I certainly picked a strange time to quit drinking. Following a Christmas where, like so many other people, I over-indulged with food and drink in the name of celebrating the festive period, I decided that this was it. I had reached a point and felt that now was as good a time as any to forgo the cursed drink for good. It’s something that had been on my mind for sometime; I had grown tired of the sloppy drunken conversations, the awkward interactions, the pounding heads and sour stomachs of the following day.
But I didn’t want to wait for the new year to do it. No, that would be the kiss of death for me. How many resolutions make it past the 5th of January anyway? I figure by getting a few days jump-start it might be what I need to kick the urge to drink to the curb and just get on with my life.
As I said though, my timing couldn’t be worse. I attended a bachelor party last weekend, and every single attendee (there were roughly 50 or so people) was blind drunk within two hours. It was truly a sight to behold. I started out on water, and after the 24th person had asked me why I wasn’t drinking, I grabbed a bottle of beer, mainly as a prop so I would be left alone. I’m not sure how drinking is treated in your particular country, but here in Australia it is practically a crime if you aren’t a devoted binge-drinker. Others are offended if you aren’t as trashed as they are; they take it very personally. To be honest, this actually inspires me to quit alcohol that much more. I like not being like everyone else.
I sipped at the bottle gingerly, nervous that others could tell I wasn’t swigging with the manly gusto they expected of such an occasion. The conversation was loud and aimless; the behavior not unlike what I would expect to find in a maximum security penitentiary. I’m no shrinking violet, but what I bore witness to on this evening could only be described as tedious and overt male showiness. It was vile.
I blame this on two main things:
- Alcohol, in seemingly endless quantities.
- Nudity of the female form.
Add to this already toxic equation a lack of clothed women (ie. our respective girlfriends, partners or wives) and you had a powder keg that was set to go off at any moment. We need women at our social events solely to keep us men in line and behaving to at least a standard a notch or so higher than your garden variety Neanderthal man. One glance of a naked female breast and several of the party-goers looked like they might go into cardiac arrest.
At one point, a person I’d never met approached me and inquired as to why I wasn’t drinking my beer. I told him I was pacing myself. He pondered aloud as to my sexual preference as he stumbled away. Nice to meet you too…
The groom-to-be, a once-lovely fellow who lately seems to becoming more and more like the kind of person we used to make fun of, was decked out in a lovely, very snug red dress. The back was exposed, and he had a strange thatch of downy hair just under his right shoulder-blade. I couldn’t stop staring at it, even as the naked breasts and hairless crotches of the exotic dancers paraded around us. The groom was drunk by the time I arrived, only half an hour after the scheduled start time. I knew it was going to be a messy affair.
I caught up with several people I hadn’t seen in a long time, people I once called friends at some point in my life. Once we got past the formalities (how are things, how is work, how is the wife/partner/girlfriend/kid/kids), there wasn’t much left to say. And then the strippers did some show thing up on a stage. The men went wild. None of the women had pubic hair, which the men seemed to enjoy. I’ve always appreciated a good bush. I find it incredibly becoming. It feels like the bush might be making a long-awaited comeback as well, which can only be a good thing. The problem is, here in Australia that means bush should be trending in roughly 5 to 7 years. Better late than never. I’ve always found this fascination in bald crotches rather disturbing, truth be told. I think men want little girls, as creepy as that sounds. I want a woman. I like curves, and hair in places where hair should be. Give me a natural woman any day of the week. The girls dancing up on the stage were the opposite of sexy to me. Clearly, I was the minority opinion on this issue.
They sat the very drunk groom on a plastic chair and he tried to paw at any naked woman within reach, and even some that were out of his grasp. A couple of guests had to restrain him a few times. I could hardly watch, I was really embarrassed for him. It was all too depressing to see one of the coolest guys I ever knew act like a complete fool in front of everyone, all in the name of what adults refer to as “fun”. If his wife-to-be saw any of this she would’ve freaked out. But that’s the whole point of the bachelor party, isn’t it? To let loose and act like a tit and get away with it.
