I remember being young(er) and going out at the weekend drinking. Drinking at parties, at mate's houses when their parents were away and all the usual places that teenagers drink. I was thinking recently that it's something I don't really enjoy as much as I once did.
Now it could just be that I'm "growing up", and maybe this time next year I'll own a wine cooler and there will be unopened bottles in the house. Bottles that I bought for their individual properties and the foods that they go with rather than the price and the picture on the label. Maybe a collection of spirits too…not me for, but for the guests. Maybe one will even complement me on my choice of single malt.
Maybe it's something else. There are only three situations where I really drink now. First is at work nights out, the social events of work colleagues etc and I don't really like drinking at those events. Once I start I find it hard to stop, and once I've had a few it's never long before I come out with a joke from the pages of my own, unique, "nothing's off limit" joke book. It can often lead to feelings of "just what did I say last night" in the morning.
Second drinking location is my flat, at the weekend, maybe playing XBOX or watching a movie. I'm quite often so occupied with my activity that the drinking takes second place. Before I know it it's 2 or 3am and I'm not as much drunk as I am totally exhausted. Or sometimes I'll steam through the drink and wake up at 5am on the sofa, fully clothed, DVD looping on the menu and the night has been wasted.
Third location is when I go out at the weekend. I seem to drink a lot and don't really have much stamina for it. Again after a few hours, being quite drunk seems to suddenly come over me and I get all hazy and just stumble off home.
Over the years I seem to have lost the ability to obtain that "pleasantly drunk" feeling. I seem to go from sober to drunk without noticing the journey, or just sip away and end up not really drunk at all. I'm beginning to think that maybe the social experience is quite an important ingredient in the drinking process. Maybe when you're in constant communication with people you have a barometer of how drunk you are. If you start to feel all heady maybe you know to start slowing down. Also being in conversation with others is something to focus on and drinking is just the backdrop. When I think about my own drinking habits, when I go to a pub I'm only there to people watch and listen to the music…I don't have anything to do but drink. So maybe I drink much faster than other people do as they're distracted by other things?
Not that I'll stop drinking, of course. It still passes the time, still gets me to sleep, still helps me get over bad experiences.