Alcohol

I kind of grew up in a world where nobody could see how people could party or have fun without alcohol… and yet I have never been able o see why people can have fun with it.

To me, alcohol has almost always shown up – for the party and having fun version of it – as a means of escaping real life, forgetting about what’s going on right now in one’s life, and numbing the mind enough not to be able to have genuine interactions, thereby keeping (or even creating) a distance between individuals.

Without alcohol, one kind of has to face and to deal with whatever is going on in one’s life, one has to face the people around oneself, and one has the opportunity to be genuine and close with those people, and have true connections and build real relationships… it is definitely difficult a lot of the time, but it more than pays off through the genuine connections and relationships that come out of it.

Also, when I consider how people use alcohol for the former purpose, I begin to feel sick with sadness.

That’s always been my own experience of alcohol on the party front.

I’ve learned through certain specific individuals how alcohol can be a fun – almost nerdy, even – something to have among friends and/or family, when it is used for its flavor, uniqueness, and quality, and not for its potency nor for the purpose or outcome of drunkenness.

I usually am utterly comfortable not having any alcohol in my life, however, I have learned to appreciate these somewhat nerdy joys that can be part of alcohol consumption… and I usually participate (as do most of the others) with a mere few sips of whatever the specified delight is, and am fully satisfied in the small, unaffecting amount.

But I also can see easily how alcohol could cease entirely to exist in my world; it just isn’t a requirement, even for those nerdy times – we can always get nerdy about homemade juices and smoothies and holiday drinks instead (and we often do, anyway).

And I never cared for nor was interested in alcohol for everyday consumption – I want water or tea at the end of the day, or maybe some gelato…, but not alcohol.

I’m not opposed to alcohol, I think – I was fine when with a close friend at bars and hangouts where he would have beers (but not at all to the point of drunkenness) and I might have a taste of whatever he had… I just don’t have much of any interest in it for myself.

But perhaps I do have an opposition to it, along with drugs, whenever used for becoming drunk…

Drunk on love, not alcohol, folks – that’s my motto for all of this. 😛

Just some thoughts on my mind tonight…

Post-a-day 2018

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Saturday nights

I dedicate tonight to the people in our lives with whom we can easily live, and well…

I spent the evening first playing board games with people I don’t really know, but who also lived and worked in Japan, and then with a friend and her dog and cat, just hanging together at her apartment.

At no point in the evening did a television (or Netflix or whatever) come into play – for eight hours of enjoyment, I spent time with people, and we all had a wonderful time… and, you know, I didn’t even notice the whole tv part until just now…. cool…

How often are these normal evenings for us nowadays, let alone Saturday nights?

Driving home, I passed through the drunken playground that seems to be the Washington Avenue bar strip here on a Saturday night, and I was practically bombarded with the stupidity and danger that comes with the mixture alcohol, newly adulting stress, and the desire to be liked, all so prevalent in our early-twenties folks right now…

I was not disappointed at having missed out on that scene (not only tonight, but ever)…, and I might even have felt a hint of – was it pity? – something for many of the people I saw.

Post-a-day 2018

Twenties to remember

As we discuss the concept of drinking alcohol, he says, “[…] What else do you do in your twenties?”

The irony of the statement misses neither of us, as we simultaneously recall that neither of us spent our own twenties drinking alcohol.

😛

I mean, it isn’t that I’m necessarily opposed to the drinking of alcohol, even for myself… I just kind of don’t do it… especially if I am going to be driving, because that, to me, requires a 0.0%.

My friends never mind it, of course, because this has made me a natural and willing designated driver, ever since my first year of college. 😛

Post-a-day 2018

College

He had stayed home that night, because his program was intense – he had a lot of work to do.  He had been invited, but he didn’t go, because he did work instead.  His best friend went, though.  He wasn’t in such an intense program, and could spare the night off easily enough.  Everyone there had thought that the best friend had fallen asleep.  Perhaps he had.  Eventually, though, the combination of this and that and ecstasy had stopped the best friend’s heart and life.  But everyone thought the best friend was asleep.

He had stayed home that night, but his best friend hadn’t.

Contemplating how things could have gone differently, if he had gone to the party that night, now that is one easy way to go crazy.

So, I don’t.

Post-a-day 2018

College Crush

After meeting up with a friend from college tonight, I have college people on my mind.  This friend mentioned, “I think you just knew more people than I did,” (I might have edited that for improved grammar, but I really don’t remember.) an idea that seems almost crazy, seeing as how he spent the full time on campus, but I only spent about half of my shortened college career on campus.  And I was placed in the introvert section of my freshman dorm… I think I was the only one who knew everyone in my hall that year.

One person in particular has come to mind as I mingle in this thought of meeting so many people: my reasonable crush.  Certainly, I had more than one little crush in college, but there was one who didn’t seem to have anything like a big red flag, when it came to the idea of practicality of the crush.  It wasn’t like I ever intended to do anything about the crush, but he was the only one who might actually have agreed to go on a date with me, had I somehow found myself asking him.

