Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Condemned to Drink

I enjoy going out.  I know – big surprise.  But, (yes, there’s a but) going out doesn’t necessarily mean ‘having a big one’ or being ‘white girl wasted’.  I’m about to blow your mind.  Get ready for this…

Space for you to get ready:

Ready?  Okay, so people can actually go out and have a good time without chugging back litres of alcohol.  What!? No? 
Yep! I know right!? Who would have thought?

I’ve been out drinking plenty of times, sure.  I’ve also, however, been out completely sober simply because I felt like dancing or saying hi to someone I don’t get to see often in our busy lifestyles.  Sue me.    

When you’re a chronic clubber like me, there are always people you see out in consecutive nights or weeks.  And it’s here the interrogation begins.
“Are you drinking tonight?”
“Why aren’t you drinking?”
“Oh, sober once again are we?”

Shit, I even ask similar questions myself come to think of it. Wow.  Do I?  Why?   

Has drinking excessive amounts of alcohol become the norm?  In order to justify not drinking, must we have an excuse?  Really?   

Fun fact: Apparently beer was the first alcoholic beverage known to civilisation. Yay for beer!

But it is said that alcoholic beverages have been used in virtually all cultures through most of their recorded history (apparently).  However, in our lifetimes (and probably our parent’s lifetimes, and their parent’s lifetimes) drinking has been a social phenomenon.  Recently, I’ve noticed the continuing pressure to drink while out.  Drinking can be a social thing, yes, but does being social depend on drinking? No. 

Side note while I’m at it, I may as well mention those who attack sober party-goers.  More times than I’d like, I’ve been asked “Any danger in you smiling?”  while taking 5 on a club couch.  Sorry, but sometimes if you are sober in a club full of people who are fucked off their faces, spilling drinks on you, crashing into your shoulders, or hitting on you with dribble down their face and a slur in their words, you aren’t exactly going to be smiling.

But back to the point.  People now need to have a formulated reason ready for the interrogators to explain why they aren’t consuming a liquid that accounts for nearly 88 thousand deaths each year in the US alone.  Do you hear how ridiculous this sounds?    

Strap on your thinking hats ladies and gentlemen – extravagant excuses are needed in this century.  If you can’t think of any, the top 5 commonly accepted excuses are:

‘Sorry I have a sport game tomorrow.’

‘I have work in the morning.’

‘I’m sick.’

‘I’m on antibiotics.’

‘I’m driving.’

Majority of the time, however, these excuses will get a scoff of the face as a response, or a shake of the shoulders for being ‘weak.’ 

Are you serious?

Why do we have to have these excuses? Why isn’t “not tonight” a legit reply, or “I’m just not”, not sufficient?  Or better yet – the question never needing to be asked in the first place.    

I have to say, I can drink a LOT and I still feel the need to have an excuse when I choose to have a sober night.  (Don’t mind me – I thought peer pressure was something we left behind in high school. Evidently not).   

Not to mention the fact that alcohol is one of the worst things for your body.  Over time, alcohol can lead to the development of serious diseases such as heart disease, strokes, liver disease, cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver and colon.   

Also, just because this blew my mind – binge drinking is defined as, for women, consuming 4 or more drinks on a single occasion and for men consuming 5 or more drinks.  Heavy drinking is then defined as women consuming more than 8 drinks a week and men drinking more than 15.  Guilty, anyone? I know I am. 

That doesn’t mean I’m going to give up my Saturday nights, though.  And my point still stands.  If someone isn’t drinking, who cares?  That’s their decision.  If you choose to drink – good on you!  If you choose not to drink – good on you!  I’m still gonna party with you on the dance floor either way.


Bellis, Mary.  “The History of Alcoholic Beverages.” Retrieved from http://inventors.about.com/od/foodrelatedinventions/a/alcohol.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Fact Sheets – Alcohol Use and Your Health.” Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” Retrieved from http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics

Thursday, 11 September 2014



“Nanna, what do you like about being old?”  I asked her; sitting across from me in a faded arm chair, walking stick perched upright to maintain her posture.  She laughed.  I loved the way the corners of her eyes would crease when she smiled; glowing still at 80, wrinkles and all.  You can tell that in her youth, she was beautiful.  “Too many to name, my dear,” was the reply. 


One of the most common things I come across in today’s living is the prospect of becoming older.  I mean, it would be a miracle to be 18 forever.  Sometimes I wish I was a vampire.  Okay, well not actually a vampire (I think I’ve been watching too much Vampire Diaries). But I wish that I was something eternal, with eternal life; a life that I could choose to end whenever I pleased.  There are so many wondrous, beautiful, scary and dangerous things in this world and I want to see them all.  I want to travel every inch of the globe and see and experience and live.  There seems there isn’t enough time. 

Getting older is scary when you’ve wasted a lot of time waiting in lines for clubs, watching Friends (or a show you’re obsessed with), making your bed or worrying about little things like taking the bin out, or cleaning the bathroom, or why that boy hasn’t texted you back.  I wonder, if you could live for as long as you wanted – would you worry?

I have to ask, what would you do if you were eternal?

I know we would all break the law a lot more, take more risks, do more stupid things, perhaps kiss the wrong person one too many times.  But on a serious note –

If I were eternal, I would learn every language there is.   Spanish, German, French, Italian.  You name it.  Imagine being able to understand, speak and think every other language different to your own? 

I would probably jump off more cliffs, or swim in more waterfalls. 

I would raise millions of dollars only to donate it to causes (and perhaps just one or two more pairs of shoes…)

I would write many books, delving into the dark depths of my writer’s study, perhaps even invest in a quill and ink to do it like the ‘olden days’.
I would work in restaurants serving pretentious food or open a cafĂ© and make it unique with funky tea cups and miniature pot plants.  I would work in crummy crammed bars, in groovy derelict ones, in banks, in offices, in golf courses.  I would be a flight attendant, or learn to fly a plane.  I would be a professional dancer. 

I would travel with bands and write music reviews and maybe learn to sing.  I would master guitar and learn piano, nail “Piano Man” on harmonica and drum solos from Red Hot Chili Pepper songs.  I would drink too much booze and maybe do some drugs on lonely Saturday nights that end up being not-so-lonely after all.

I would buy a kombi and see Australia, because what’s more awesome than the sights you see in a land you get to call home?  I would go to the Kimberly and Eyres rock and see the desert before we have a chance to destroy it. 

I would eat every flavour of ice-cream that exists, and try things like snails and grasshoppers (but not cockroaches, sorry, some things are just not meant to be consumed). 

I would dance like an idiot (and sometimes I do) and not care what people think, because why should you?

I think I would laugh a lot more.

I would visit history museums and art galleries and pretend to understand all the meaning behind them. 

I would travel to unknown places and nooks and crannies and eat a too much food and - Wait.
Hold up.
What’s to stop me? 

If you imagine it being something you want to try, you may as well.  Right? If it's something you really want to do, do it!  I guess what I’m saying is, you’re not eternal (thankyou captain obvious – I know).  But that’s the thing – you’re not.  So you have one chance to go out and do all the things on that list.  Don’t be one of those people that say, ‘life is so short’.  Life is the longest damn thing you ever get to do.  Do it right. 


And so I took another sip of my tea and looked up to catch my Nanna’s eye.  “You know, Nanna, I think I’m going to love being old, too,” I smiled.