Drinking is as beloved an American pastime as watching baseball, eating apple pie and firing fireworks at one another.
And in that grandiose, red, white and blue stained style...it can lead to trouble.
Long term health effects and hangovers be damned, I’m not here to preach you about science-backed, well-established facts that alcohol swilling will do anything less than ravage your poor liver if you are foolhardy enough to test its fortitude.
No, I’m here to tackle a different, flat-headed goliath that follows around those who drink regularly, always a moment away from taking total control.
This goliath's name is “the potential to be an absolute uncouth and uncool jackass once you’ve drunk yourself to a certain point.”
This potential exists in everyone. It really does. If you resurrected the corpse of Paul Newman, propped him up with a broom and started slinging Irish Car Bombs his way AT SOME POINT his flip would switch and he too would drop his shield of sophistication and transform fully into a dribbling, ass-grabbing and vomit-stained gibbon. Like anyone else would.
So alcohol destroys vital human organs and turns us into jerks? I can’t help with that first unfortunate fact, but maybe I have a few words of wisdom on how to spare yourself the tragic shame of being “that guy” once you’ve tipped back a few too many Coors Lights at your local cantina.
What Is The Real Reason You Drink?
I’m not here to lambast the notion of chugging down drinks, but make sure you understand what makes your thirst rise up in the first place. That is the skeleton key and secret weapon you may possess that many others aren’t even fully aware of.
Do you drink to relax?
To temporarily forget those nagging article deadlines?
To get a little draft of courage up under your wings?
To dull the shedding pain of dying hopes and dreams?
I can’t even entertain the notion that there’s ever a truly honest and good reason to drink, and until a fatal disease is discovered that can only be flushed away by Wild Turkey, I don’t think there ever really be one.
I’m the last guy to try and ride some gilded battle-stallion into some moralistic battle against the old forces of evil possibly lurking behind alcohol consumption, but if you drink to ease up a sort of emotional ailment you may want to take it easy.
Drinking and drinking and drinking temporarily may provide some sort of liquid emotional support, but it’s fleeting and once your hangover has burned off you’ll hopefully realize that that’s all it will ever be - a fair weather friend who's only ever there for you a few hours a night.
Thinking otherwise will eventually lead your “pal” to talk you into a stay his private dungeon known as “Alcohol Dependency”.
Escaping from this dungeon isn't like in the movies, either. It requires terrible courage, willpower and devotion, along with a good dose of professional support.
Nobody wants to be an alcoholic, and hopefully you’re not. Because this article is ABOUT drinking, something you ought not to be doing you little rogue. No thinking, lusting after or reading about the booze.
If you NEED to drink, don’t read any further. This Is for the guy who drinks when out, but hasn't really thought about why he drinks in a while...or ever.
What "Drink Responsibly" Should Mean
If you consider yourself capable, then you should be, as self-awareness, moral decency and half a brain are all that is required to not make a complete jackass of yourself while drinking.
Any grizzled drinking veteran will tell you that they key to enjoying a night out is to know your limits. As with anything in life, total submergence and indulgence never ends well.
If you have been drinking for a few years, you should know what it takes for you to get a fuzzy little buzz on. Don’t get macho and don’t fool yourself. You shouldn’t drink that 13th tequila shot and neither should anyone else.
It won’t make you suave, funny, badass, amusing or any more desirable. That brunette in the yoga pants (who wears yoga pants to a bar?) in that booth opposite you is unamused and soon the bartender will be as well when he has to peel your ass off of the floor beside your barstool.
Don’t push your limits and be tough enough to say “no” if you have one of those “another round for everyone!” sort of fellows in your entourage.
Know Your Company
That leads to the next bullet point here, and that is to simply know your company.
- Are the people you are currently hanging out with fine being around alcohol?
- Will they be offended by such an act as drinking it?
- Or do you get mouthy under the influence of even the scent of a freshly popped beer?
It sounds simple, but I’ve personally been in enough situations that could have been an evening’s worth of fun if certain someone had not sipped from the chalice of the tipsy goddess at the wrong moment. Poor timing and even poorer respect for those around you.
Another scary reality are the scummy, spineless scraps of human waste like to kick back a few piss-tank beers and then go do something deplorable, either by themselves or with a like-minded pack of depraved hyenas.
I hope no one reading this is of this species. Ingesting liquor, spirits, beer, wine, whatever preferred intoxicant you have in that glass doesn’t give you a pass to turn from Jekyll to Hyde.
Even under the bubbles you know what is right and wrong and just because you COULD do something in the fog of drunken haze doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
The true test of a man is how he reacts under dire straits. This can be applied to the drinking world where a man with enough control and willpower can overcome the inkiest blackout and still maintain something that could be mistaken for composure.
The excuse “I did _____ because I was drunk” has never flown with anyone and just makes you look like a broken schmuck.
But most importantly, it might be time to consider why you actually drink. To ease social anxiety? To boost confidence when talking to someone you're interested in? To fit in with a group of friends?
Whatever the reason may be, be sure you're comfortable with it, because if you're not, you're doing yourself a disservice.