The winter holidays aren’t over for me yet, I’ve still got a pretty long break ahead, but I have to say I’ve been feeling great this Christmas. One of the reasons for this is that, at last, I’ve started drinking. Sure, it’s just some gin mixed with other drinks so far, but I’m becoming pretty comfortable with the idea of drinking alcoholic beverages. That’s a long way from the way I used to be: not only a non-drinker, but someone who detested the very idea of drinking, because I feared the loss of control that would come with drunkenness. Now, it seems, I’ve crossed the threshold and abandoned that fear. And I’m telling you, I’ve been feeling great.
All I needed to get comfy with idea was to try some gin mixed with some other non-alcoholic drink, and it wasn’t a bad drink at all. But I didn’t start . At first I tried some red wine at Christmas Eve lunch, but it smelled and tasted horrible. After a few sips I couldn’t handle it. At my oldest brother’s where I had Christmas Day lunch, I tried some champagne that was apparently mixed with Ribena, and it didn’t smell as bad but it still tasted awful. Then, on the night of Christmas Day, I tried a can of gin and Schweppes that I bought with one of my brothers last week and meant to drink earlier, and I didn’t immediately want to spit it out after drinking it. That was definitely good, but the drink itself was also rather nice.
This particular aspect has, understandably, been treated with surprise. When I was at a family dinner yesterday and I said I wanted some gin to drink, my relatives were kind of surprised. My sister, for one, couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It wasn’t a condemnation or anything like that, and being that I’m well over 18 at this point there certainly wasn’t a sense that I was doing something that was socially unacceptable, but it was just kind of a shock. I can hardly blame anyone for the surprise. Here’s me, a guy who’s avoided drinking for nearly all of his life (except one time last year when one of my cousins made me a light alcoholic drink involving lemonade and beer, but for some reason I didn’t continue drinking after that until literally this week). By the way, the drink I ordered was rather nice. It was apparently a mixture of gin and cranberry juice that my folks suggested, since apparently pure gin wasn’t recommended, at least for me. Nonetheless, it had a nice taste to it.
Anyways, one of the ubiquitous truths of human nature is that we humans are pretty much creatures of habit, and that we’re very much a pattern-seeking species. We desire familiarity in the world around us, as this not only comforts us but also grounds us to the world so that we can make sense of it. When we establish patterns or habits for ourselves we always become predictable to others, who in turn establish patterns and familiarity. Often, when we change things about ourselves, including our appearance, it surprises people, changes their perception of us, and it can generate a bit of shock in people. It’s pretty mundane to be honest, to the point that it’s kind of obvious when you think about it, but it’s something that was really brought home to me when I told people I wanted a drink of gin.
It doesn’t matter too much in the end. I don’t drink all that much alcohol, and I’m still at a point where I’ve pretty much just decided I like it, but I feel good about myself, so I don’t care in the end.
Anyways, Merry Christmas, Merry Yule, Io Saturnalia, Happy Winter Mass, and a Happy New Year from me. Hope you enjoyed your Christmas and are still enjoying the holiday season.