This is the problem with tradition. It doesn’t allow for common sense. I hate to come off all holier than thou, I’ve sunk many a pint of ale in my time and acted foolishly, but at 36 the whole malarkey has simply lost its appeal for me. I feel like I’m drifting away from my friends and I kind of want to keep drifting. I’m not sure I want to fit in with them any more. We’re partying the exact same way we did when we were 18, except that was half our lives ago. Now we are getting married and having children. Is this the way we want to live our lives now?
The floor show was in full swing, two women were oiling each other and sticking fake plastic penises into each others respective orifices and the crowd lapped it up. Possibly a poor turn of phrase there, but no matter. The groom left the stage and flipped a chair in a huff as he stormed into the bathroom. I wasn’t sure what to make of that at all. Was this just sexual frustration rearing its repugnant head or something more sinister?
Everyone got drunker. More people asking why I wasn’t drinking. I got bored with being asked this and kept making a different answer every time to amuse myself. For example:
- I have been sent from planet Glonk to gather intel for the coming invasion. They’ve asked me to go undercover and seek out the most intelligent and gifted of the species.
- Beer makes me explosively gassy
- I only drink Appletini’s with cute umbrellas in the glass
At one point, I engaged in a 48 minute conversation with two drunk individuals revolving entirely around cymbals.
Soon after, I noticed a fellow approach the now-empty stage and flop himself down. He was swaying and his face was an odd mix of green and grey. He did not look well. I was dragged into another in the series of mindless conversations and when I looked back over a few moments later, he was gone. I soon discovered that he was in the toilets, refunding his night’s drinks and poorly cooked food.
The exotic dancers, their stage performances now a distant memory, were going from clique to clique (smallish groups of different people had now formed) with hat in hand, asking for money. My friends and I openly questioned why they would be asking for more money, as we had already handed over $100 each before the party. A busty brunette with no pubic hair approached with a smile and a wave of her hat-clutching hand. We asked her cause: she was after more money to stay on for a bit longer. Hmm. She already had several big bills in her cap. I pleaded poverty, claiming I only had coins. My other friends had similar responses. The woman left in cloud of dust. Typical of the female of the species: no money, no pussy. This is the way of the world and I’m not powerful enough to do anything about it. Even if I were, I’m not sure I could be bothered.
The Upchucker was now sitting down on the floor inside, leaning against the wall. Still not looking great, but sweating his way through whatever mess he was experiencing. I ventured outside to have another aimless conversation. After a few minutes, I noticed some tattooed legs sticking out of the doorway. They belonged to the Upchucker. Someone informed us that he was now laying down, sleeping it off. Someone flashed their phone and showed us photographic evidence. We resumed our conversation. A few minutes later, we were shown a new photo: this one showing our friend, still sleeping but with a large pool of his own sick in front of him. I almost gagged. Soon enough, everyone had their own personal copy. Someone had posted it to Facebook. I bet Upchucker’s partner would be so proud. He kept vomiting and wouldn’t stop. I peered in from outside at one point (I didn’t plan on going in, as I am a sympathetic hurler) and it looked like someone was trying to revive him. I was later told that another guest was berating him for vomiting inside instead of going outside to do it. Like a gentleman.
It was at this point that I decided to forgo drinking for the forseeable future. It had been on my mind for a while, if only to give my precious internal organs a break. I don’t know how long it will last. I initially thought a year, which sounds a lot easier than I assume it is in reality. Then I thought about quitting outright, which is obviously tougher. Who knows. It might be a year. It might be a week. I might grab a beer in twenty minutes. I don’t know.
All I do know is, I am disgusted with humanity in its current state. We are a mess as a society. There are very few good people left, or if there are, the bad ones are driving them away. Part of me wants to believe the latter to be true.
Everyone looks the same, they talk the same, they drink the same, they dress the same. They bore me. The worst part of all this: I was becoming one of them.
There will be many tests of my new-found sobriety this year, the next big one in less than two weeks. My friend (or whatever he is at this point) is getting married. I think it will be easier to avoid the drink at a wedding. More old people and families. Not just a room full of horny miserable men.