Spain defaulting, Greece unstable, and we can’t agree on how to solve our own debit problems. Obama says things will get better but does anyone believe it? No wonder people seem angry all the time and drinking more all the time. I think drinking is a good indicator of your level of happiness: the more you drink, the less happy you are and usually the meaner you are to those around you. Drinking doesn’t just affect you in the moment but it also affects your behavior the following day in short tempered hangover spurts.
Drinkers make me nervous as I am more comfortable with consistency and people who are the same every time you see them. I am a drink counter and can tell you at any given dinner party how many glasses of wine each guest has consumed. This is not a great habit but I find myself unable to stop doing it. I also notice that as soon as I see one person is drinking a lot I become less interested in listening to what they have to say. I remember my children’s pediatrician talking about the difference between smoking (I was trying to quit) and drinking. He said, “Lucinda, smoking only destroys one life while drinking kills an entire family”.
Recently I moved into a wonderful house right next to a church where they hold AA meetings in the evening. I like to listen to the people chatting as they come out of the church sounding so happy and grateful to be with their friends and supported by them. I guess if you are an alcoholic it’s really hard to stop drinking as it is anesthesia for your life. If your life feels stressful most people don’t have the will power or knowledge to try meditation or exercise: a drink is easier, faster and more accessible to most.
Growing up, everyone around us drank too much from our parents to our household help to all the parents of our friends. No one thought anything about getting into a car and driving children anywhere they needed to go after a drink or two. To us kids, drinking adults weren’t usually frightening, just louder and less interested in us than usual. My parent’s generation was not really interested in kids at all most of the time as they found their own lives more entertaining. I don’t blame them and actually this was a good thing in a way.
One of my parent’s friends had a “baby” party one weekend. All the guests had to dress as babies and were given bottles of Vodka upon entering the house which was done by climbing up a slide placed inside the front door and sliding down it into the front hall. My parents thought this was one of the best parties they had ever been to. In order to outdo the hostess my mother planned her next party with care. It would be a “designing “party. The guests were divided into couples by having the men draw a woman’s name out of a hat. Each couple was given a paper bag filled with items from the five and ten cents store: a length of fabric, scissors, pins, sequins, glue and feathers. The couples were told they had one hour for the man to design a costume on the lady and sent out into the house to find places where they could be “creative”.
The next morning our butler quit and told my mother he couldn’t work in a house where shocking and immoral behavior happened. When my mother asked what that behavior was he stated,”Mrs. Watson! I heard Mr. Dewart tell Mrs. Ewald that she had to take off all of her clothes or he couldn’t be creative!”
My parent’s generation loved games and entertainment and dressing up in costumes. My father dressed up in a bear’s costume every Halloween. He found this infinitely entertaining: much more so than his real job. I think the good thing about that generation was the fact that they didn’t take much seriously including themselves. This is a different attitude from people today. Everyone takes themselves very seriously all the time and very few people take time to laugh.
Your life can get a lot better really quickly if you learn a few techniques to make other people laugh. Yesterday I was trying to learn my login name to register for some classed at a local university as I couldn’t log in without it. As it was, on this first day of registration there was a long wait on the phone and once I reached the person who could help me I was told me there was a very long line in the office as well. I asked her how I could retrieve my log in name and she said I would have to give her some information and with patience might receive it later that night. I laughed at the way she said this as it was in a very resigned manner. I said I thought she might make those lines into a very good country western song. She started laughing and so did I and she thanked me for making her laugh.
I hung up the phone and got an email less than three minutes later with all the information I needed.
The whole point of life is to love people and to enjoy yourself. I think we forget this most of the time. When we remember we are rewarded in many different ways.