Sunday, April 10, 2011

BEDA 9: The Golden Kind

I don't know who reads this blog (if anyone does), so I probably shouldn't write about this stuff, but today's BEDA is on a subject that is currently on my mind as I've been drinking (3 pints at the Flying Saucer in honor of Vanessa Loszko's 22nd birthday). That subject is the different kinds of drunkenness. Now, there are plenty of places where you can finds lists/descriptions of different kind of drunks in general, but I'm going to talk about drunkenness as it relates to me.

The first time I ever got drunk I was at Melissa and Luis's apartment. (This was back when they were married. They aren't anymore.) I'd never really had alcohol before, and I was 19 years old. It was near Christmas. I remember distinctly they had their tree set up already in one corner, strung with white lights and pretty ornaments. They had Zimas. If you don't know what a Zima is, it's a type of alcoholic beverage that's what I call a "soda beer." It's a really sweet, fizzy drink that has the tiniest percentage of alcohol in it, but really isn't much of a hard drink at all. It shows you how much of a lightweight I was that I was already gone after only two of them. This was the golden kind of drunk. I remember the room had grown warm and soft. I was relaxed, serene. I stared at the Christmas tree in the corner and thought, "The lights are so very lovely. Why have I never before realized just how lovely they are?"

That's the kind of drunkenness you aim for. It's more akin to "buzzed" or "tipsy" than true drunkenness. But sadly, that's not the only kind I've known.

The January of my Sophomore year at Elon I took a study abroad trip to Ireland. I chose Ireland and this particular class because (a) I was born on St. Patrick's day and felt a kinship to the island nation, and (b) it was a literature class covering Yeats, Joyce and Heaney, all authors I was very keen to learn more about. Here's why all the rest of the people on the trip chose this class: (a) in Ireland the drinking age is 18, and (b) that means you can drink.... a LOT.

I quickly got schooled on way more than Irish literature. It was a course on Irish drinking culture as well, and never being one to shirk my duties as a student, I dove right in.


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