Thursday, 26 November 2009

Gulp gulp.

I think I might be drinking more and it might be for nefarious reasons. I can definitely handle my booze and stop when I’ve had enough, but I’ve noticed that when I’m in certain settings, I tend to drink more. Or think about drinking more. I think it’s out of sheer boredom and a lack of connection with people. When I’m invited to join certain groups, the first thing I think of is “I hope there is decent wine because I am going to need it to make it through this evening”. And that’s appalling to me. I never used to think that way. The Brits have no sense of saying when enough is enough (I know this is a generalization but it's honestly what I've observed) and I’m worried that I’ve started to adopt this thinking. I’ve never drunk myself into oblivion or puked or peed in public, which my follow residents are apt to do, but my thinking has changed. I sometimes want to get drunk to better endure the conversation, the jokes and the atmosphere. And that sucks. Hard. NYE is fast approaching, and given our dire evening two years ago when I tried so hard to get drunk to escape the tedium and blandness, I’ve told that Dave that I don’t want to celebrate outside with anyone else. Stilted conversations with a bottle of Malibu just ain’t my idea of fun. I wish we could get away and watch fireworks light up the sky, but we can’t. Though a roaring fire, my sweetie beside me and a glass (or two) of champagne would be the next best thing.


  1. mm... I dread that moment when you suddenly sober up and realize, perhaps in the middle of a laugh you'll have to fake to complete, that you really aren't having that great of a time.

    Have you considered consciously avoiding drinking when that feeling comes on?

  2. Arrrrgh, I just typed the longest response to this but then it was eaten by the evil lords of interweb. To summarise in PowerPoint-like bullet points:

    * Speaking from experience, drinking to endure conversation is an absolute no-no and can lead to much worse patterns of unhealthy drinking if you've no self-control like me. Please don't fall into that trap.
    * Your perceptions of drink culture in the UK are largely accurate and you really shouldn't apologise for them. I think in the original draft of this I laid out some magical plan for change then rescinded it with some snide remark about obnoxious straight-edgers. I will leave that as an exercise for the imagination.
    * I'm really sorry about being the host of your called-out crappy evening. :(

  3. Hi boys. Thanks for your concern and a special shot out to you Calum. You have absolutely no reason to apologize for your hosting skills, because honestly, that weren't in question. You, in fact, we're very hospitable (I always like your company) and my having a bad time had absolutely nothing to do with that. It's hard to explain - remember when you used to try so hard to fit at school but everyone, including yourself, knew you were a sham? Well, it's been like that for me here, more often than I care to remember, and I think it's reached a head with me. I guess I'm so tired like feeling like a square squeezing through a round hole and I'm trying to move away from the chasm until I fall in. C7, you totally hit the nail on the head - when you feel that smile slip and it hits you like a ton of bricks that everything is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, it is perhaps one of the most heartbreaking and disconcerting feeling in the world. This is quite possibly the biggest stain on the life of an expat or someone has relocated - trying to pick up where your former (social) life has left off and realizing, quite slowly, that this is impossible.

    As for the alcohol thing, I can now recognize the danger and will steer clear of it. I'm not saying that I've been looking into AA or anything, but as a first hand witness of what alcoholism can do to a person and to loved ones, I'm happy that I'm able to see the signs. The positive thing I can take out of this as that I now have more compassion and a bit more understanding of that alcoholic in my life, whose shadow still looms over me and threatens to envelope me when I'm not looking. I try to see the silver lining in things, I really do.

    As for the generalization of the overconsumption of alcohol in the UK, it's just what it is - a generalization. Not every Brit drink to excess - some are total teetotalers (like you Calum, I refrain from making a snide comment here) but perceptions aren't taken from fantasy, now are they? ;)