Friday, July 04, 2014

The Slippery Slope of Day Drinking

I think that some days are just meant for a person to drink from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. Most days, I like a cup of coffee or an energy drink with my small breakfast, usually taken as I walk run out the door to work. Though even then, with the coffee, I like the Bailey's Irish Cream Creamer over the French Vanilla or Creme Brulee, though those are good too. On the first anniversary of my uncle's passing, we all gathered at his neighbor's house for a get-together, a potluck and firepit. His boyfriend made "Antifreeze" and I drank from the time we arrived, at about noon, until the time we left, maybe 8. I might have also drank when we got back home. I probably would have drank on the ride home as well, as I think my mom was driving, but she has a whole thing about not driving with open containers in the passenger compartment and following the law and all that bullshit.

It feels like today is one of those days, where you drink all day. It's the Fourth of July, after all. Most people start their bbqs in the early afternoon. If they are smoking meat, like the Professor's friend who's party we are going to a bit later, they start much earlier in the day. And nothing goes with bbqing like drinking, right?

Of course, I'm writing this at a quarter after 1pm, so I've already wasted a good portion of that drinking time. Sigh. Trying to be a good girl. I actually just started a cup of coffee-hot cocoa mix-creamer and I'm working on a 24 oz bottle of water as well, so I won't get dehydrated later. But the red, white, and blue jello shots that I've been working on since yesterday are calling me. (Note to self: next time, fill in more blue on each, so less shots overall, which will end up with a wider white section and fuller shots overall.)

The key to drinking all day is not getting too drunk though. I imagine it is the same for smoking pot continuously throughout the day, as opposed to just getting really stoned at the end of the day. Sadly I wouldn't know because I'm still trying to 'get high.' But you want to be able to function, maybe even drive a bit if you needed to, so you want to stay a bit buzzed but below the legal limit for much of the day. You also don't want to get dehydrated, so you need to have some water in there too.

I grew up with my grandfather drinking during the day on weekends and my uncle followed in this proud tradition. I definitely remember weekend days where my grandpa was having a beer at the kitchen table before he was properly dressed. Now I will say that I never saw my grandfather drink and then drive. My uncle really only did that after he moved out into the country where you could drive the gravel roads for hours, never get above 30 mph, and never run into anyone. He and his neighbor even had a name for it, "country cruising." (Don't get me wrong. I am very opposed to drunk driving. I try to be very careful about my alcohol consumption if I know or even think I might be driving later on. But sometimes we all do stupid shit and sometimes we can't stop the people we love from doing stupid shit.) Honestly, while it isn't as if he didn't have issues before he moved out into the country, I think that having a friend and neighbor who was (and still is) basically a functioning alcoholic did my uncle no favors. I am pretty sure that if he hadn't passed away, my uncle would have had to deal with some serious alcohol dependency issues. It seems to run in our veins, though. Many people on both sides of my mother's family have had chemical dependency issues.

It isn't like I blame them though. Everyone on both sides of the family were either poor or, at best, working class. Some of their kids reached middle class, but, as the middle class is shrinking year by year, I'm not sure most of them will stay there. A month or so ago, a friend texted me, forlorn about the state of his personal economy, that even though he makes what to me is a really good wage, he isn't making as much as he thought he would at this point in his life, he's had to go into debt over medical bills, and he doesn't know how he would be able to be married and raise a child on his current wage, especially since he would rather his child not be put in daycare but to have one parent stay home during those pre-going-to-school years. I sent him to a country song, Tip It On Back, by Dierks Bentley:

I see main street closing
Miles of “For Sale” signs
And them fields ain’t growing
Fast enough to get us by
I feel the sweet release,
Of a Friday night
For a couple of hours we can run this town
Till it runs dry

Tip it on back, make it feel good
Sip a little more than you know you should
Let the smoke roll, off your lips
Let it all go whatever it is
And tip it on back

I don't think he found it very comforting and, honestly, I guess it wasn't supposed to be. Shit sucks. For most of us, no matter what high ideals we had in college about not working for the man and not being like our parents, guess what? That's what we're gonna do. And most of our parents actually started out better than most of us because going to college was much cheaper back then, whether you went right after high school or went to night school. I'm not saying it was easy but there were somethings that were easier or cheaper for them. And our parents still smoked, drank, did drugs, were sometimes shitty parents, got divorced, etc. (Not all of our parents did all of those things, but you get what I'm saying.) A few weeks after I let him in on the harsh reality of what the rest of his adult life was probably going to look like, I had it myself. I was doing my budget and I knew I couldn't even get by working as much as I possibly could in the job I was at, where working close to full-time hours broke me, so how could I possibly imagine that I could do that and also go back to school for anything that might get me a better job while also working? But I had to do this everyday to pay bills. And this, folks, is why you drink once you are out of your twenties, once you stop partying.

Now there are some people who don't have this urge to escape when things are shitty. I know maybe one or two of them. I was in a fark comment thread (or was it a fetlife comment thread?) the other day that had something to do with alcohol and there were several people who asserted "Why would I want to not be present in my life and in control of myself?" It must be nice to be those people because, even though I know and, in reasonable mind, agree with all the DBT and Buddhist stuff about being present and participating and being mindful, I also know that life fucking sucks and I can't always deal with that, so there are a great many times when I would rather veg out in front of the tv or drink til I am buzzed (or beyond) or try to get high, or some combination of the above, than deal with what is in front of me. Now someday that might not be the case, but it is right now and I try to tell myself that it doesn't matter as long as I do the things I need to do before I start drinking, or if I can comfortably do it the next day and if I get up and go to work when I'm supposed to. But I also know that, for me, day drinking could become a slippery slope into alcoholism. You know, because things suck everyday so if you accept that there are days that just call for drinking all day then why don't all days call for that?

Anyway, here's a picture of my shots:

1 comment:

TyRoy Washington said...

Responsible drinking does not have a time frame.