The Collegian
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Alcohol: re-evaluating social strategies, or losing them altogether

It's wet. It's sloppy. It goes down smooth. It turns a handshake into a hug, a hug into a kiss, and a kiss into a "I swear I wasn't aiming for that." Mr. Introvert becomes Mr. Hilarious and Mr. Extrovert becomes Captain Asshole. What is the IT of which I speak?

Why, it's America's favorite social lubricant, of course. Booze.

At Ring Dance this year a friend of mine introduced me to her mom saying: "This is Liz. She's hilarious and loves to fart" (*side note: I have never farted in my life).

When I was dancing with my 10-year-old sister by the DJ stand, there was this random man with his shirt unbuttoned dancing to "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson. He was pretty entertaining until he knocked my sister off balance with an overzealous crotch thrust.

I remember seeing moms and dads grinding with each other, moms grinding with other moms, students grinding with moms grinding with moms grinding with dads.

All of these things, as ridiculous (and hilarious) as they were, seemed so normal when they occurred. Yet now, looking back, Ring Dance 2010 was an absolute shit show.

Why does alcohol make everything seem less awkward? It's a scary thought actually. Don't get me wrong, I'm not promoting excessive drinking, let alone drinking to ease social discomforts. I'm merely making an observation that became violently evident at Ring Dance this past weekend.

People often say that alcohol intensifies the emotions we are already feeling. If this is the case, then I think people in general are really fun (and horny, but that's a whole other story). So, why are we so scared to be weird when we're sober? Why do we go to Tiki Bob's on a Thursday night and spend the whole time thinking, "I'm not drunk enough for this." IT'S SO TRUE THOUGH!

And texting, oh dear god, the texting! We've all had that moment. The moment the morning after a night of partying when you roll over in bed, hoping for some sort of D-Hall brunch plan, and all of a sudden you this get this fierce impulse to check your outbox. And then you see it. There it is in all its shining glory at 3:30 a.m. You texted the person you swore a million times you would delete from your phone contacts because you're only attracted to him/her when he/she ignores you.

"Why can't we be content with our friends?" we ask ourselves, or at least content texting someone that is interested in us? Ah, if only it were that simple!

What I want to figure out is, why do we wait until we're drunk to talk to this person? Regardless of whether it's to call him/her out for being the jerk that he/she is or to be all flirty and clever to get his/her attention, why do we need that good old liquid courage to say what we've been dying to for weeks? And not even necessarily to say something important.Sometimes it seems a lot easier to be intoxicated when informally saying hi to someone, let alone a whole sentence.

For instance, there's a person in a course of mine that I don't speak to outside of class. I see this person everywhere and yet I'm never overtly friendly. The other night I saw this person at a party and hugged him so casually you would have thought we were good friends. Looking back I laugh hysterically because not only was it so random (and don't get me wrong, pleasant), but I still to this day do not say hi to this person.

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I think I need to re-evaluate my social stratagem. Or maybe that's just it; maybe I need to lose the strategies altogether.

Contact staff writer Liz Monahan at liz.monahan@richmond.edu

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