Tag: booze

When did drinking become so normal?

As Lent came to an end over the weekend, and all the brave people who committed to giving things up for 40 days returned to their usual indulgences (including Ellen – read her Lent diaries here!), I got to thinking about boozing, and how it’s just so so normal.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising it in anyway. I drink a lot. Too much! I lie to my dentist and doctor when they ask me how many units a week I drink (I know, I know, but it’s just so much easier than sitting through the inevitable lecture!) In our house we treat everything with alcohol. Something to celebrate? Let’s have a drink! Bad day at the office? Let’s have a drink! Indifferent to everything? A glass of wine will help!

(pics taken from my instagram over the past week)

(This makes me sound like an alcoholic, which I’m not, but I do really enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling of booze and I’m not going to apologise for it)

I know I’m not the only one who drinks more than they should, whether that’s through the course of the week or in a binge at weekends. I just wonder when it became so socially acceptable?

When I was a kid my Mom and Dad might share a bottle of wine on a Friday night, or buy a bottle if we had people over for Sunday lunch. I wouldn’t even contemplate sharing just one bottle of wine these days! A bottle of wine is only 3 large glasses (although it sounds better to say you’ve “only” had 3 glasses than drunk a bottle, admittedly!) and 1.5 glasses each if you’re sharing with another person isn’t going to last you more than an hour, at best.

Where pubs used to be the domain of men having a couple of pints after work, or on a Sunday lunchtime, now women are stepping out of the kitchen and into the boozer, and rightly so! No element of a modern society should be skewed to any gender, and equality includes the right to drink where and when we choose.

Maybe it’s because there’s more visibility now, through social media, that we realise how much and how often people are drinking. Thirsty Thursday is a recognised hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, and the majority of people seem to associate the weekend with drinking alcohol. Sitting at home with a glass of wine is the norm, as is women with screaming toddlers exalting bedtime so they can kick back and soothe away the day with a G&T. I can’t imagine that being the case when my Mom was my age (which isn’t that long ago). The statement of “I need a drink” is synonymous with people receiving bad or stressful news, and it’s completely ok to “drown our sorrows”. Ask someone “is it too early for a drink” and you’ll quite likely be given an encouraging “well the pubs are open”, or “it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere” in return. Go to any airport departure lounge at any time of day and the pubs will be heaving with people having the obligatory pre-holiday drink, whatever time of day! (I’m also guilty of this, I have many photos of me proudly holding a glass of pink wine at 5am!)

So why is it that a lot of people are drinking more frequently than in the past? Is it because, generally, we have more free time and spare cash than generations before us? That it’s more acceptable to be steaming drunk than it used to be? (this is more specific to women, I think, who still get judged more harshly than men). That our lifestyles are more stressful, with longer hours and more responsibility, and we feel that we need or deserve the escape?

The fact that, as a race, we’re more clued up on healthy living and the effects of our lifestyles than ever before, you’d think that we’d be more afraid of the well known effects of alcohol (weight gain, memory loss, liver damage, the list is long) but seemingly we turn a blind eye, instead only looking at the perceived benefits (we feel less stressed, more sociable, happier).

While drugs are illegal and smoking is becoming less and less socially acceptable, drinking is only ever frowned upon at the point at which someone has become addicted to the point of ruining their life or the lives of others. We live in a drinker’s society. You can buy booze so easily and cheaply; at all hours of the day. You can drink a beer at the cinema, or a glass of wine at the theatre. Pubs often do meal deals to include a free drink. A few years ago I took my Mom for some spa treatments for her birthday and we were given prosecco on arrival. Some hairdressers give their clients booze! Now replace any or all of those scenarios with a cigarette or a line of cocaine. It’s unthinkable.

Does any of this change my opinion of boozing? Look, in truth, I sometimes wish I didn’t want to have a drink on a night out. It would be great to save money and lose weight as a side benefit too. But, in truth, it ain’t going to happen! It’s too ingrained in society, and too ingrained in me.

What are your thoughts? Do you enjoy the odd tipple? Are you a celebratory drinker? Should alcohol be treated more like the drug it is? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

0

Jaded…

…is the best word I can think of to describe my physical and mental state after Easter weekend.

As usual I threw myself wholeheartedly into the thought of time off work and no alarms by getting my drink on. Vodka has been the nectar of choice, although wine, shots and – randomly – amaretto also made an appearance.

Because I’m lucky enough not to suffer hangovers, I never feel so bad that I say “I’m never drinking again”. I may feel a little delicate, tired and headachey, but I don’t get sick or dizzy or any of the horrible hangover side effects that might limit one’s future imbibement.

This morning I have had a little wobble at myself for drinking too much. I don’t have an alcohol problem by any means, but I don’t have an off switch. And whilst I’m usually limited by a 2 day weekend, 4 days off at Easter meant more booze than usual. I overindulged more than once and the results weren’t pretty. I got emotional and became a handful and the poor husband had to deal with the results. Not fun, for either of us!

Still, Easter tends to mark a line drawn in the sand between winter and summer, and I become aware of the need to at least try and lose some weight as the weather improves and the layers of clothes decrease. There’ll be post work walks in the evening sunshine, early starts for days out and a real kicker to cut back on the bad stuff so I can strut my stuff in the summer sunshine (I really can’t pull that off! I’m so not a strutter!)

Aside from feeling a bit cross with myself and wishing I was at home in bed, Easter was good. The right balance of doing stuff and not doing stuff, seeing family and friends, a gig, some real life clothes shopping (which I hardly ever do anymore) and a pub lunch with my Mother in Law. A washing machine incident threatened to ruin play on Saturday, but I managed to sort it out (although I did use pretty much every towel we own in the process of draining the water from it!)

It was surprisingly light on pigging out as well, as I didn’t have any chocolate in the flat on Sunday (epic Easter fail), although I did eat my own body weight in roast lamb.

Here’s one of my favourite Aerosmith songs to finish. It was the gorgeous Steven Tyler’s 68th birthday at the weekend. He’s just so cool – you can read my thoughts about him here

How was your Easter?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

0