When Does Getting Drunk Lose its Cool?

High school, college, university – back then drinking yourself stupid was the norm. Hell, if you’re still there let the good times roll. I remember thinking people were odd if they didn’t drink themselves stupid at least once a weekend. It was our duty as students to act like idiots and get pants-around-your-ankles hammered. At any good house party, toilets, sinks, and salad bowls were being filled with vomit. Drink until you can drink no more. Ah, those were the days. Sundays without a hangover were a rarity, but every weekend was a blast.

When does this stop being the norm? I’m not sure there’s a standard age, as certain circles continue to drink themselves into blacking out weekend after weekend well into old age, and some never did, but for our group things just started to taper off after we graduated from school and got real jobs. People started showing up to parties with six packs instead of 12 packs, or 26ers. Parties would end at 2 or 3AM instead of 5 or 6AM. I could see it coming, and I did everything I could to stop it, but it was not to be.

What Happened?
People are buying houses, getting married, having kids. Fun’s over.  Or so I thought at first. I’m always a few years behind in the maturity department and I hope that never changes. Writing about Phantom Poops and mustaches keeps me sane in a world where everyone is so serious about everything. Don’t worry, the fun isn’t over, it’s just harder to come by and comes in different forms than getting pee-on-a-fridge drunk. Believe me, I do not want to drink myself stupid on the weekends anymore, although last Friday, it seemed like the right thing to do.

Another factor that slows down our drinking isn’t that we can’t drink as much as we used to, but more we don’t bounce back in the same way. The effects of hangovers can last two to three days and you better make sure you’re having a great time because you know you’re going to pay for it.

What a Novel Idea!
Drinking used to be novel. There were countless new experiences you had when you were drunk. It allowed you to bypass social restrictions to meet new people and do new things. Now that you’ve done those things and you’re tired of meeting new people you know you’ll never talk to again, drinking serves a smaller purpose. There will still be nights of  getting sloppy drunk. St. Paddy’s Day, New Year’s Eve, your birthday, vacation, and some others scattered throughout the year. Me, I like to have a couple drinks after work to keep me relaxed. Yes, my psychology degree taught me no better way to relieve stress than to self medicate with a few brewskies.

We’re Smarter
There are a lot of important goals we want to accomplish in life and being beached on a pullout couch, eating grilled cheese, and sleeping through Ferris Bueller’s Day Off again doesn’t allow us to accomplish those goals. With full time jobs free time is scarce and we need to embrace our free time and be productive…Or play videogames.

It’s No Fun to be the Only One
Remember that night everyone got drunk and did stupid things? Great time. Remember that night you got drunk and did stupid things while everyone looked at you like you were an idiot? Not a great time. Drinking is a group activity. If everyone gets drunk, it’s cool. If it’s just one person, it’s kind of sad. So make sure if you’re getting pissed, everyone else is too.

Not Getting Stupid Drunk Doesn’t Mean Not Drinking
I probably drink just as much as I used to…Well, maybe not as much as I did in residence, but the difference is now I spread it out throughout the week rather than just on Fridays and Saturdays. Getting a little drunk is usually far better than getting a lot drunk, but on those special nights (or days!) when getting sloshed feels right, do not forget the tequila. Happy drinking kids.

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