“I saw ’em wasted”

I went to a party the other night. It was pretty cool. I danced and danced and danced and then I danced some more. Cotton Eye Joe was the best song of the night. Yeeharr!

From the dance floor I saw the cool guy I’m married to talking to a dude I didn’t know, so I went and said hello. The dude was very drunk. He and the cool guy had known each other for a long time, so they were reminiscing about the good ol’ days. Someone asked about music and the drunk dude and the cool guy were very excited to realise that they both loved Hilltop Hoods, with The Nosebleed Section being both their favourite song. I can’t exactly recall how the conversation unfolded, but it went in general direction of getting wasted and how great being wasted is. “I saw ’em wasted!” The drunk dude exclaimed when we were discussing Hilltop Hoods and their live shows. Someone must have said something about the high cost of seeing live music due to expensive alcoholic beverages and the associated problems the consumption of such beverages bring when it comes to transportation and waking up the next day for work. “Did you ever consider that you don’t actually need to be drunk or to even drink any alcohol at all to have a good time?” I asked. The drunk dude looked at me momentarily like he didn’t understand, but in the end he said, “I like to have a few beers to relax.”

If someone can help me understand this, I’d really love an explanation! Does that mean that people who don’t drink alcohol are unable to relax? Does that mean that people who aren’t drunk can’t have a banger of a night out? I think it might mean that society has generally accepted that any event, especially of an evening, is only made enjoyable by the consumption of alcohol.

When I used to drink I thought the same kind of thing as the drunk dude. I believed that to have a good time I had to be drunk. I bought into this because I saw it all around me and I never stopped to question it, not once. If I’m really honest, I guess I was a bit afraid to give being sober a go. I didn’t want to invest a heap of money in a ticket for a concert and not enjoy it because I was sober. I didn’t want to be left out and I wanted to continue to hold the title of “life of the party”.

Only when I stopped drinking did I discover that the best nights out I’ve ever had have happened when I was totally sober. I couldn’t dance for 4 hours straight when I was drunk. I couldn’t get up the next morning and go climb a mountain. I couldn’t drive myself home, all the way from Brisbane (4 hours away) if I was drunk. I couldn’t save a shitload of money if I was drunk and I couldn’t be sure of living a long and healthy life if all I cared about when I went out was getting drunk.

I’m not saying that everyone who drinks was like I was or is like the drunk dude from the party, but have you ever stopped to think about why it is that you drink? Have you ever stopped to think that it could be a different and maybe better experience if you decide to go sober for a change.

Steve Jobs said, “in your life you only get to do so many things.” What things will you choose? Will you choose to only “see ’em wasted” or will you choose to see things as they are and enjoy the experience in all it’s glory? Will you choose to be the life of the party, but for a different reason, and ultimately will you choose to dance like this all night long: