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Everyone should always be drunk

I went to the bar the other day with some friends.  I've been several times before.  I had my first alcoholic drink in July of last year.  Many of my friends couldn't believe that I made it to 28 without ever having a drink.  Anyway, since that time I've only ever had a couple drinks in the same sitting.  I don't like the taste of alcohol, and I really didn't understand why so many people found it to be so appealing.  Until St. Patrick's Day.

I'm going to make myself vulnerable here.  I grew up extremely sheltered--not that my parents specifically made a great effort to shelter us since nearly all of my siblings weren't quite as sheltered as myself.  In fact, even to this day, I still learn some "worldly" things from my brother (who's Mormon).  Being Mormon definitely adds to the isolation from the rest of the world, and living in Utah does too--they really are in a bubble over there.  But, I would say a good deal of it was self-imposed.  At any rate, I found out for the first time this year (yes, I mean 2012--when I was 28 almost 29) that St. Patrick's Day isn't just about wearing green and pinching people.  I found out that it was a big drinking holiday, and that the Irish are known for drinking copious amounts.  Go ahead and laugh.  I don't mind.  I know I'm disconnected from reality--I just found out on Saturday who David Beckham is.  So, when I went to the bar with my friends on St. Patrick's Day this year, this was the first time I realized how most of the country (meaning non-Mormons) views the holiday.

I did not get drunk.  In fact, I only had two drinks.  Now, of course, this particular bar likes to mix their drinks really strong, so I was feeling quite buzzed.  It was a strange experience.  Everything seemed happier.  I remember using the toilet at the bar (not to hurl) and being rather elated at the sensation of flushing it--of course, part of that was the fact that it's one of those really cool European style toilets where the water tank is up at the top of the wall and there's a long pipe down to the bowl.  Anyway, that night was rather enjoyable.

Now, just this last Saturday I went back to the same bar with my friends.  And, again, I only had two drinks.  But they must have been even stronger because I know I was further gone than on St. Patrick's Day.  I had my second drink around 1, and I knew that right then I wouldn't be able to drive safely, so I was glad that there were two hours before the bar closed.  But, having had that experience, I just wanted to say that the world would be a much better place if everyone always felt like I did right after I had that second drink.

I don't know if I was necessarily "drunk".  My speech wasn't slurred.  My vision was pretty clear.  I was lightheaded, and turning my head (even slowly) was quite a phenomenon.  But, I knew what was going on, I still had an idea of what was appropriate and what wasn't.  I didn't do anything that I'm embarrassed about, and as far as I know, none of my friends made fun of anything I did or said.  But, life was easier.  My standard inhibitions were gone.  I talked to people that I had never met before as though we had been friends for a long time.  One guy even invited me to go golfing with him (of course, I declined because I'm no good at it and honestly have no interest in it).  But, I was telling this couple that I had never met (and may not ever see again) that they're such a lovely couple and how lucky he is to be with her, and things like that.  There was one guy that's getting a degree in chemistry here at the same university I attend, and we chatted about grad school while he was waiting for his drinks.  Again, I had never seen him before and he had no idea who I was, but I had no problem talking to him like an old friend.  Normally, I'm really shy.  I'll chat up a storm with someone I know, but it's quite difficult for me to break the ice.

So, I've just been wondering, what would the world be like if everyone always felt like that?  (Okay, not all of that--I'm not actually advocating people go around tipsy all the time, because as I said earlier, I was not fit to drive.)  But, I mean, what if a person saw someone that they liked and just walked up to them and told them--maybe gave their number or asked them out or something?  And how much better would the dating world be if the person being asked didn't have any inhibitions about being honest to such a query?  ("Sure, I'd love to go out with you." and really mean it, or "Thank you so much for asking, that's very sweet of you, but I'm just not interested.")  And everyone would always be friends with everyone else.  You wouldn't have to build up this relationship with them after spending hours upon hours associating with them.  You wouldn't have to see them in the office 25 times before you finally say hello.  You'd just treat everyone like a dear friend all the time.  The world would be so much happier.

I'm actually not encouraging people to drink more alcohol.  In fact, many studies have shown that alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs--at least among all of the substances that we normally think of when we talk about drugs.  (This person even puts it at the top of the list.)  I don't plan to get drunk often.  In fact, I really have no desire to be any more drunk than I was the other day.  I don't think that would be pleasant.  What would be nice, though, is if people loosened up a bit.  Some inhibitions may be good, but I think too often we have too many inhibitions.  We're always second-guessing ourselves, or telling ourselves that we shouldn't do something.  Be afraid of rejection.  All of that nonsense.  The fact of the matter is, we only have this one life, so we should make the most of it.  Go ask out that person you have a crush on.  Make them an afghan or buy them some roses.  Ask your boss for a raise.  Give your employees some time off.  Settle for an A-.  Just be happy.  Love and be loved.

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