Alcohol and My Family

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 18 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

I was going to email this to my dad, but I’m choosing to write about this in public and I’m not quite sure why. It just feels like the right thing to do.

I wanted to follow up a bit on the comments you had on Saturday. It keeps seeming like a one sided conversation, but only because I don’t know what to say. I hear your stories about alcohol in the family and how our family is particularly susceptible to alcoholism. I think that it is important that you know that I am hearing you and that I am talking what you say to heart.

My first ever experience I ever had with alcohol was when I had a sip of your wine many many years ago at the Boyd’s house. I remember two things: A) not liking it, and B) wondering what the big deal about alcohol in general was. I didn’t have any alcohol after that until last Spring Break when Quinn, Ben, and I went up to Whistler. I tried a lager and a Corona and thought two things: A) this tastes horrible, and B) why would anyone like beer?

The next time I had a alcohol was over the summer when Quinn, Staples, Ben, Kelly, and I went back up to Canada. I had a shot of vodka, a shot of vodka mixed with a can of Doctor Pepper and around three Mike’s Hard Lemonade’s. That was the first (and thus far) only time I was actually drunk. It was interesting though. The vodka was like cleaning fluid and I highly doubt I would ever consume straight vodka again. The vodka and DP was bit easier to handle, but I still could taste the vodka. The Mike’s better and I liked that. The most interesting part was actually getting drunk and for me, it was almost like a science experiment. It was interesting to see the effect that alcohol had on my body and the way my memory and other functions were affected.

After that, we went to a party at Ryan’s house some weeks after school started and I had a vodka/Mountain Dew mix, although a little much on the vodka side, so I didn’t have much. There was another party and I tried a Keystone or something like that and literally held the can in my hand for two hours and only sipped it three times. I definitely didn’t like beer. And that brings me to Friday. We were at Dave’s house and I had a Mike’s again, just one though.

There are a couple of points that I want to make. First, the environment at Mines, I think, is different. While I was at Dave’s, Mike was asleep on the couch. I don’t know if he was drinking or not, but Dave had me check on him to make sure that he was still breathing. People at Mines are of the analytical type. They understand that alcohol is not just a drink that is fun, but also the effects it has on the brain and what the consequences are. It’s not “alcohol”, it’s “alcohol, and this can kill you”.

Second, while I won’t say that I’m immune to peer pressure, I do realize what it is and I feel comfortable saying, “Nah, I’m good.” While I haven’t been in a position where someone has badgered me to drink, I feel confident that I can handle it.

Third, I’ve seen what alcohol can do to someone. There was an incident last semester with the guy across from my room. It involved alcohol, fingers, butts, and not his girl friend. And then there was Eric. I’ve also seen plenty of people on The Ave who’ve waster their lives on alcohol. I know what I want and being homeless on The Ave isn’t anywhere on the list.

And forth, I don’t like beer. I don’t know why, and in all honesty I try to thank God every day that I don’t. People say, “You just gotta drink it and you’ll start to like it.” This may or may not be true, but I don’t plan on finding out.