Only a small scuffle for a taxi took the shine off an evening of cockails and convo with the girls last night. I’m exaggerating when I take it took the shine off, ‘cos the shine was firmly in place after a gathering of five girls, 15 cocktails, a sharing platter, some main courses and a sprinkling of cheesecake and chocolate brownie. But it has inspired this blog post.
We laughed when my friend, the birthday girl, announced at the dinner table: “I’ve been looking forward to staying out until it’s dark.” Now in our late 20s, early 30s we’re mostly in bed or asleep on the sofa when daylight leaves the sky.
But as a heavily intoxicated girl fell from the top of her four inch heels to the cold concrete of a Milton Keynes pavement, yelling obscenities as we climbed into the pre-booked taxi she’s tried to hijack, I was reminded that night time is when the monsters come out.
As the taxi pulled off we glimpsed back at the high heeled girl struggling to stay on her feet but steady enough to plunge her middle finger clearly in our direction and yell a few unoriginal swear words. I felt embarrassed for her.
And it’s only because I’ve been there, done that and got the T shirt (the whole outfit in fact) in a previous life that I’m able to say this: how unattractive and unsafe it is to get so leathered you’re happy to make a show of yourself in public.
Drink too much, it gets ugly, says the Australian Government and if I’d heard that 10 years ago I’d have raised a hand to my mouth and mocked a yawn. Now, it’s truth rings a huge bell of recognition.
According to this report it is estimated that the cost of alcohol related harm to the NHS in England is £2.7 billion in 2006/07 prices. That’s a lot of money.
The statistics linking alcohol with fatalities, serious injuries, broken homes, and major health problems, don’t make for good reading and it’s easy to catch a glimpse of that when you look around town on a Friday night. When I go out and about on an evening I want my wits about me and that doesn’t involve numbing them vodka.
But what will change? Probably nothing. Getting hammered, waking up with no memory of how you got home (if you even did get home) and spending a morning gripping the toilet bowl isn’t how I want to spend my weekends but I’ve given plenty of them over to just that in a previous life. Perhaps it’s part of growing up. My younger siblings are certainly continuing the tradition.
Am I saying I’ll never get drunk again? Hell no. When the first sip of that Kir Royale touched my lips the stresses and strains of the week wriggled from my shoulders and I eased myself into the weekend. And while three cocktails sounds miniscule my pansy arse self feels a tad jaded this morning. The difference is I don’t want to waste my weekend shaking off a hangover, I don’t want to have grazes on my knees from toppling drunkenly off my heels, I don’t want to have a black hole where my memory should be and I don’t want my friends to hold my hair back while I empty my stomach contents onto the street. I want to know when my mascara is sliding down my face, I want to hold myself upright when I walk, I want to treat people with respect when I talk to them and I want to avoid losing hours to alcohol induced blur.
I’ve reached the point in this blog post where I need to draw some kind of conclusion, but I’m not entirely sure I have one. I had a fab night last night with the girlies and think it’s only experience and hindsight that can turn you from binge drinker to sensible drinker and still have just as much fun.