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Old 07-03-09, 04:09 PM   #1
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Alcoholic society.

I've asked this before, but now that I've broken in a little into my new job, I'd like to ask this again.

What is the impetus behind drinking as a social activity? Why is it special enough to nearly ostracize those who exclude themselves from it?

Maybe it's that alcohol does little for me (except make me tired).
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Old 07-03-09, 04:19 PM   #2
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You've never had an ice-cold negra modela with a big ol' spicy burrito?

Never had a well-made magarita on the rocks with a plate of enchiladas?

Never had a well chilled sake with sushi or tempura?

The list goes on and on. Alchohol is the superior drink for just about any food. Other reasons to use is to pass the time while watching sports or lounging by the grille. For most people, alcohol doesn't necessarily tire them; more like calms and soothes. Clearly however there are those that choose not to drink and those that definitely SHOULD NOT drink. Nothing wrong with that. In the millions (yeah right) of parties I've been to, the non-drinkers have never been ostracized. If you feel that way, there's a chance it could just be you.
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Old 07-03-09, 04:22 PM   #3
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I've had a variety of sake, and I didn't like any of them. All straight from the motherland.
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Old 07-03-09, 04:33 PM   #4
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Old 07-03-09, 04:37 PM   #5
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Sorry that your work group are causing you to feel ostracized. As a drinker and one who's friends include several non-drinkers I can say that some of us really don't care if you choose to drink or not. As long as you can enjoy a soft drink and don't mind joining in, you shouldn't be made to feel uncomfortable.

What is the impetus behind social drinking? Well, for many it is a social lubricant that lessens peoples inhibitions to interact in a manner that they would like to or that is more representative of their true personality. In addition to being a mild depressent, it also seems to intensify some peoples personality traits. Lovers may become more so, competitors as well. In this way you learn more about the true personalities of your crowd whilst sharing in an experience that also may lend to people allowing themselves to act more silly than they otherwise would. Laugh, tell jokes, make a pass at that person you've notice, sharing feelings that might otherwise remain guarded, all seem to take place more easily once some inhibitions have been lowered.

Hopefully your crowd are consuming in moderation and sensibly. If that's the case have you tried joining in and just abstaining from the alcohol? If so, and you felt ostracized, what exactly was causing that feeling? I'm honestly curious about this. Because, as I've mentioned we have quite a few abstaining friends and I would like to know how to better ensure they are included in whatever event we're engaged in. One of our big challenges is after sailboat races where there is a very strong culture of Rum and Soda drinking, that each post race seems to result in.
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Old 07-03-09, 04:37 PM   #6
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drinking as a social activity
Drinking as a social activity isn't the same thing as Alcoholism. Perhaps your thread title is misleading.
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Old 07-03-09, 04:43 PM   #7
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...
I can say that some of us really don't care if you choose to drink or not.
...
I agree completely with this post. Furthermore, there are people I know who have great difficulties with alcohol and cannot touch it anymore. That's enough of a burden for them. I wouldn't dream of making them feel ostracized.
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Old 07-03-09, 04:44 PM   #8
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Hello MrCrassic I think in my case Its me that feels out of place when im with old drinking friends and not joining them but in either case I dont let it bother me.//I think that sleeping well after a good supper and a half bottle of wine /or vodka tonic's was a plus being a poor sleeper.Kenneth
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Old 07-03-09, 05:07 PM   #9
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I think it might also depend on your age. You are young, Crassic, so there might be more peer pressure/ostracism associated with drinking.

Once you hit middle age, no one really cares what you drink or if you drink at all. In fact, if it is known that you are abstaining for whatever reasons, you're more likely to get tagged as the designated driver for those who imbibe a little too much.
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Old 07-03-09, 05:15 PM   #10
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There is an aspect of social drinking that does tend to push non-drinkers out. It's the 5-10% (who often tend to be youngsters) who get stupid or want to sit in a smelly bar and only drink. At least if you're doing something beyond just drinking, like having dinner, listening to music, bowling, etc. the non drinkers can fit right in.

