Monday, October 18, 2010

treadmill thoughts

You might think, given my background, that I was raised a teetotaler.  But we most emphatically were not teetoalers.  Teetotalers, we thought, were people who didn't drink alcohol because there was a Rule about it.  They didn't drink because it was Wrong to drink.  They took great pride in the fact that no drop of alcohol had ever passed their lips.  It was a sort of snobbery.

But even though we weren't teetotalers, we didn't drink either.  There was almost never alcohol in our home.  Partly because my father worked for institutions where it could have cost him his job if he had been seen publicly consuming alcohol (they had a Rule about it, you see).  The difference was that there was no rule involved for my parents.  My parents, and therefore we their children, didn't drink because we chose not to drink.  (I hope you know me well enough by now to hear the smirk behind that sentence.)  We didn't need alcohol to be happy or to enjoy a party or to have fun because we had the joy of the Lord. I can even remember saying this to people on occasion once I transferred to a secular school and attended parties where drinking, to put it mildly, abounded. It was a sort of snobbery. 

And although I can smirk about the hair-splitting involved in this attitude, I can't really knock it.  For all the other problems my family has, alcoholism isn't one of them.  I've never wasted a night being wasted.  I've never ended up at 3 a.m. kneeling over a toilet.  (well, actually, I guess I have with migraines, but never from alcohol).  And since not drinking alcohol was such a big deal, experimenting with drugs never even entered my mind.  Other than once or twice at a concert, as far as I know I've never even inhaled. 

Which makes me entirely naive about recreational drug use, and entirely flummoxed by the series of novels (usually by young men) that came out in the latter part of the twentieth century where drug use was so much a part of their experience of growing up that it was hard to separate one from another.

You know what, this is --again-- going off in an entirely different direction than I had planned, and since I'm still supposed to be writing that paper, I'm going to stop and back up to the brief post I was planning to write when I sat down.  snort.  It was going to be two paragraphs.  Put me in front of a keyboard and I can pontificate about anything.  Unless I'm writing a paper, of course, and then it's like pulling your dog into the vet's office, feet splayed, every cell yearning to be anywhere else.

*clears throat*  OK.  What I was going to say is:  Even though I do drink alcohol now-- along the lines of a single drink 2-3 times a week-- I'm not big on it.  So when I'm barreling along on the treadmill and Ke$ha comes on and says "Before I leave brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack / cause when I leave for the night I ain't coming back," I should have no way to relate to the song.  I am, after all, the one who gets giggly silly after four sips of a mojito or half a glass of wine.  I don't "party," at least not in the way she means, not even close.  But by the time there's a dead pause and then she growls slyly, "Now the party don't start till I walk in," I'm glad there's nobody else in the house because I belt it out right along with her.  I've never been to the kind of party she's talking about, but at 49, one of the things I know for sure is that if I don't show up for my own party, for my own life, it doesn't happen.

This was supposed to be short.  :-)  Have a good one.

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