I didn’t have to work far through Rosie Millard’s article in Saturday’s i (The Independent’s weekend paper) before I came across the hackneyed term ‘party pooper’ in relation to the new alcohol advice. Because of course you must be boring if, like me, you don’t drink and worse than boring if you suggest limits on people poisoning themselves on a regular basis.
Trust me – it’s drinkers who can bore you to tears. Forget the cherished urban myth. Unbelievably, mind numbingly, tediously, deadly dull is an evening with someone who needs alcohol to grow a personality. I don’t get paid for my blog but this teetotaller would be embarrassed to write something as asinine as Ms Millard’s Saturday article.
Through my 20s 30s and 40s I tired of the adults who (wile regarding themselves as whacky – good time party people) clearly could not handle the fact that I could enjoy myself without alcohol.
Now we’ve had the no-safe-level message from the people who reckon they know but who will probably be telling us something different next month. Surely the least we could hope for would newspaper articles a little less – boring - predictable.
The usual reactionary guff was trotted out and not just by RM – I simply use that as a fine example. You know the type of thing – you can live on water and lentils then get hit by a bus... Yeah – ok. Tell that to the staff in A&E on a Saturday night dealing with the body and or social breakages due to alcohol misuse.
Maybe the article was especially petulant because one of the target groups for the new information is the chattering class chugging a bottle a night. Yes – oh my goodness. The humous-eating, jogging, desperately networking, Waitrose-shopping, Boden-wearing, little-bit-of-work-on-the-face suburban comfies. Lordy.
Recently a friend told me that her son’s student bar job entailed him wandering round a club with a tray of vodka PRETENDING to be drunk and PRETENDING to be having a really really good time. The aim? To induce other youngsters to acquire the drink habit. This was his ‘job’. I’ve no doubt that those who are successfully brainwashed will, like Rosie Millard, regard people like me as ‘party poopers’ if they make it to middle age still able to enjoy life.
There are lots of things that may reduce your lifespan. I was surprised to hear that even watching television has been calculated in life shortening terms. As I haven’t had a T.V in over fifteen years (why would anyone living outside London pay a licence fee?) I’m unmoved by that stat either. However, while some things MAY shorten our lives/damage our health, there are very few that we know WILL. Regular and/or excessive alcohol being one.
And while I abhor the fashion of fat-shaming (usually by men aimed at women – no surprise there) I’d be less averse to drunk shaming. I’d enjoy watching some brave soul lambasting the groups, drunk at 11am on the train en route to their hen/stag dos and discussing, in detail, their sexual preferences at the top of their boorish, screechy, alcohol amplified voices.
Yes it’s true that simply living shortens your life. I do not dwell on the ever changing proclamations from those who appoint themselves to tell the rest of us how to live. However, I am sick of drinkers doing that to me. The husband of a friend spent literally years trying to persuade me to take an alcoholic drink whenever I went to their house. I never once tried to persuade him not to drink...
I was married to a drinker (not an alcoholic) and the bad times due to alcohol that could have been good times were countless (check out my latest book). Am I the party pooper? I don’t think so. Others may disagree but at least I can remember the fun I’ve had.