I definitely like a beer or three, so I'm not down on drinking.
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Old 07-03-09, 05:17 PM   #11
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There's drinking socially, like having wine with a meal, and then there's binge-drinking, which usually doesn't age well and most people don't do by the time they're thirty unless they have a problem. If you're being ostracized from a group of binge-drinkers, don't sweat it, there's probably several other more worthwhile peer groups to be involved with, and you won't end up with unwanted offspring and/or venereal disease like those other losers.
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Old 07-03-09, 05:20 PM   #12
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Once you hit middle age, no one really cares what you drink or if you drink at all.
A good reason for that, is that by middle age many people have realized they need to dink less or not at all

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Old 07-03-09, 05:58 PM   #13
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In the US, there is a lot of mystique around alcohol. To kids, they are brought up learning that its this magic substance that people love, but is forbidden to them for a long time (relatively). This ends up growing to 18-21 when people drink it because they can, and keeps going after 21 when long term physical dependence sets in.
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Old 07-03-09, 06:05 PM   #14
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I've asked this before, but now that I've broken in a little into my new job, I'd like to ask this again.

What is the impetus behind drinking as a social activity? Why is it special enough to nearly ostracize those who exclude themselves from it?

Maybe it's that alcohol does little for me (except make me tired).
Many drunks feel guilty drinking in front of non-drunks. They'd rather exclude you than feel like you're judging them or being a party-pooper ... regardless of whether you do that or not. Drunks like to be with other drunks to "normalize" their behavior ...
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Old 07-03-09, 08:17 PM   #15
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I've asked this before, but now that I've broken in a little into my new job, I'd like to ask this again.

What is the impetus behind drinking as a social activity? Why is it special enough to nearly ostracize those who exclude themselves from it?

Maybe it's that alcohol does little for me (except make me tired).
It is fun and you get to see your coworkers act like jack asses. I suppose they can say the same thing about me.
People also become a bit more open and flirt more.
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Old 07-03-09, 09:30 PM   #16
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I have a good friend who is a non-drinker for religious reasons. We are both huge NBA fans, though, and often go into bars to watch games. I always have a beer or two, and he'll usually have a soda. He has sometimes felt a little odd if he didn't want a Dr. Pepper or something, but he moves past it. I certainly don't judge him negatively for not drinking, and he doesn't look down on me either.

I know what I've described is different than what you're talking about, MrC. But I think the real issue is that you need to lighten up. If your peers really are ostracizing you for not drinking, then they probably have some issues that would keep them from being good friends. I think the more likely conclusion is that you are projecting your own feelings onto them. I could always be wrong, but I have that habit and from what I have gathered about your personality, you seem like you may be prone to doing that too.

If you're really worried, just order a beer and drink it slowly over the course of the evening. Most people really don't care.
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Old 07-04-09, 03:38 PM   #17
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Hopefully your crowd are consuming in moderation and sensibly. If that's the case have you tried joining in and just abstaining from the alcohol? If so, and you felt ostracized, what exactly was causing that feeling? I'm honestly curious about this. Because, as I've mentioned we have quite a few abstaining friends and I would like to know how to better ensure they are included in whatever event we're engaged in. One of our big challenges is after sailboat races where there is a very strong culture of Rum and Soda drinking, that each post race seems to result in.
To be honest, I felt perfectly well-integrated in the last outing that I participated in. I got a few light jabs thrown at me b/c I ordered a bottle of water after not finishing a tall glass of Guinness, but it was in good fun.

When I go out, I usually either abstain from drinking or I drink a light amount. I really don't see the sense of paying an incredible amount of money to enjoy a fine drink, when I can get the same level of enjoyment from drinking a Sprite at a fraction of the cost. (A margarita is pretty damn good, but it's not $7+ good.) Additionally, when I'm with a fun crowd, I don't feel like I need the "lubrication" to interact with people; I just try to turn my mind off and just do. In the worst case, people won't get what I'm saying, but I've found that in fun crowds, people just don't care.
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Old 07-04-09, 03:56 PM   #18
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I am fairly introverted. Said lubrication is almost a necessity.
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Old 07-04-09, 04:05 PM   #19
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I dinna drink, nor do I smoke or do drugs. This sets me far apart from the majority of the herd that regularly indulge in intoxicants. I tend to surround myself with those who have a "clean lifestyle" as I do. Change your social circle?

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Old 07-04-09, 04:13 PM   #20
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In the US, there is a lot of mystique around alcohol. To kids, they are brought up learning that its this magic substance that people love, but is forbidden to them for a long time (relatively). This ends up growing to 18-21 when people drink it because they can, and keeps going after 21 when long term physical dependence sets in.
The problem with it in the U.S. is that it's illegal to drink until you're 21. So ah... let's assume we have the responsibility and sophistication to vote, to serve in the military and die for our country, yet we're not trusted to drink? Those church-ladies that started prohibition way back when still have a stranglehold on our society. It's abused in the U.S. simply because it's prohibited and teenagers are going through a rebellious phase.