I don’t recall the absolute first time we met, but the first time we really had a one-on-one was at a regular college party.  I had gone over with some girls from my hall – we’d all ridden in one girl’s car together.  No one expected me to stay long at the party, but I usually went to the party for a little bit, chatted, danced, hung out, went home, and then went back to the party to pick up the girls whenever they were finished for the night.  On this particular night, nothing was different.  I was alcohol-free and dancing near a corner, I believe (more out of avoiding having alcohol spilled on me and drunk guys trying to rub up on me, than out of an attempt to isolate myself).  And, somehow, I found myself talking with this guy.  

He was cute in his drunken efforts to flirt and be sweet, though the fact that the efforts were drunken gave him no real chance of anything other than talking a bit with me.  Afterward, at least one of the girls commented on how he wouldn’t leave me alone at the party, we talked for so long.  I enjoyed the attention, but the drunken lining was not to my taste, so I considered little on the matter.  I was just talking to a guy half out of his wits, and he was nice.  And that was it.  I don’t remember when my crush began with him, if it was before or a while after this experience, but I never accept drunken thoughts as forms of true, desired communication, so his “interest” was easily disregarded.  And a guy drinking at a college party usually wants sex, not a girlfriend and potential wife.

But, later on, after the crush was fully settled within me, I delighted in watching him swim fabulously on the swim team, one of the cool sports at our school where everyone seemed to be just really neat people of various backgrounds.

Anyway, by the time I was visiting one of my best friends, years later, in her last semester of college (I finished college early, remember.), my crush was in full swing.  My friend informed me that my crush lived in the house just over from hers.  I had already envied her living in that particular old-style house near campus, and I only envied it more at this piece of information.

‘He showed up at the back door, and asked for butter once.’  (Or was it that she asked him for butter, and he asked her for eggs once?  I’ll have to ask her.  She might still remember.)

We both knew I was filled with teenage girl crush envy at this.  I could have possibly befriended him, if I had taken longer for college, and lived in my rightfully earned place at that awesome house.  But I didn’t, and so it goes.

Anyway, he’s hopefully more gorgeous than ever, working a great job, and making great money that allows him to clad himself in stunning attire.  I haven’t kept up, but he’s still gorgeous in my head, and I think I’m actually nervous to look him up and find out that his health and looks didn’t improve with age since college.

Post-a-day 2017

Beer & Cigarettes

Chatting with an acquaintance recently, I sort of weasled some interesting information out of him.  The weasling wasn’t exactly intentional, – I was genuinely just curious – and it was more that he opened up after I shared information about my family and friends, as well as the general population in the US.  But it was still some info that he was obviously super-hesitant to share.

It all came from our chit-chat about nothing special, and our never-ending back-and-forth about his smoking.  We both agree that smoking is something terrible, both for individuals and the world at large.  And we both agree that he is 100% addicted, and doesn’t really feel like he’ll fall to bits in his early- to mid-forties.  So we occasionally have little goofy bits of conversation, which leave us both tickled and chuckling, usually as he goes off to smoke a cigarette.

A recent little anecdote was when he asked how I was doing, since he knew I’d been sick.  I commented that I was doing alright, but was tired and had a bit of a cough still.
“Oh, me, too,” he said, accompanied with a coughing gesture.
“Oh, you’ve been sick, too?!” I express, concerned.
“No…  Because I smoke.”
We both laughed.  And coughed, actually.

And so goes our acquaintanceship, for the most part.

Recently, however, as we were chatting about the browning of his teeth, and that it does not match the obvious effort he puts into his daily physical appearance, I happened to ask him when he even started smoking.  He smiled, and got real quiet for a minute, and I wondered if he was figuring out what to say.

“Twenty,” he finally said.
I raised my eyebrows.
“When I was twenty,” he repeated.
Really?” I declared with pure doubt.  (Think SNL’s “Really” skit from Weekend Update.)

He then reminded me unnecessarily that 20 is the age in Japan for smoking, I asserted my knowledge of the fact, and we moved on.  I talked about how I remember my brother discussing his secret first cigarette, shared with siblings in the backyard as kiddos.  I described the general standard for kids in the US with their first cigarettes and first drinks of alcohol, and how everything pretty much seems to happen around high school.

Eventually, this acquaintance, with a lowered voice, suddenly had a new story.  No longer was he the follow-every-rule individual he initially (albeit hesitantly) declared himself to be.  He was, in fact, just like all the kids back home.  First drinks (beer) were at 16, and the first cigarette was not long afterward.

Now, there are two main things I pulled from this conversation.  1) I wonder if this is standard for Japan, the way it is for the US.  2) Was this bit of honesty a step towards our becoming friends, instead of just remaining mere acquaintances?

I, of course, know the answer to neither of those inquiries.  However, I have a mind to figure them out!  Plus, I’m really glad he opened up to me with the truth of it all.  Not that it’s necessarily any big deal, but with how closed off people have felt to me here, it was really refreshing to have some openness, and on something that seemed rather sensitive.  (Okay, there’s a third things that came out o f the conversation: What is the Japanese viewpoint on breaking that law of ‘No one under 20’?  How quiet he grew and how unsure he was at first about answering my casual question really make me wonder…)  😀

 

Post-a-day 2017