Thoughtful Thursdays: In Defense of Sobriety

I was a freshman in high school when I first encountered alcohol. I’d heard about my friends drinking, obviously, but I’d never been in the presence of it without my parents. A little backstory about me, though: I kind of thought I would drink a lot in high school. I may have mentioned it on here before, but I was the mean girl in middle school–not in that I was an actual bully or I was actually a mean person, but every middle school had a group of girls who for some reason commanded the attention of the rest of the students and for some reason that was me and my friends. We were a tight-knit group, and didn’t really do anything to counteract how exclusive we were. I’m not proud of it, but I also can’t really change it, and also I’m still friends with kind of a lot of people from my middle school, so I guess I was nice enough to still talk to eight years later.

I was popular and expected to be so in high school, which I was, to some extent. When I was fourteen, though, I thought being popular meant that I was going to drink a lot. After all, I grew up in a household where my parents often had wine with dinner and my brother and I knew where all the alcohol was even though neither of us touched it. I think this is a huge credit to my parents–they never outright said that they forbid us from drinking, after all, the drinking age was 18 when they were kids, but they just sort of didn’t say it was bad or all that interesting so my brother and I steered clear. Then I think I got a little scared. Cut to New Year’s Eve, my freshman year of high school and rumors swirled around the party that someone had brought alcohol. My friends and I obviously gossipped about it the whole party, but somehow avoided being asked if we wanted any to drink or anything like that. It’s really weird thinking about that party, now. My friend’s parents were home at the party we were at and also we all had to leave our shoes and our purses upstairs, so it’s kind of a miracle that any alcohol made it to the basement. I still remember me and one of my best friends since basically birth, Kathy, were getting picked up from the party by my parents and we were both waiting and both decided that we would just tell my parents what had happened at the party before we got in trouble for not telling them.

We piled in my parent’s car and I said, proudly, “Just so you know and you hear it from me, there was alcohol at the party, but we didn’t drink anything.” My parents, I think, were a little surprised, I mean, how weird that their fourteen year old daughter was acting surprisingly mature. Honestly, it’s probably the most mature I’ve ever been in my life and that makes little to no sense, but whatever.

 

I don’t tell this story to say that I’m cool or better than anyone or anything like that. Quite the opposite, I’m pretty sure. This night set me up to be a little afraid of alcohol for the rest of my life. About two months after this party, unfortunately, my oldest brother passed away and I spent three days watching his body deteriorate. I spent most of high school using this as the reason that I didn’t want to drink–once you had seen someone’s kidneys and liver and lungs and everything shut down, I thought it didn’t really make sense to intentionally put something in your body that could speed that process up. I still sort of stand by that, but also, I had no idea what alcohol would do to anyone and the amount that most people were drinking really would not have had any lasting effects on them. I went through the rest of high school and went to a lot more parties and as we all got older, there was, of course, more and more alcohol to be found at every single party. I literally don’t know how I did it–maybe because I was less a mean girl and more the girl that was friends with everyone without dealing with the drama that went along with being a mean/popular girl–but I made it through my entire high school experience without a single drop of alcohol drunk.

I was definitely proud of myself, and looking back, I 100% thought I was better than everyone else for doing that. I’d had countless friends who had their stomach pumped or had terrible nights with little to no memory or just stupid events happen because they were drunk, much like normal teenagers.

 

I had my first real sip of alcohol when I was 18, I believe. Clearly if I don’t know exactly how old I was when I first drank, you can tell that alcohol isn’t really that important to me. I think I was heading in to my freshman year of college and for some reason was just okay with drinking now. A couple of my best friends who had made it through high school with me without drinking were now drinking and I guess I thought it was my time to do so. But, here’s another little glimpse into my weird, messed up relationship with drinking–I first drank at a friend’s wine and cheese party. We were so bougie and privileged and it was so weird. In the first year that I “started drinking”, I think I drank maybe four times? Maybe less?

