I went on a business trip this past week to Mississippi. Of course there was a whole bunch of us from work and inevitably we all wound up hanging out at one time or another. The second night in town we found our way to one of the bars in a casino. There was a band playing and it was ladies night, so the ladies and fellas were out in full force on the prowl. I immediately time traveled back to the old college days of packed bars with sober and drunk people walking by bumping into you with a full drink glass. Sometimes this is an annoying occurence, but mostly tolerable. That night it was tolerable. So it was cool, everyone was having a pretty decent time. Which is okay since we were all of drinking age.
When I got home I got to thinking about my drinking habits. I’m so far from the norm, at least the norm where I come from. Being from New Orleans and the South in general, drinking is a part of the local landscape. People come from all over to drink an authentic Hurricane from Pat O’s, cops stop people on bourbon to hand them a plastic cup to pour the beer from the bottle, yard glasses are in the hundreds during Mardi Gras, Bud Light and Miller cases are standard on anyone shopping list. Anyone you know has a t least a six pack in the fridge just in case company comes over, with the exception of my fridge.
I really haven’t drank in the past 5-6 years. I never did like the taste of alcohol. One Mardi Gras a friend’s mom brought strawberry daiquiris to the parade, but that was nothing, we only each had a cups worth. Senior Trip in Cancun: I got happy one night on pina coladas. The next and only time I got drunk was second semester of my freshman year in college. I was hanging out with my roommate at the time who was a pro drinker and could drink any man under the table. Anywho, that was the worst, and I didn’t even throw up. Sad and pathetic, maybe to those weekend warriors. But at least I knew I was getting home safe.
I’ve watched a good many of my friends get drunk and then wind up getting sick. Coming home from a party once after downing 3-4 jungle punches, one friend threw up on the side of the road about 3 times. When we got back to the apartment she threw up again. We watched her dry heave for a good 2-3 hours and there was nothing we could do but give her water and hope the spasms would stop. It wasn’t a pretty sight. At one point we actually thought we might have to make a trip to the emergency room. That wasn’t a fun night. One Mardi Gras a friend got drunk was able to expunge the alcohol from her stomach and then 3 hours later we were on Bourbon Street, not that I’m advocating doing such a thing.
Me, however, my friends wanted to see me drunk so bad. It never happened. Number one, I’m not big on the taste, unless it’s accompanied by an additional fruity concoction, like daiquiri, or something sweet to cut the harshness of certain liquors. I went to the doctor recently and he asked me if I drank and I told him I couldn’t. Okay, the spiel: I have rosecea. The topical treatment cream I use reacts with alcohol and makes my face look like it has little red bumps all over it and makes it itchy. Stron deterrent to drinking, let me tell you. I found out the hard way to, I didn’t read the instructions, but to my defense it was a sample and it didn’t come with the directions. So needless to say I haven’t had a drink in the past 5-6 years, one: I’m just not into drinking, two: the rosecea cream.
I guess that makes me an oddity here in Louisiana. But who cares! I’ve seen people get funny, silly, stupid, sullen, sad, mad, angry, and violent when they get drunk. Numerous times I saw friends get puffed up and try to pick a fight or get into one in highschool mostly, you know how egotistical highschool boys can get, then add a little fire water to the mix and watch what happens. Yeah we laugh about those times now, but it wouldn’t have been as funny if those nights ended with us down at the police station bailing someone out. Heck two parties we went to in high school ended with the police showing up, not cool when you think you may get arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Ah well, I just hope that I can impart some wisdom onto my nieces and nephew that they use good judgement when the time comes that they don’t do anything stupid and someone winds up getting hurt. I know someone out there is going to bring up the fact that I brought my niece to a friend’s apartment and the guys there were drinking, but hey drinking occurs at all our family gatherings, so really no big deal. I have to hand it to my guy friends, that night they treated my niece like a princess and made sure they didn’t act crazy and stupid while she was in their presence. She was in an environment where we were all looking out her well being and made sure she was safe.
Yes, teenagers will do something stupid, I just hope that should they ever consciously choose to do so they excercise some form of intelligence and control and put into effect forms of safety in the off chance something might go wrong. I want to see them all graduate college and get married, etc. etc. etc…..
Hugs & Smooches Guy & Gals!