The Dichotomy of Drinking in Cities

LUSH: one who becomes intoxicated after a few drinks and flirts with everyone.

When I was 21-years-old and living in Connecticut, my boyfriend at the time called me an alcoholic due to my lush weekend warrior status. My best friend and I would shed our nine-to-five personas and catapult caution to the wind by venturing to bars and clubs and drinking till we blacked-out. This was par for any female of a particular age living in the overrun WASP area of Fairfield County. We were practicing for our future occupations of Drunk Housewives.

Everyday said boyfriend would come home after work and drink two or three beers. He never became heavily intoxicated or out of control drunk but I couldn’t help but be annoyed at his accusation. I didn’t drink everyday. Alcoholics drank everyday. I just had a good time on the weekends. A pot-kettle idiom seemed an appropriate fit.

ALCOHOLIC: a person who thoroughly enjoys alcohol.

Los Angeles, like most major cities, has the party routine on lockdown. Every night is Saturday night in Hollywood with clubs and cocktails. Westside lunches with friends involve wine. Head downtown for pitchers of beers before the Clipper game. And it’s practically customary to have a drink with your meal whether it’s Chardonnay with dinner or bottomless Bloody Marys with breakfast. There was never an occasion not to drink.

RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC: a person who had way too much fun.

After four years in Los Angeles this kettle has become the pot. I had started drinking everyday. If it wasn’t a social event like seeing a friend’s band or celebrating yet another birthday, I would come home to a whiskey on the rocks after work to relax.

Drinking is easy. Not drinking is impossible.

I tried to go out and remain sober but when your friends are bartenders and rounds are on the house it is hard to say, “Just a cranberry juice.”

“Are you pregnant?” Was the first response.

Additionally I hadn’t factored in that alcohol, the process of buying a drink, was how guys approach me. The “No, thanks. I’m not drinking.” sounded like I was brushing them off. Come back. You’re cute.

My friends bombarded me with shocked and disappointed expressions. I told them that I was an alcoholic and I could no longer control my drinking. That was it. That was the line. OOoooooohhhh.

You are either drinking or recovering. And so are your friends.

When you stop drinking but your friends still do, prepare for a social taper or the permanent title of Designated Driver. People don’t like to drink in front of non-drinkers. And sober people are annoying when you are drunk. If I, if I want to, want to jump into the roof from the pool that’s MY bizy… businnee… That’s my choice.

Being sober is kind of fun. Watching your girl friend cry into her drive-thru French fries in your passenger seat as you drive her home is really funny. You can tell her the truth and she won’t remember it the next day.

But as entertaining as it might be to tease drunks while dry, it’s not for me. I rather be the alcoholic with the stories than the recovered addict with a clean record. Cheers.

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