So, I got to college, and again, ended up with a group of friends who didn’t really drink at all, until my junior year when we were all turning 21. Then we wouldn’t stop drinking. Every single one of our activities revolved around drinking–this is more dramatic than it sounded. It basically just meant everyone had at least three bottles of liquor at their apartment at all times so we were always drinking when we were over at other people’s places and also we went in search of happy hours galore, and basically were being just very “21”.

But, as I grew up, I also ran into some people who had had issues with alcohol. Real issues. The kind of issues that made me even more scared to drink. Also, I’m a control freak and always compared being drunk to losing control, so obviously I was never going to be an excessive drinker. And I never have been. I’ve been drunk maybe four times in my life and I simply hated it each time. But everyone around me got drunk and drank a lot and had a great time, like normal college students and adolescents and their all fine.

 

So, why am I telling you all of this? Why do I think I’m special? Why is this important?

I’m telling you this to say that I’m a normal college student and I did normal college things, I just did most of them sober. And yes, a lot of that was fear fueled and kind of general disinterest in being drunk, but a lot of it was also wanting to enjoy everything that I did. I’m still a person that won’t do something unless she really wants to, and for some reason my brain just doesn’t care about alcohol. I like drinking beer and I like drinking wine and I like drinking cocktails, but why do those things mean that I have to like getting super hot and getting dizzy and standing up and feeling like my knees were screwed on backwards? Honestly what about being drunk is fun?

Maybe my body just knows I don’t want to get drunk so any time I do, it just instantly rejects the idea and makes everything terrible. Or maybe I would really like getting drunk if I got used to it, but also who wants to get used to being drunk?

 

I’m not saying these things to say that my way is the best way or the right way or anything in between. I just mean it’s my way and maybe someone out there also feels like this, too. And maybe I’m sick of people judging me for not drinking a lot or for thinking that I’m judging them for drinking a lot. Here’s what I say: drink as much as you want, but don’t make someone feel bad for drinking less than you, or don’t drink at all, but never make someone feel bad for drinking more than you.

Just be nice to each other, and remember that you can live forever without drinking and still have a damn good time, and while I’m not that straight edge, I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing and that’s really all anyone can ask for.

Weekend Update Wednesdays 10/29/14

Taylor Swift’s new record “1989” released this week and it is already one of the top selling albums of the decade.While the album sales for 1989 are great, the haircuts definitely were not.

It was “National Cat Day” earlier this week, otherwise known as “Singles Awareness Day Pt. 2”.

It was “National Cat Day” earlier this week and cats all over the world celebrated by being unloving and hissing anytime someone got anywhere near them.

Halloween takes place later this week, but razor blades have been found to no longer be a hazard for children. Mostly because to get a razor blade you need to be a millionaire and you also need the patience to ask Craig, the eternally high Walgreens worker, if he remembers where the key to the razor section is.

Ebola is still, for some reason, a topic of conversation for Americans everywhere this week, perhaps because no illness has been so contagious since Bob Costas’ pink eye during the Winter Olympics.

This week, it was announced that the popular cinnamon whiskey “Fireball” was being recalled in some European countries because the liquor contained an ingredient also found in anti-freeze. We asked college students how they were taking the news and they simply responded by asking if anti-freeze was a quicker way to get wasted than Fireball.

Last week, a Chinese woman spent an entire week in KFC after she was dumped by her boyfriend. Apparently he didn’t want to “double down” on their relationship. (Sorry.)

Midterm elections take place next Tuesday, so please, don’t forget, if Rob Ford can get elected, anyone can. I’m talking to you, Clay Aiken.

Twitter Tuesdays 10/28/14

My tweet of the week goes to struggling up and coming comedian, John Mulaney! (I’m realizing now, some of you don’t know me, so, yes, I’m kidding.) Just as a refresher for the structure of Tuesday posts–I’m taking my favorite tweet of the week and writing an essay or sketch or anything creative and fictional based on the tweet. Here we go!

 

She was really excited and was getting ready for her date–he was supposed to be a super nice guy according to all the Google searches she had done as well as his general demeanor in their text conversations. They’d never met in person, because this is 2014, dammit, and no one ever meets another person in real life and especially one that they’d potentially want to date. It was 8:03, he was supposed to pick her up at 8, but given traffic and nerves, she thought she’d give him a ten minute window. Thinking about it, though, how weird was it that a guy actually wanted to pick her up? They live in a giant city and they also live kinda far from each other. It’s not every day that you hear about people actually being picked up for dates. Mostly people just meet up somewhere and hope to god they’re not the first person there.

