Monday, September 30, 2013
WHY YOU THINK I MIGHT BE DRUNK
I recently attended a neighborhood block party and had a really good time…such a good time that I ended up out in the street until midnight, after visiting and chatting with a group of people who live, for all intents and purposes, RIGHT NEXT DOOR as if I hadn’t seen them in years and would not have a chance to see them again anytime soon. The reason we had so much to say to each other was that many of them were drunk. Ordinarily I am lucky to get more than a hello wave.
Make no mistake, these are good people. NICE people. People who, when the occasion arises, are extremely helpful and neighborly. But they are not my friends. I don’t kid myself about that. They don’t call to share their latest trials or triumphs and probably would never mention them unless asked a direct question. They have their own people, their own confidants, their own world and I am a very peripheral part of it. So this is where alcohol comes in. This block party is my one opportunity a year to have actual, honest conversations to determine if there is even the remote possibility that any of them could ever become real friends. Alcohol loosens them up, puts them in a good mood and hey, we are all already standing in the street, so we may as well chat.So what does this have to do with ME being drunk? Nothing, except…this party made me realize that I act on a daily basis the way most people act only when they are drunk. For example: drunk people are loud. I’M LOUD. Almost all of the time, unless I am in a library or at a funeral or something. So volume is an indicator that might lead you to suspect I enjoyed a glass of chardonnay before attending the back to school picnic. At 10:30. On a Tuesday. I can see how it might be a little off-putting.
Another thing: drunk people are aggressive. I’M AGGRESSIVE. Not like I’m going to punch you in the face but the LOUD thing goes hand in hand with a teensy bit of overbearing presentation of opinions, emotions and even just facts. If you are not holding up your end of the conversation, I will bulldoze right in and hold up both sides, just like a drunk person. I will approach you with confidence, even if we barely know each other, just like a drunk person. I will ask highly personal questions and kind of put you on the spot about answering them, just like a drunk person. I will overshare, just like a…well you get it.There are all kinds of things that drunk people do that you will not catch a sober person doing unless they have been diagnosed with Tourette’s or have recently suffered a brain hemorrhage, like using inappropriate profanity, yammering on and on about a micro-subject no one else has any interest in or talking in non-sequiturs. I DO ALL OF THESE THINGS. So you can see how having the people that I am speaking with actually be drunk substantially greases the wheels of our conversation. It is amazing how the exact same phrase that gets me shamed at a book club meeting is greeted with roars of approval when spoken to drunken people. On a related topic, I have introduced the idea of having wine at my book club meetings.
In short, you might think I am drunk when I am in fact not. But most of the time I wish you were! We would get along so much better then, don’t you think?