Drinking And Society

Drinking And Society

I haven’t had a drink in … I don’t know. The last time I instagrammed a glass of wine was 8 weeks ago, so maybe 8 weeks?


Even from my non-skilled-in-rehabilitation place in the world, I can appreciate how empowering it must be for alcoholics to know when their last drink was. But when people who aren’t alcoholics count how long it has been since their last drink, it seems strange to me.


Drinking And Society


Is it just an equivalent of a diet fad? A way of saying “I’m on day 3 of [insert fad diet here]”. Is it offensive to those who have a real struggle with alcohol?


I don’t like drinking around people. There was a group of friends (friends of friends, really) once who were always “OMG DRINK” so I just used to tell them I didn’t drink alcohol. If I want to drink, I will, but not because you think it’s the only way to have fun. I’m a stubborn pain in the ass.


Some people, like the friends of friends above, have trouble accepting if you say no to a drink. Or, annoyingly, ask if you’re pregnant. How about just accepting a no? I’m not pregnant. I’m not on antibiotics. I’m an atheist, so it’s not against my region to drink. I just might not want to have a drink. That’s all.


Frankly, I use situations like that to filter out people who I don’t want to be friends with.


I recently read an article by an anthropologist who did a comparative study on alcohol in Australia. It fits in well with my own personal observations of alcohol in Australia and overseas. FYI: The entire research is linked to from that page. I haven’t had a chance to read all 99 pages though.


No one has told me I can’t drink at the moment. I am not drinking as a matter of personal choice and that I have been struggling health-wise for basically all of 2015 so far. It just sits well with me that I choose not to drink right now.


How do you view alcohol and society? Have you ever noticed different attitudes overseas towards alcohol? 


4 Replies to “Drinking And Society”

  1. WOW i loved reading this! So interesting. I am not a big drinker and if out with friends i may have one or two max just for the social side of it but all in all i am happy to go long periods without having a drink.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I find it also makes it awkward when a doctor asks how much I drink….because it comes and goes!

  2. I come from a family where if you don’t drink on social occasions, it’ll get noticed but nobody will pressure you about it. That’s how pregnancy rumours start! I enjoy a glass of wine or a nice scotch every now and again but to be honest I really don’t care for it most of the time. Even at events where the free drink is flowing (ie weddings) I don’t like getting shitfaced.
    I think Australian society has a big drink problem – you only have to look at the mess the “entertainment districts” are on the weekends to see it. I wish people didn’t enjoy drinking to excess as much!
    I think in Europe they have a much better attitude – kids are legally allowed to drink much earlier, and from a young age they are included in table wine and/or aperitifs like schapps. They learn from their family about enjoying drink (with food) in moderation. I’m making sweeping generalizations here but it does seem that they seem to have less of a problem with alcohol-related violence and anti-social behavior than in countries like the US, UK and here.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I was always allowed to try a sip of wine as a kid. And it put me off of drinking entirely until a few years ago really.
      I must say, I felt safer walking through London at night alone than I do in the Valley here in Brisbane. And that’s even with their lock out laws and other bad ideas that we’ve taken on.

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