Hmm, now she was wondering about how people used to date in the old days. It was pretty normal back then to get picked up from your date, and also, it seemed to be really clear what was and what was not a date in the olden days. Now, you’re lucky if a guy even says the words “I like you” because he’s mostly too busy saying you look great or you’re not like other girls he’s met and pretty much, in general, avoiding the topic of any kind of feelings. Also, she hadn’t been asked out really, but she had been asked to hang out more times than she could count in her life–was that one date with her friend in high school a date? GOOD GOD, LOVE IS SO CONFUSING. Or, no, I’m sorry, not love, but something resembling a fondness for one another.

She started thinking about arranged marriages then. How weird that in other countries, girls and guys were being set up by their parents and they hadn’t met and maybe they would hate each other, but no matter what they really thought of each other, they were about to get married and they had no option of getting divorced and good god why was she still thinking about this?! It did seem a little bit easier, though. The whole arranged marriage thing. Then she wouldn’t be waiting for this guy, and oh, god, now it’s 8:07, and maybe if someone had arranged her marriage, this whole stressful situation could have been avoided.

It’s just dinner, though, she thought. And if nothing else, she’ll most likely get a free drink and a free meal out of this. But if she could choose, uh, yeah, she’d definitely want a free drink and meal with her best friend–who was conveniently in a movie right now, so she couldn’t text her and tell her how much she was freaking out about this. Ugh, now she was super worried about small talk. “Where are you originally from? What do you do for a living? How many siblings do you have? What do you like to do for fun? If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead who would it be?” QUITE HONESTLY IF THIS MAN DOESN’T GET THAT I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT BOTH THOSE QUESTIONS AND THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS, THEN HE DOESN’T GET ME AT ALL.

Okay, now it’s 8:09 and she just saw his headlights pull up to the curb and she’s sufficiently freaked out and definitely doesn’t want to die alone. But she also would like to be found sooner than 72 hours following her death, so she grabs her excessively expensive purse, flips her hair, and goes to meet this guy who will either be her husband or her ex-boyfriend.

Monologue Mondays 10/27/2014

The top story of the week, and perhaps the whole year, has to be that Taylor Swift released her new album today. It’s titled “1989” and her fans all over the world are wondering if even their parents are old enough to remember that year. What’s also crazy about the album, though, is that it is Taylor’s first official pop album. Most of the midwest, however, had been considering her Diet Coke commercials her “pop” albums, so an entire section of the country thinks this is actually her seventeenth pop album.

Just when we thought the Ebola scare was winding down, a doctor in New York City was diagnosed with Ebola. Just the night before he was diagnosed, though, he went bowling–so remember, kids, bring socks to wear with your rented bowling shoes! A nurse from New Jersey, however, is very upset she has recently been quarantined following her trip to West Africa and even stated that she felt her “basic human rights have been violated”. That very well may be, but when finding out that being quarantined meant you got to stay at home all day, have food brought to you, and you never had to change out of your pajamas, millions of Americans are now reportedly “not so scared about this whole Ebola thing”.

Benedict Cumberbatch made the headlines again this week with reports that he may be playing Doctor Strange in an upcoming Marvel Comics film. It’s still unclear if he’s accepted the role, but it’s also still unclear how and why we’re accepting “Benedict Cumberbatch” as a real and legitimate name.

Unbelievably, and this is absolutely true, we would not lie to you, Rob Ford has been elected to the Toronto City Council. We’re pretty sure, though, that he just heard the first syllable of “council”, thought he heard “cocaine”, and instantly signed up for anything at all. Ironically, his brother, Doug Ford, lost in the vote for Toronto’s mayor. It seems like the world finally has a glimpse into what the Ford household was like for them as a child–Rob constantly seeking attention and getting it, and Doug, being a normal, wonderful person, but losing every single time.

The new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer premiered this week. The movie does not release until May 15, 2015, but ever since the Ice Bucket Challenge ended, the world needed something else to infect their Facebook news feeds, so Marvel felt like they could fill that void. The trailer features of young boy singing “I’ve Got No Strings” from Disney’s Pinocchio. An odd choice, some might say, but, yeah, absolutely it’s an incredibly odd choice.

We’re five games into the World Series with the San Francisco Giants leading the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in the series. The matchup has been much more competitive than anyone seems to have predicted, but honestly, Kansas City is just thankful Americans are remembering they exist as a city.

And finally tonight, TLC has cancelled “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” following claims that Mama June is now dating a known sex offender. TLC still seems fine, though, with “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” despite claims that the show is absolutely terrible and should definitely not be on the air.

Funny Fridays 10/24/14

This weekend at my alma mater is Fall Follies–the comedy sketch show I’ve had the pleasure of writing and directing for. But, I graduated, so it’s not mine anymore. I left it in the incredibly capable hands of my only friend who I have told is funnier than me. We went through a phase of simply telling each other we liked each other’s work for like a solid month. It was weird and true and so college in every way. I got real sad today for a couple of reasons–one, I know the show is going to be amazing in a way I never could have made it. I was too busy when I directed and I did the best I possibly could, so I’m proud of that, but this year they had more organization and didn’t have to deal with some stuff that I had to deal with so obviously I got jealous. And two, I can’t be there to see the show. I can’t see how my hard work, which is exactly what it was, allowed this year’s show to be even bigger and better than before, which it should be.

 

One of the times I laughed harder than ever before, though, was watching the final show one year ago, on a brisk Saturday night. I was sitting in the front row with my parents beaming on my left because they were proud of me for what I’d done, but I also think they were proud because I was so clearly proud of what I’d done. We got to a point in the show where a sketch that honestly had not been going well was up and I was a little nervous. Of course, I had a smile plastered on my face, but the corners of my mouth began to move in a bit, anxious for how this was going to go. All the boys were in this sketch including my best friend. It was a football practice scene and basically there was a coach yelling at four guys who were the opposite of athletic. Good ole Collier, the true all-American boy was playing the coach and he was giving. Quite honestly living his truth in being a football coach. My best friend was up there being a measly hipster and when Collier went off script and yelled at him to sit down, I’ve literally never howled with laughter more because Brandon sat down. They were in it like never before and instantly, they all heard me laughing, then they all started laughing. You know when Stefon breaks on SNL and you lose your shit because there is something so funny about the fact that these actors cannot even get through a scene without laughing because it’s just so funny. The sketch went on at least an extra three minutes because they would stop laughing and then I would start laughing even louder and it became a vicious, vicious cycle. It’s still one of my favorite memories of all time.

Brand and I were texting and wallowing about the fact that college is over and we don’t get to do Follies anymore and we’re jealous and sad about this year. We both remembered that sketch, though, and I said no one can take that away from us. And it’s true.

Nothing better in the whole world than a hearty laugh that you’ll never be able to forget.

Thoughtful Thursdays: Facebook

I hate Facebook. THERE I SAID IT. It is dumb and just makes me angry every single time I go on it (which is about 100 times a day). I am a millennial and therefore have a need to get any type of news constantly throughout the day. If my phone doesn’t buzz for any reason for more than 20 minutes, it’s concerning to me. I’m sure my parents could further explain how much data and texting and general phone use I waste based on the monthly bill that goes directly to their house. (Yes, I’m also a spoiled brat who doesn’t yet pay for her own phone bill. Obviously I’m not proud of this, but I’m 22, there are much bigger issues I need to be dealing with at the moment.)

Since I joined Facebook in 2006, heading into my freshman year of high school, there has not been a single day that has gone by that I don’t see a plea for prayer or someone complaining about something or sharing good news or bad news or sharing good jokes or bad jokes. Look, I respect the idea that Facebook is a platform to share life events and news stories and all the things I mentioned above, but why is it? When Facebook was created, it was just for college students, as a way to expand their social circle. You even had to have a college email address to even sign up for the site. I mean, I may have misunderstood it when I was signing up, but I was pretty sure it was just a different way to get in contact with your friends and post photos and have a good time.

 

When did it become about sharing the most intimate details of your life? I’ll admit, I may not be the person to ask. Even most of my best friends don’t know the most intimate details of my life. I tell people very, very little about my life. That’s my choice. I always thought sharing the intricacies of my life would be for one person in the whole world, so sue me. I have shared some things on Facebook, like things I think are funny, or creative projects I’ve worked on, or stuff like that. I have maybe twice in my life shared things that have really, truly impacted my life or my own personal feelings about things.

My friends from high school and I text every day about another classmate who has done something weird and posted it on Facebook. My best friends from college and I text every day about the exact same thing, but with different classmates. Obviously this is not how the site is meant to be used, but come on, you’re posting stupid things on Facebook, we’re going to have to discuss it.

 

Here’s a wild idea: share the things that you think people would like. Share the things that bring a smile to someone’s face. Stop asking for attention. I guess that’s my real, main issue with Facebook. There’s no way you can post anything at all without desperately asking for attention. That’s just how it’s set up. Maybe if instead of asking for attention, we actually gave attention to things that mattered.

Maybe I’m alone in asking for this. Most definitely I should get off of Facebook if it bothers me this much, but, as I said before, I’M A MILLENNIAL, I CRAVE INFORMATION. Until I actually grow up and don’t let these things bother me, I’ll continue writing blog posts about it, as is required of my age group.

Weekend Update Wednesday 10/22/14

Earlier this week, Taylor Swift accidentally released a song titled “Track 3” that was 8 seconds long and only played the sound of white noise. It quickly became the number one selling song in Canada and the most critically acclaimed song in her catalogue to date.

This week, SNL writer Leslie Jones was promoted to official cast member for the show. She was now also officially promoted to third in line to play Oprah behind Kenan and any other man of any other race.

Halloween is celebrated this weekend and when asked how excited he is about the holiday he is, Apparently Kid said, “Well, apparently, my parents are fundamental Christians, so, apparently, they’ll only let me go to church on Halloween, apparently.”

Renee Zellweger’s new look came under fire this week after she attended a charity event with a seemingly new face. When asked if she had a response, she just made a surprised face, which we are now being told is her only face from now on.

Well, we’re in our third week here of the ebola outbreak in the United States. According to Fox News, we are all currently dead and ebola is now our ruler.

British pop group of the late 90s, S Club 7, recently announced they will reunite for a charity event later this year and every girl, ages 20-26, FREAKED THE F OUT.

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL, was cut from the Dallas Cowboys practice squad earlier this week. While he’s upset he got cut from the squad, he’s even more upset that the press WON’T STOP PUBLICIZING HIS FAULTS.

Halloween is just around the corner and surprisingly all the Frozen troll costumes are left on the shelf. Also still available for purchase are Nemo’s weird incontinent squid friend, and the hyena that wasn’t voiced by Whoopi Goldberg.

Pumpkin season is in full swing now according to females ages 11-24 and 43-52. Men, on the other hand, are celebrating “awkward pumpkin patch pictures” season by giving dead eyes in every photograph taken.

Earlier this month, Joe and Teresa Giudice of Real Housewives fame were convicted and both sentenced to time in federal prison. While, of course, this will be hard on their marriage and their children, prison tables seem to be taking the news the hardest.

Earlier this month, Joe and Teresa Giudice were sentenced to time in federal prison and when asked how she felt about it, Teresa just said that she was “very excited to finally get the opportunity to study yoga under Yoga Jones”. Joe could not be reached for comment.

Kim Kardashian celebrated her 34th birthday earlier this week, also known as her 8th anniversary as a born again fame whore.

Bruce Jenner is reportedly dating the long time friend of his separated wife Kris Jenner. Kris would be offended, but she’s still processing Bruce’s face lift.

Stephen Collins has recently been accused of sexual abuse. The former 7th Heaven pastor simply responded, “I’m a method actor”, but even Daniel Day Lewis was like, “Woah, man, cool it, Rev”.