A few days ago RTE aired the final episode of Des Bishop’s series – Under the Influence. Karen, Conor and I briefly featured on it during a sober stint we had at Coppers.
The thing is, I had a great night in the place. We all did. I’ll be the first to admit that I genuinely didn’t expect myself to enjoy Coppers even half as much without a drink in hand. Yes, I am completely aware how sad a reflection this is on my social life. I’m working on it.
I try to limit my alcohol intake on a night out naturally anyway – I’m not normally one who goes out with the intention of solely getting “locked” so I figured I’d be fine on this sober night out. We had all our expenses covered for the night from the show’s producers and they were courteous enough to give us a free bar too…A non-alcoholic free bar of course. But it was this free bar that revealed the strangest revelation of the night and perhaps one which I found most interesting myself. We all had this odd instinctive pull towards the bar. If we weren’t dancing, we were ordering drinks. It was almost an automatic thing and at one stage Conor and I both agreed that we felt like we were physically missing something when we didn’t have a drink in hand. I wasn’t the least bit impressed with myself over it!
Here was I claiming to be a responsible drinker, an activist for the healthy night out and I couldn’t even spent an hour or so without a glass in hand.
It bugs me that I’ve become so used to having alcohol on a night out that my enjoyment is based on it. Coppers certainly wasn’t my first sober night out in Dublin, but it was the first that I didn’t have an excuse for doing so. For a person to stay sober on a night out they either have to be a non-drinker (the rare few), they’ve to have an early class the next day, they’ve to be on antibiotics.. We always have to have an excuse for not drinking. Like it’s an assumed thing – a given that we’ll be having at least one. Or two. Or ten.
I’ve been trying recently to bring back a little bit of control over this.. with myself anyway. I’ve decided I’m going to head out a few nights and not drink just because. No excuse, no reasoning, just to prove to myself that I don’t need drink to have fun. We really shouldn’t have to give reasons for not wanting to drink, it should be a generally accepted thing. Such is Irish college culture I suppose! Well not with me. I’m fixing this.
I’m heading out tonight with Dearbhaile – she’s finally up in Dublin and we’re going to a gig in the Academy. I think we’ll be hitting Workmans after at some stage too. It’ll be an excellent night, not for the drink, not for the drunken bants, not for the shots nor the pints but solely for the company. It’s the start of midterm and I’m ringing it in by drinking responsibly.
I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