No January would be complete without a government booze warning. It will come as no surprise to you to hear then, that we are all drinking far too much and should cut our alcohol consumption once again – which dovetails in perfectly with Dry January.
Urgg. Such fun.
I love a drink. And anyone who knows me, will know that, despite being (reluctantly) able to go for periods of time off the sauce, I find that a chilled Sancerre, an aromatic Shiraz or cheeky martini goes towards making life a lot more pleasurable. It takes the edge of a day, makes social events more bearable and, to quote Oscar Wilde, other people more interesting.
My parents, although not particularly heavy drinkers, were consistent ‘middle-class’ drinkers. A bottle of wine open by 6pm daily and never an evening meal without something alcohol to accompany it with.
Wine is something I’ve grown up with as the norm, a part of everyday life.
And, as a consequence or otherwise, I’m a regular drinker myself.
Does it rule my life? Not at all. But I do bloody love it, and prefer social events significantly more when there is a bottle of plonk on the go. I’m also becoming increasingly frustrated at being told what I should or shouldn’t be drinking.
People making assumptions about my will power and choices because I enjoy a glass of wine – not least of all in January.
There is something I find intoxicating about people brazenly smoking away in broad daylight, (don’t they know what they’re doing to their lungs!) drinking a can of coke at 9am (so much sugar!) or with a pint in their hand at the beginning of the year (but it’s JANUARY!) simple things that used to be par for the course but have become ‘anti-social’.
In a world where we are turning into automated minions, guzzling over-priced superfoods because they are the latest consumable ‘must-haves’ or banishing booze because it’s the first month of the year, it’s refreshing to see people sticking two fingers up at what they should be doing, ignoring the health warnings, disappointing the wellbeing hashtagers, and just unadulteratedly enjoying something.
I’ll hold my hands up and admit I’ve packed in the cigs, but I’d rather eat my own liver than ‘do’ dry January – it’s so cliché and no better than a January diet. Just one more thing people are told to do in order to ‘improve’ themselves, which nine times out of ten leads to failure, disappointment and consequential guilt.
Don’t we have enough of that shit in our lives? and since when did we become obedient children towing the lifestyle line to order?
Sure, give your liver a rest, but do you really need to tell everyone on earth about it. Turning a bit of a break from booze into an attention-seeking self-congratulatory campaign, and create problems where there aren’t any – turning drinking into a gauge of someones self-discipline or control.
You can’t open a magazine these days without a 21-year-old ‘celebrity’ sharing the trauma of her alcoholism. Wtf? Most people of my generation have drunk more at a festival than most of these teenage ‘alcoholics’ have in their life time and managed to survive without rehab.
A few heavy nights on the lash does not a drink problem make.
But sobriety is on-trend, it’s the thing ‘to do’ not least of all at this time of year and it’s all become so painfully earnest. A competition to be the most virtuous and clean living, and make sure *everybody* on social media knows about it.
And just one more thing in the long line of things we should be doing.
So tonight I’ll ignore the government warnings and pour myself a large glass.
The thing that I love most about Dry January?
Man, wine tastes even sweeter when you shouldn’t be drinking it.