be a responsible drinker, if I drunk at all, and I always have been. I’ve thrown up ONCE from drinking; it was probably my first time being drunk…had too much wine at our work Christmas do…). I mean, once we drove past a homeless looking person, and what did my parents say? “Oh, look, there’s a drunk person, see what alcohol does to you!” No jokes. They were ADAMANT. No middle ground. No moderation. Just – NO drinking.

And of course, there was no liquor cabinet in our house. I was about 15 when I first saw one at a friend’s house. It was such a foreign concept to me. All those bottles, stored in a cupboard in the lounge? What on earth for? I mean, most kids sneak booze from their parents’ collections when they’re young and go off to parties, but not me. Out west ways, I don’t think there are a whole lotta houses with liquor cabinets – none of my friends, apart from one, have one. Some, most likely because they’re Asian teetotallers. The rest, well, are just westies. No self respecting bogans are going to store up booze at home – they will drink it all, at once, they’re never going to have enough to keep around for next time! And they can’t afford to build up a supply. Hence, the liquor cabinet is still somewhat of a mystery to me – a trapping of the Shore, or the east, or the upper middle class.

I certainly don’t imagine me and BF will ever have one; I’d rather spend my money on other things. If visitors come round they’ll drink juice, or water, or whatever we have, and if we have dinner parties we’ll go to the bottle shop. But I am not going to abstain – our kids are going to see us drink occasionally, and HOPEFULLY learn that you don’t have to get pissed everytime, and fall asleep in your own vomit, and have to be carried home cause you’re so off your face. I can’t stand people who don’t learn their own limits! Once, twice, okay, but after that if you haven’t learned…. And I do not want my kid to be that person.

“Too much is always too much, and none at all can also be too much; but tacking an even course between the two is usually just enough.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *