Sunday, July 18, 2004


It is that time once again to broach a subject that can be very controversial, at least with me. I really hope my post doesn’t offend any person or person(s) who might have been involved in circumstances that I may mention. I have absolutely no hard feelings towards anyone who expresses doubt or chagrin over my decisions. In some ways, I think they raise important points. I believe they were and are trying to do me a favor, not cause me any discomfort.
My initial impression of alcohol was an abhorrent one. I watched alcohol play a pivotal role in the dissolution of my early family life. I do not wish to blame the alcohol itself for everything that happened. Addiction, on a larger scale, led to the downfall more than the sauce. Addiction manifests itself in other sinister ways, such as gambling. People who are addicted to alcohol often times have generally addictive personalities. They can’t play one hand of cards, drink one bear, or eat just one Lays potato chip. It may be entirely irrational, but I fear that I’ll have one drink or one drunken experience and I won’t be able to stop. Like I said, it’s probably not a fear based in reality. I mention these experiences because first impressions mean something, and my first encounter with the subject was very unpleasant.
At the crux of the debate are the judgments made about alcohol and more importantly users of the drug. Honestly, I don’t believe that there is any right or wrong behavior. The non-drinker is not morally superior to the drinker, or vice versa. I will ignore the legalities of underage drinking, as I believe the laws are antiquated. If 18 year-old men can fight in a hegemonistic war for national profits, why can’t he or she purchase an adult beverage? Almost everybody does drugs on a daily basis. Most people consume caffeine in their soda pop. A minority take mind-altering substances, myself included at one time. The point is that no superiority or inferiority should be taken by one’s alcohol preferences.
I’ve come to realize that my actions were at the root of the controversy over this issue. I don’t think it’s that my friends objected to me being a non-drinker. My conclusion is that they believe everyone, as long as they are able to without experiencing health ramifications, should have the experience of intoxication at least once in their lives. I will cede that they have a good point. Like it or not, alcohol is a major component of our society. I still don’t believe that getting drunk is a good idea. I think I would be comfortable with drinking short of becoming intoxicated. I’ve concluded that it’s not healthy to have such an irrational fear of anything, like I may have developed with alcohol.
So, I’ve tried to examine how to deal with this in the future. Turning it into a big deal is not the way to handle things. That only makes me look irrational and borderline paranoid. I think most people can accept one’s decision one way or the other. I might decide to drink once or twice. Then I can legitimately say that I’ve tried it and draw further conclusions later. Although non-drinkers are in the minority, there isn’t any true stigma against them. It’s a personal choice that matters little to people. In actuality, being the nondrinker can be a good thing, providing a group the needed designated driver.


Blogger Eric Cioffoletti said...

I've often said you should get drunk in the past. I accept your reasons but I still think it's something you should try at least once.
But I've given up trying to talk you into it. I am ashamed of my behavior in the past. Holding you hostage and forcing you to either drink or face severe ridicule and abuse was not the way to do it. And for that I apologize.

July 19, 2004 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger tsias said...

What happened in the past is neither here nor there. I avoided rehashing that particular incident. It really wasn't that big a deal.

Here's what I was thinking. Next time I come to Orlando, we might work something out. It wouldn't be because of you pressuring me or anything of the sort. I'd want to keep the experience as positive as possible. I don't want to get so drunk that I'm stumbling all over creation and am hungover the next morning. I wouldn't mind feeling the "buzz" (is that what kids are calling it these days?) I'd bet it would be hard for me to get real drunk considering my height and weight.

I would chalk it up as a learning experience. I could finally understand how all those old guys at the Moose Lodge feel every night.

July 19, 2004 at 1:41 AM  

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