Socialising and Alcohol

18 03 2012

Disclaimer: This is not a criticism of anyone who likes alcohol or enjoying to meet over a drink or a glass of beer. These are just my thoughts about it and why I dislike it.

 

So, with that disclaimer out of the way, let me start by saying that I’m a child of alcoholics. Not the type you’d imagine when the word is said like that, but the functional type, who went to work, managed to feed me, dress me and even pay attention to me more often than not. But alcohol was always there. I just didn’t notice it until I was well into my teens, at which point I learned that it wasn’t normal for most people to be drinking several bottles of beer a day. It must have been a slow realisation because I can’t remember being shocked or surprised by it, so perhaps deep down, I’ve always known that my parents were somewhat different than other parents.

And maybe the Danish culture of alcohol being part of nearly every type of social interaction has something to say about that. It’s not unusual – at all – to get drunk at parties, family gatherings, at Christmas or New Years, etc. It’s not even considered outside the norm to drink beer or wine when going on a picnic or to the beach or just sitting in the sun on summer afternoons/evenings. In fact, it’s almost required.

Which is part of the reason I have such a hard time getting together with people in my own peer group. Drinking and getting drunk is part of the culture. And not just for my own peer group. It’s part of the entire Danish culture, from poor to rich. Some say that Danes come together over the Royals or football (soccer, to you Americans). I say it’s alcohol. Just back when I was a child, it was fully acceptable to have a beer with lunch for many groups in many and various levels of the work force. By now, it’s not as acceptable, but I don’t think it’s terribly frowned upon (at least not compared to smoking).

With my background, I’ve ended on the hard edge of the scale that says ‘no alcohol whatsoever’ and I even have a hard time being around people who are drinking/drunk. The smell of beer makes me sick and the sound of bottles in a plastic bag brings up memories that I’d rather be without. So when – on a rare occasion – I’m asked to a party or a get-together by people I know, I say no. Because I know alcohol will be involved. And I simply cannot deal with that.

Being as anti-alcohol as I am is hard in a country where alcohol is such an ingrained part of the culture and socialising. I’m not good at the whole socialising thing to begin with and to bring alcohol into the mix just makes it near impossible.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I just don’t give people a chance. But when I look at Facebook and see people update on the weekend’s parties and hangovers… Well, I’m not so sure. I just hope that as I continue in this endeavour to come out of my shell that I will find people out there who will be able and willing to get together with me once in a while without alcohol being involved.