New Years Day 2012 by Sarah Joy PorterWritten by Sara Joy Porter 16 January 2012
Today marks the tail end of a festive New Year’s Eve celebration in which I tipsily rang 2011 into 2012. On the cusp of another fresh year, still unmarred by any regrettable alcohol-induced behavior, I have begun to ponder the gusto with which I so frequently and enthusiastically attend bars and night clubs. What is so compelling about engaging in activities that revolve solely around the ingestion of a mostly bad-tasting substance?
With the exception of usually expensive mixology-type cocktails which introduce alcohol as a complication to already delicious fresh juices and purees, let me be frank; alcohol in all of its glorious forms, tastes like….well, it tastes bad. Care to disagree? While I don’t condone testing this postulate for accuracy; I am quite certain that any young child, still in possession of his taste buds in an un-conditioned form, would produce at least a violent wrinkling of the nose upon tasting even the finest wine.
As potential imbibers, we are introduced to alcohol in the most alluring and mysterious sense possible. Drinking alcohol might be very bad; our parents told us this, so did the FDA, our teachers and the Surgeon General. Our babysitter on the other hand seemed quite taken with the substance as she discussed her plans to get wasted over the phone in not-so-hushed tones while we laid our bicycles down and listened with interest.
Following this complication, we are presented with a quandary. Is dad’s beer going to make him forget to let Fido out before bed? Or is it the best thing that will ever happen to us when we turn 21, (or have the courage to take a nip from mom’s bottle of scotch; whichever comes first.)
Along the journey to discovering the role that this glorious substance will have in my own life, I have found the road littered with nightclubs, bars and other money sucking diversions designed to get me as wasted as possible. This is clever though because being drunk somehow always encourages a mysterious enjoyment of parting with my cash. But what is that paper stuff worth anyway? Certainly not more than any substance that can make complete strangers utterly fascinating and transform a crowded, smoky room into scintillating palace of pleasure.
The argument does exist that these money pits are merely social outlets in which we can choose to drink alcohol, but that their primary function is to provide gathering places which allow us interact socially with our fellow humans. To anyone who proposes this absurd notion I say; cheers my friend. You go hang out in a noisy crowded room with a bunch of people who are acting weird while you are completely in your right mind. Seriously, do that. I have tried it on a number of occasions. In short, I would rather sit on a metal folding chair and read the entire Koran. In Arabic.
On one occasion, I decided to join friends at really rather up-scale nightclub while taking a round of antibiotics, thereby preventing me from engaging in my typical consumption behavior. The DJ was a popular one, the crowd was fashionable and the vibe was energetic. Laughter was flying as freely as the shots and by any standard I should have been having a good time. My best friend’s laughter was louder and much more frequent than could possibly be realistic, even if the complete stranger she was chatting with happened to somehow actually be funny. I also found that for some reason my dancing skills are not nearly as impressive when I can easily stand straight up. I left the party early blaming my lingering cold; in reality, it wasn’t because I ran out of Kleenex.
Has society, in all of its well-meaning miss-direction shaped me into a hapless lush who associates, ‘having a good time’ with the achievement of some altered state of mind?
Did my well-meaning parents, in all of their cautionary wisdom create within me a fascination with pushing the limits of my right mind?
Is there a conspiracy of marketing teams, all pushing me to have just one-more sour apple martini so they can get their hands on a few more of my drunken dollars?
Does any of this information make me less-likely to enjoy a watery light beer the next time I decide to catch nine innings? Or get nauseous from drinking too many vodka cranberries with my best friends on Friday night?
To this reality, I raise my glass and firmly resolve to find out if expensive alcohol really tastes any better than the cheap stuff, as I welcome fresh choices and fresher mojitos into my life in 2012.