I am on my way home from a party. I did not expect it to be a party per se since I showed up almost exclusively for some help with calculus (there was also the “i need u” text messages, but that’s another story entirely).
It is not my first time to be at such gatherings, yet it was my first time making a few connections which I would like to write down before I forget them. Perhaps such ideas are painfully obvious to more enthusiastic party-goers; I will outline them in case that assertion is false as well as for the rest of us.
This post is written in a slightly “intellectualist” way which may come off as pretentious. I for one am pretentious though I do not try to show it off in any written form more public than text messages. Secondly, I write this while trying to remove myself from social spheres to provide a specific style of a narrative, which is not to say that I am not part of that narrative myself.
Part and Parcel
There is no doubt in my mind that it is absolutely obvious what alcohol is for in social settings – loosen up, have some fun, yada yada. It is plainly put, a catalyst for human interaction which works by removing (or reducing) the necessary level of perceived enjoyment in order to make the entire atmosphere relaxed, fun and generally enjoyable.
There is however, the part of alcohol where people do things they normally don’t, and this is what I want to explore.
“I was drunk” is a common trope of an excuse in TV dramas where someone did something they shouldn’t have. It is also a thing that I see present in real peoples’ lives – I would argue the TV makes people believe that it is a proper excuse.
There is another case when TV Dramas bring in the spirit water: the truth comes out. People do not expect drunk people to lie and thus what drunk people say about themselves is believed. What a great plot twist on TV!
Back to reality
At the party, there was a girl who definitely drank more than she should have. She was nice, fun, yet she smelled of trouble to me. Towards the end of the night, she was near a friend who just recently fought with and was laughing and making fun of the idea that people think she is okay. She was many things, but not bold. Declaring her troubles to the world like that was not something she would have done without the alcohol, but not just because of the “filter” being removed. I put forward the idea that she said it after drinking a bit too much specifically so she could let her friends know that she is having trouble with life without necessarily going into a discussion anymore profound that she would have wanted as well as being able to brush it off later on if it would no longer fit her narrative. It was as if she cued her night directly from TV Dramas to play that girl that drank too much and said too much. She reduced drinking, to a stereotype.
My assertion is not that drunkness is a social construct, my assertion is that is it’s only partially one. How people act when drunk is made up of 2 components: the physiological impact of alcohol, and the interpretation of the socially-propogated stereotype. In the same breath, drunkness is not necessarily a net negative from a pragmatic stand-point as it allows an excuse when you want to do something that you don’t want to hold full accountability for such as saying how you really feel. We as a society have elected to uphold this either because it is a useful loop-hole anybody may need at any point in their lives.