I'm an anal retentive bugger. So now and again, I go nuts and compile lists and sort things to the nth degree.
A week or two ago, I did a list of subjects for 100 Days of the good and bad things I wanted to talk about. I soon realised that having all the subjects mixed up together made it a little harder to deal with, so a few days back I turned it into a very simple Excel spreadsheet. Two columns, love and hate.
Today, I added additional columns next to the other two. These columns gave each item a general reference. For instance, Human Sexuality has the reference Sex, Fight Club has Film, Event Fandom is fan, etc.
This means I can order the list and see that, over the remaining 84 days, I have 28 film/tv shows and concepts to talk about. 17 people concepts, both specific and types. You get the idea. It also means I can see that my Love list is longer than the Hate list - 77 to 62. It's nice to see the things I love outweigh the things I hate. I was worried at the start that I may have trouble coming up with enough for the good list, but would have plenty for the hate list. I reckon I'll be able to come up with enough on the hate list, but I'm not going to be upset if I don't.
I'm adding to both lists all the time, it's easier than trying to remember that there's a subject I want to talk about when something sparks the thought. Today, for instance, Star Trek Voyager made it onto the Hate list. Twice.
But I love lists. I have lists of almost all my DVD's, lists of the Doctor Who Magazines I'm missing... But I still don't have my 1400 video tapes catalogued. *grin*
In this case I'm talking specifically about the cultural push to drink. I have no problem with socialising, but I'm rarely in the mood to drink. Many people drink to relax, as a rule I'm pretty relaxed. I don't need to get drunk to do the things that most people need alcohol for. As to the social aspect - if we're already talking and interacting, how does drinking alcohol make me any more social than if I'm drinking water or softdrink?
I can chat and flirt badly without needing alcoholic lubrication. I've walked down the middle of a major street with my willy out when I was stone cold sober. I don't need the excuse of being drunk to hug the people I care about or act obnoxious. And I have the advantage that the next day I know exactly what I've done and can enjoy it all because I chose to be an idiot, or cuddly, or to drop my trousers, rather than doing it out of diminished ability to judge.
Another reason I rarely drink is that I get brewer's droop. Only takes a couple of drinks and I'm useless from the waist down. And I care a lot more about sex than booze. And if I'm going to have sex, or just a good wank, I want to be fully functional, thank you. Why would I do something that that I rarely enjoy more than a little that actually reduces my ability to do something I like a lot?
The last proper drink I had was probably two years ago. I've had a couple of tastes of things in that time, but not even a full glass. I just haven't had the desire for a drink between then and now. When I do want a drink I'll have one.
(Sidenote - having just said that, I suddenly fancy the idea of a beer. Which is funny because I don't like beer... I wouldn't even know which brand to try. Maybe VB cause dad drank it *grin* )
What shits me is the push. I've struck it many times. You're treated as though there's something wrong with you if you don't want a drink. "What's wrong with you?" "Why won't you drink with us?" "Come on, have a drink. Come on. Go on, just the one. Have a drink." "Don't be unfriendly."
I've actually gotten to the point where now I lie to people who try to push me to have alcohol. I don't like doing it, but after they've pushed once or twice I tell them that I like the booze too much. And they nod and say ok, sorry, and leave it at that. And that's the only way I've found to consistently stop people when the first couple of no thank-yous haven't been enough. By pretending to be alcoholic. How utterly fucked is that?
But I've learnt through bitter experience that if I don't act so drastically, the hassling continues and ends up completely colouring and ruining an otherwise good night. So I trade feeling slightly upset that I've had to lie against being made to feel a social pariah because I'm not in the mood to fill my body with poisonous, brain-damaging chemicals.
I shouldn't have to be put in that position in the first place.
If I didn't like fish, most people wouldn't keep pushing me to eat it. What's amazing is that the people who are pushing the 'be social' angle are actually being so incredibly unsocial, singling me out, making me feel unhappy and put upon by their insistence that I should be drinking.
I had a major fight one year with a good mate who got really pushy about me having a drink on New Year's Eve. He actually said I wasn't being a good friend because I didn't want a drink with him! He stormed off when I said he wasn't being a good friend by trying to force me into something I clearly had no desire to do.
And this sort of behaviour gives me even less desire to drink.
Then there's the other extreme. Most Swancon's I go to a specific, invite only party where the main goal of the party is to have shitloads to drink. It's invite only because you're meant to bring a bottle to share and too many people started rocking up without one. I get to go because I'm a mate. It's the only private party I go to, generally I'd rather go to more public things. But I have good friends there and it's a chance to catch up with them when I otherwise may not manage it, so if I'm going to parties that night, I try to drop in for an hour or so. And I have a great time.
A party where the whole point is to go and get smashed and I have never once been pushed to drink. I regularly get offered the various bizarre concoctions and my no thanks to each is taken at face value, with no further pushing, beyond the occasional 'you sure?' I've not yet had an alcoholic drink at one, but I have no doubt that one day I will. And when I do, I'll be happy to.
If you want a drink around me, go for it, I'm happy for you to have a drink. And please, feel free to offer me one, I may well take you up on it if I'm in the mood.
Just please don't push.