Compare it with the Europeans where most kids are introduced to alcohol by their parents when they become teenagers and it's considered like any other drink like fruit-juice or soda. Combined with actual enforcement of alcohol-related laws and we have a society where drinking and getting wasted isn't a goal in and of itself. The rates of alcoholism and drunk-driving deaths are also much, much lower than ours. Then again, crime and murder-rates are also much lower, so there's a larger encompassing cultural differences as well.
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Old 07-04-09, 05:15 PM   #21
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To be honest, I felt perfectly well-integrated in the last outing that I participated in. I got a few light jabs thrown at me b/c I ordered a bottle of water after not finishing a tall glass of Guinness, but it was in good fun.

When I go out, I usually either abstain from drinking or I drink a light amount. I really don't see the sense of paying an incredible amount of money to enjoy a fine drink, when I can get the same level of enjoyment from drinking a Sprite at a fraction of the cost. (A margarita is pretty damn good, but it's not $7+ good.) Additionally, when I'm with a fun crowd, I don't feel like I need the "lubrication" to interact with people; I just try to turn my mind off and just do. In the worst case, people won't get what I'm saying, but I've found that in fun crowds, people just don't care.
It sounds like you've got a reasonable handle on things. If you can enjoy an alcoholic drink in moderation and without it turnig into binge drinking, and choose to consume what you have a taste for based on your desire and budget, well, that's just normal.

With regard to those that have suggested that the 21 y.o. drinking limit is responsible for increased binge drinking: I couldn't agree more. I was raised in a family of brewers and distillers and subsequently introduced to alcohol at an early enough age that I don't remember it. We (the children) would enjoy dinners with the family and were welcome to drink what everyone else was drinking, with some limits. Our childrens glasses were little more than minitures of the appropriate wine or beer glass. The wine might have been watered down a little and frequently if the drink was of particularly strong flavour the kids wouldn't be interested in it anyway. But the result was that by the time I made it to High School, alcohol had no mystery about it, I didn't have the need to experiment or get drunk and whilst I certainly did on occassion consume more than I should have, my frequency of such behaviour was considerably less so than my peers. Why can't we introduce our young people to alcoholic beverages as something to be consumed responsibly and in moderation, just like all aspects of their diet?
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Old 07-04-09, 10:10 PM   #22
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I dinna drink, nor do I smoke or do drugs. This sets me far apart from the majority of the herd that regularly indulge in intoxicants. I tend to surround myself with those who have a "clean lifestyle" as I do. Change your social circle?
There are plenty of heavy drinkers, nondrinkers, and everything between. Anyone who wants to get and stay ahead needs to be able to get on with everyone
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Old 07-04-09, 11:51 PM   #23
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don't worry about it. people that like the taste of glorified, non bladder origin piss are not worthy of your time.
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Old 07-05-09, 01:02 AM   #24
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There's drinking socially, like having wine with a meal, and then there's binge-drinking, which usually doesn't age well and most people don't do by the time they're thirty unless they have a problem. If you're being ostracized from a group of binge-drinkers, don't sweat it, there's probably several other more worthwhile peer groups to be involved with, and you won't end up with unwanted offspring and/or venereal disease like those other losers.
God how I miss Keg stands and beer bongs. Truly some of the happiest times of my life. But you are right it does not age well.
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Old 07-05-09, 01:24 AM   #25
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But the result was that by the time I made it to High School, alcohol had no mystery about it, I didn't have the need to experiment or get drunk and whilst I certainly did on occassion consume more than I should have, my frequency of such behaviour was considerably less so than my peers. Why can't we introduce our young people to alcoholic beverages as something to be consumed responsibly and in moderation, just like all aspects of their diet?
Part of the problem is that a lot of parents don't want to be parents anymore. They shuffle off this responsibility to the schools, which are already stretch tight enough with budget cuts that they can't even teach effectively, much less have the burden of day-care and child-rearing added. EVERYONE has to learn their lessons with drinking. When you're young, crashing a bike and breaking an arm is a lot less damaging than crashing a 4000lb SUV...
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