Champagne with bubbles – a rose coloured tipple, tequila sunrise and slippery nipple, larger with curry and whisky and gin, these are a few of my favourite things. Serious – alcohol is definitely my drug of choice. And even though I’m quite proud of my update to those Rogers and Hammerstein lyrics, it looks like God knew what he was doing creating me a couple of generations too late, and a couple of notches too socially insignificant, to influence their wholesome writing. Perhaps there is a Divine Plan.
When invited to any social event or celebratory festivity my anticipatory excitement is alcohol based, one hundred per cent of the time. I can honestly think of nothing more lovely than the alcohol accompaniment to most ‘occasions’. Just picture: sparkling fizz in a tall glass to toast the bride at a wedding; an ice-cold Corona with lime to wash down that first undercooked cheese burger at a barbecue; Budweiser and football on the telly; red wine by the fire after a Sunday roast; sake with sushi. Margaritas and the blue shimmer of a pool in high summer; double gin and tonic with ice and lime, at any time whatsoever; brandy on Christmas eve; sherry on Christmas morning; Sangria with tapas on a sandy Marbella break; Guinness down the pub in late October; Bloody Mary with eggs and bacon for a hangover breakfast (just jokes, I totally cannot stomach food on a hangover); a bottle of Pinot Grigio from the Co-op to slough off the tedium after a day at work. I could go on, but I think you get the alcoholic picture.
I do like a drink. And even though I’m pretty sure drugs are bad and will definitely kill us all in the end, I think nothing of glugging back legal intoxicants and spending the entire next day heaving over any available toilet bowl, replaying jagged and disturbing memories from the night before and forcing my brain to make pictures of kittens in order to stave off thoughts of suicide.
I’d think I had a problem, if all my friends weren’t doing it too.
In the modern world, it’s all about choosing whichever poison will help you get through the day. In hindsight, it might have aided my street cred had I been more rock and roll with my own choice, but hey, I experimented with edgier options in adolescence and what can I say? I am what I am. Weed’s out the window because of the paranoia; acid, MDMA and all the hallucinogens make scary pictures, and I don’t take cocaine because of the potential nasal corrosion – and anyway, who wants a drug that makes them more alert, surely that defeats the object of intoxication entirely?
Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, I am from a culture that embraces excessive alcohol consumption above all else. Or perhaps I just move in particularly boozy circles. Whatever, it is my experience that even when friends and family know you have an attachment to alcohol that is beginning to function to the detriment of your career, health and relationships they’ll still be a bit pissed off if you say you want water instead of wine when they invite you out for dinner.
I cannot think of any social interaction whereby it would be acceptable for me to reject the offer of alcohol. Consequently, I spend much of my time languidly regaling hilarious tales of amusing misdemeanors, before that final Sambuca tips me over the edge and I insult a stranger or end up in a fist fight with one of my siblings.
And thus we arrive at alcohol’s big problem. It forces one who is minorly addicted to it to oscillate between fabulous and horrific, depending on the time of day and the quantity of alcohol consumed. This is not a healthy emotional continuum on which to conduct a relationship, as I’ve discovered after many years of high drama.
But what’s a girl to do? There are so many occasions during which alcohol can give you pleasure, and only three I can think of when the same can be said for romantic love (sex, cuddles, someone to take out the bins). I think, on balance, I’d rather an existence of alcohol induced solitude than one of sobriety, lies and stale romantic gestures made public to mask my misery.
I’m not sure it’ll make for a happy life in the long run, but at least I’ll have some outrageous stories for my memoirs. Providing I can remember them.
Pass the gin.