Irish drink culture..

Reading a friend’s Bebo page today I noticed she had listed in her ‘hates’ drink culture and the discussion of it. She has mentioned this topic on numerous occasions, but seeing it declared for all to see on a social networking site (*deep intake of breath*) made me ponder it for a moment or two. And then of course I decided to blog about it.

It’s pretty clear that as a nation we are obsessed with alcohol. No one will even attempt to deny that. It’s not really possible to go out for a night without having a drink, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. It’s hardly a crime for people to want to go out and enjoy themselves, and if a drink or two helps, then why not? I remember talking to someone (a little) older and wiser about this once, and they told me that, as in their case, alcohol is good if it’s a behaviour improver. Grammatically that makes no sense, but you know what I mean. He said to me that a few drinks to help a person socialise and reduce their inhibitions isn’t a problem, but if people know they become violent when they drink, well then obviously they should stay away from it.
So I thought about this, and did some research! By research I mean getting “locked” myself before I had any intention of writing a blog on the topic, but I may as well put the experience to good use. I’m not a regular drinker. But if it was easier for me to get away with drinking, the irregularity would be sure to disappear. Underage drinking is another topic altogether, best left to someone not as biased as me.
So anyway, we got our hands on a 20 pack of Miller and a “naggin” of vodka. I’m going to clarify at this point that I do not use the word “naggin” in everyday speech. To summarise events, we got drunk. Three 17-year-olds and three 16-year-olds. One male. Five female. The night’s happenings have led me to conclude that:
1. Teenagers can drink in a sensible fashion. We spent the night in a friend’s house whose parents were away, not out in a field. We even had some pizza with it. Although I was forbidden from going near the oven after a certain point.
2. Even the smallest amount of alcohol can affect a person.
3. Despite the fact that I am a good girl, I ended up becoming quite violent towards one of my best friends after a misunderstanding over a boy.
4. It can fuck stuff up. Emotions, relationships, breakable items, your head.
5. Drinking two litres of water before you go to bed is the best thing in the whole world. FACT.
I’ve gone a bit off the point here, but back to drink culture. What we did last Friday night was fun. It was one of the best weekends in a while, and a major factor in my enjoyment of it was alcohol. I’m not a shy person, but drink makes me lose any inhibitions that might be holding me back. Some may think that’s bad, but life’s short; do what you really want to do.
Social networking and drink are inextricably linked. A quick nose around Bebo or Facebook on a Sunday afternoon will reveal plenty of comments with the words “locked”, “plastered” and “out of it” featuring prominently. In the middle of a recession, is it so bad that people want to show the world it ain’t all that bad? And taking a few pictures and putting them on your profile won’t do anyone too much harm either. Social networks are just a popularity contest. A place to shout out to the world “Look at my life. I’m having so much fun.” Posting photos of nights out is an integral part of that. Of course we’re trying to look cool. Of course we’re trying to show all our peers we have as good a time as them. But we’re supposed to. It’s why Facebook exists. Did you seriously think it was actually to keep in contact with friends and family abroad?!
We’re Irish. We drink. Get over it.

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