As you already know, my hunger is insatiable. You should not be surprised then to hear that this hunger is also accompanied by an equally large thirst. A thirst which, until Saturday night, was rarely quenched with anything alcoholic.
It had been approximately 2 years since I had willfully partaken of any alcoholic beverages, but all of that changed for some reason. Before I get into the details of my change of heart….. a little background.
My freshman year at Amherst was filled with super human feats of alcohol consumption, both in quantity and the speed at which I consumed. I currently hold a record for a timed disk chug (frisbee full of beer, approx. 4.5 beers) at 21 seconds flat.
The previous Amherst record was something like 38 seconds which I promptly destroyed. I have contacted Guinness with official record of my time, with no answer. Cowards.
After a year of ill-advised, albeit hilarious, drunken exploits I felt like I just kinda burned out my enthusiasm for the bottle. Too much of a good thing maybe, or maybe I felt like I was just maturing or something. For whatever reason, my drinking tapered off until sophomore year-ish when I just stopped altogether. On my 21st birthday, I drank water.
So that was my life for all of junior year…sobriety. Now, I know that people say you don’t need to drink to have fun, and to be honest, I think that is true. However, going out at Amherst where drinking is the norm, you get Fu%$ing tired of people asking you how and why you continually abstain from imbibing with them.
No one really ‘peer pressured’ me ever (I have my mature, wonderful, accommodating friends to thank for that) but there was still some sort of nagging feeling (internal or external or maybe both) that I should just get over it and do what everyone else was doing.
When it comes down to it, and I can only speak for myself, sometimes you just want to be like everybody else. Or at least how everyone else wants you to be.
So fast forward to Saturday night: the infamous Luau tap. The most tappy of all the TAPS. The first and most fun, in my opinion.
There I was, minding my own sober business in a room of people I like and admire who were getting absolutely hammered. A power hour. No one asked me to drink or even seemed to notice that I wasn’t taking a sip every minute on the minute. But as the music swelled (Kesha, if i remember correctly) the party atmosphere was too much to resist.
I took a shot… and then 4 more(ish) of vodka.
Completely out of nowhere. It tasted as bad as I remember, but felt much better. Needless to say, my friends were far more excited than I was about it and cheered me on. Overall a good time.
More drinking ensued, and great times were had at TAP.
The next day, someone jokingly said that was the happiest they had seen me in a while. First, I was irritated with myself at the thought that I was more fun and happier when I was intoxicated, but then I slowed down to think about what it was that made me happy. I think rather than being a symptom of my drunkenness, my mood was a result of the people I was with and the circumstances we encountered.
I had, in a way been isolated from full participation of the rituals of weekend nights not because of anyone else actions, but because of my own stigma I had attached to alcohol consumption since I had ‘stopped’.
I’m back, thirstier than ever. I will however, try to be responsible and avoid chugging disks etc. It took me this long to figure out that casual, social drinking is feasible and pretty cool (esp. when you are 22 and it is LEGAL)
Stay thirsty my friends.