Thursday, 21 February 2008

Dear Jarryd

I’ve decided to write an open letter in response to an article written by a yr 12 VCE student in the Education section of The Age, Monday 18th, about his decision not to drink [alcohol] at parties.

I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to read your article in Monday’s The Age about your pledge to stay sober in the face of drunken party scenes. I may be the only other person in Australia (or so it would seem) who is not only in the same situation, but understands your decision.

I’m not a party girl, I’m a nerd, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to let my hair down every once in a while. I enjoy going out with my friends or to a party, but I’ll chose lemonade over a lager any day. It’s not (as many might believe) because I’m 17, and therefore underage. It’s because I’d rather have fun and be in control – of myself. I want to be able to have a good time without compromising my ability to think and act responsibly; I want to be able to go to bed at the end of the night, not lie passed out somewhere or in a puddle of my own vomit; but most of all, I want to be able to remember the fun I’ve had with my friends, and not just be told about it the next morning.

I agree most with your statement that “I can cool without a stubbie in both hands.” Some may ask, what’s the point in going to a party if you’re not going to drink? How do you have fun? My answer is this: I do what everyone else does – talk, dance, meet new people, flirt, catch someone’s eye and make out with them if I chose to – all of which can be immensely enjoyable without being drunk.

A drink probably would loosen me up – I’m a shy girl, particularly around people I don’t know – but I’ve tasted beer and champagne, and there’s no attraction to the taste. I also have no desire to drink myself silly in order to have a good time or relax. There are consequences to drinking in excess, a syndrome I call “regret and forget,” whereby a drunken person becomes involved in circumstances their better judgment wouldn’t allow in sober hours, and/or cannot recall the night’s events.

There are also two worrying issues that tend to go wrong with drink; sex and driving. I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I can be taken advantage of, or where caution or refusal on my part becomes recklessness. Driving under the influence has much more devastating consequences, and not just for oneself.

I’ve promised a good friend that she can get me smashed for the first time – just not on a regular basis.

So in the meantime, I’ll abstain, look after my friends, drive them home and be able to remember it all in the morning with a smile on my face. Here’s a non-alcoholic toast to being sober!

Just a girl


du'loque said...

I was going to type something pessimistic here, but I won't! It was a very mature moment without precedent.

Anyways, while I wholeheartedly endorse your decision, I can't help but wonder how long it will last. Especially since you're going to allow a friend to get you drunk, "just once."

Lastly, your friend's blog title is really catchy and stuck in my head to the tune of a Regina Spektor song. So, yeah, kudos to her on that.

Dancing Feet said...

I respect you decision not to drink but it seems that you have a slightly jaded view of drinking. I get the impression from what you said that somehow you've got it that if you have a drink you'll somehow end in a puddle of vomit. You don't have to drink so much that that happens. Maybe you were just using hyperbole. I enjoy a few beers because it loosens you up and gives you a bit of artificial confidence which for someone like me makes it easier to have fun.

Just a girl said...

jdl: yes, but I'm only going to let Gemini get me drunk when I'm ready; she's tried many times (the formal, the 18th...) but to no avail. And trust me, I'm a conservative type of girl; I'm not Paris Hilton.
You mean Bars from Mars? It's a line from a poem she wrote:
How did you escape
Adolescent bars
Men from mars
And arrive in top condition?

Pretty cool, huh?

Thanks, Dancing Feet, but I was most definately using a hyperbole. I know lots of people can drink and have fun; I just don't think I need to drink to have fun at this stage. Then again, there are also people who drink too much, which isn't everyone, I know. That's great for you if you know how to drink in moderation; kudos to you!

Just a girl

Kayleigh said...

I totally agree with you. I'm also 17 and abstain from drink. I've seen way too many people I know get so smashed that bad things happen and I've promised myself that won't happen. I'm not a party girl anyway, I'm a total nerd who prefers books to parties. But if I wanted to cut loose, I want to be in control of just how loose I get.