Of all the things I could have inherited from my father (and let’s be honest, he didn’t have terribly many positive attributes to offer), I seem to have been blessed with these two things:-
1) Crippling Apathy: Don’t get me wrong, I have been in gainful employment for my entire adult life (and presumably always will be ). But I don’t have to like it.
2) An Intolerance to Alcohol: Some may not see this as a negative thing, but let me explain during the course of this blog why it really is…
In British society, at least, drinking is a very important part of our lives. Pub culture is alive and well over here – and nobody does the atmosphere of a pub better than us. Much is made of the individual who can ‘party’ the hardest and drink his or her compatriots under the table. And I can see why this would be appealing. Alcohol quashes your inhibitions; one becomes less reserved and more vocal. Those limitations that shyness put on a person become less of a problem.
But if you’re an angry-drunk, well then alcohol loses its high esteem because nobody likes an aggressive or maudlin soak. No, the optimal effect is one of ‘hilarity’; your inner joker is released. That’s the gold-standard, of course and here’s where my issue lies. Like I say, I have a very poor tolerance to alcohol. For my father, that could only be a good thing being that he has an addictive personally (gambling on the horses, smoking, over-eating), so if he could drink, he would do it to excess. I myself am far more likely to throw up than I am to reach my maximum potential of ‘party-animal’. But you see, drinking is a very important establishment in my society, so I have had to very slowly and carefully build up that tolerance (like a spy would with poison over a long period of time to withstand its deadly effects). And this hard-earned tolerance has been thwarted a couple of times by pregnancy and breast-feeding (goddamn it!).
The alcoholic beverage I hate the most is wine. Or more correctly, wine hates me. Which is a shame because wine tends to be the drink of choice in my circles. You attend any works night out or a meal with friends and the shout will go up, ‘shall we order a bottle of red or white to share?’. Erm…no, can we not..? One or two glasses of wine are very likely to make me chunder (and you know how much I hate vomiting) long, long before I can reach the desired pinnacle – being inebriated. And let’s face it, it’s very hard to split a food bill if you haven’t partaken of the wine.
My safest bet when it comes to an alcoholic beverage is vodka, lime and soda. I still have to maintain a careful eye on how much I drink of it, but it’s my go-to drink to survive a boozy night out. The difficulties start when you go to a house-party and ‘bring a bottle’. Oh how very simple it must be to grab a bottle from the supermarket shelf and show up with your well-chosen bottle of red or white in hand! Me? I have to rock-up with three separate bottles if I want the required ingredients to my ‘safe drink’. I must look like a complete tool with my supermarket plastic bag full of bottles clinking away – just to make one kind of drink! There’s just nothing sheek about it, unfortunately. And it really separates me from the crowd because my drink is harder to share. It is far easier to offer your bottle of wine around to others, whilst I must stand in a corner of the kitchen (looking much like a mad scientist) measuring out specific quantities of liquid from each bottle just to put together my concoction and offer somebody one glass of booze! I really ought to wear a lab coat and goggles.
And even the safe drink isn’t safe in some people’s hands. In our local pub, the publican will physically disallow you to order a single shot of vodka in your vodka, lime and soda. He insists that, ‘a double is only 30 pence more!’ and is positively aggressive if you stick to your guns and order the single shot that you require! I tell you, the world is against the careful-drinker.
If you told me that I actually had a very severe allergy to alcohol and could never touch a drop again, I wouldn’t be terribly upset. In some ways it would probably be a relief to have a bonafide excuse not to drink – the pressure to be a bit of a sot is tough sometimes.
I must reiterate that I can drink and I do so perhaps once a month on a night out (never at home – I can do what I like at home). But there is a fine line between nicely merry and, ‘oh my God, please let this vomiting end!’. I have to know exactly what glass is the last glass I can have and not allow peir-pressure to encourage me to have one more. Just like most people, I really like being drunk, but I have the disadvantage of always being aware of where I have to draw the line. Drinking does cut through my shyness and decreases my inhibitions. I am definitely funnier and more confident. But I don’t think I need it, and I could probably put on a show without it. Overall, my relationship with alcohol is probably a healthy one (albeit socially debilitating – I do envy those that can put it away). And whatever affliction it is that ends up killing me, it won’t be alcohol-induced liver cirrhosis. And as aforementioned in an earlier post, I won’t be dying of anorexia either.
8 thoughts on “The Mock-Alcoholic”
These are my favorite types of blogs. I love hearing about traditions of a given society, and the norms of a certain individual. I have some English but a lot more Scottish in me, which means if I drink it is too much too fast, and I’ll eat anything regardless of the smell, or where it was found dead. In other words I stopped doing both for the sake of maintaining friendships 🙂 Thank you for the share!
LikeLiked by 3 people
Ha ha, thanks Jeremy! I haven’t anything of educational worth to tell people so I stick to what I know, being a neurotic English person! It does not surprise me you have Scottish/English heritage – you have that type of humour!
Great post 🙂 I love to have a drink but have an extremely low tolerance to alcohol, so generally it’s one (two max) drinks for me – however I have my stag do next month so I suspect that I’ll end up overindulging…
LikeLiked by 1 person
Well just you take care you don’t end up looking like those ladies! It’s a slippery slope! 😁
LikeLiked by 1 person
I enjoyed this. It was fun to read. I spent many years throwing drunks out of bars. For a long time before then I was the drunk that got thrown out. I’d thought I had a good tolerance to alcohol. Turns out I just liked to drink. I wasn’t overly fond of hangovers though. Or the stories of the things I’d done the night before (or why I was no longer allowed at the pool, petting zoo, department store dressing room, the list was endless)
I, too, am predominantly a mixof English and Scottish. Only because “joker” and “loud mouth” aren’t nationalities.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Ha ha! Perhaps it’s a good thing I’m not much of a drinker, I’m a liability when I’m sober!
I wish drinking gave me a hangover or made me puke, maybe it wouldn’t have been so appealing if my nights out ended with me cuddling the toilet for a few hours. But, no such luck. I’m 5′ 3″ on a tall day and can consume copious amounts of alcohol. I ended up in the ER one night (long story) and my BAL was 3.8. The doc good me that at my height and weight, that level is in the coma & death zone. And yet, the next day I felt fine. No hangover at all.
I don’t drink anymore, too scary. I would be so pissed if I woke up one morning dead from alcohol poisoning.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I almost envy you! (almost)