For reasons of health, I have not been able to drink much alcohol for quite a long time now. It’s sort of ok most of the time, as well, those who know me will know that I am almost always at work or in a state of general exhaustion anyway.
However. every now and again, I do manage to get out and stay up late with friends. I’m lucky enough to know many great and funny people. Sociable, entertaining and smart people who I love to hang out with. Great movers and shakers who can rip up a dance floor as well as any. My friends are also nice when they are drunk. This is pretty important when you are a non-drinker.
As we all know, being drunk can appear in so many forms – mean, violent, tearful, confused, funny, noisy, horny, irritating, sombre – take your pick. I like my friends drunk or sober and they don’t tend to fall into the bad categories.
Tonight (and this morning I guess) I had a think about what it was like when I could drink (there was more dancing) and what it is like now that I cannot. My friends are ace as ever, but on the way home trying to flag down a cab on Oxford St, I see the usual Saturday night show. Girls with their skirts up, guys getting rowdy, people throwing up and walking in the road. It didn’t seem too much like fun.
Drunk strangers are pretty freaky when you are sober and it’s late. You’re not sure if they are friend or foe. Will they hit on you or just hit you? I felt relieved when I got my cab and knew I would not be too drunk to give directions and had my wits about me just in case something threatening did happen.
But in my ears was a turn of phrase that makes me wonder. Someone during the course of the evening questioned whether I was fun, or having fun. I was having fun and I could listen to good friends mess around drunk or sober till the cows come home. But was I no longer fun? I wasn’t shouting or dancing or drinking alcohol. Does this pencil me into the boring collection of people you only want to take out when there’s nothing too exciting going on?
I get in less trouble now I cannot drink that’s for sure. I don’t take the wrong people home, wake up feeling green or break things when I’m on my way to falling into bed. But I also feel less capricious and in some ways less appealing as a fun friend out for night time adventure.
There must be a balance I guess. Maybe the key is more late nights without drinking and getting used to wreaking small havoc in a different way. I guess at least though I can still blog some bollocks, I still talk less of it in the queue for the night bus home.
If you could no longer drink would you feel less appealing socially?