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Friday, May 27, 2005

Alcohol & Masks

I wouldn't be surprised if people thought I was an alcoholic. After all I have a rather extensive collection of alcohol. They often assume that because I have a lot of alcohol, then I must drink a lot of alcohol. Thats not true. I don't drink much at all.

A comment from a friend about "drinking in order to have fun" made me think about why I drink alcohol.

I have several reasons. None of them are "to have fun."

I drink cocktails because I like the taste and because I like the creative and aesthetic aspect. I have lots of spirits/liquers so that I can create masterpieces on a whim.

What else? I never drink to get drunk. I very rarely drink alone. Sometimes (2-3 times a year maybe) I drink alone after a stressful day at work.

Quite often I drink alcohol when I am with friends. This is a convivial thing. Like eating with friends. In fact the drinking with friends is often accompanied by sharing a meal together.

But most often I drink before and at social occasions where there are going to be a lot of people. Like parties. Part of the reason is so I can "fit in" or at least so I can have something to do while being an outcast. Most of the reason is to be more sociable. Alcohol has a nice numbing effect. It numbs all those extra senses and allows me to act a somewhat appropriate part.

The curious thing is that the attempts to fit in and be more sociable are often for the benefit for other people. People seem to be uncomfortable if I am being reserved and interior. They don't seem to like it if I don't talk to people. Being excitedly animated and exaggeratedly glad to be there seems to be the correct party persona. Fake verve over isolated but sincere contentment.

It annoys me sometimes. Is it so strange that I might actually prefer to be
alone at a party? That I might enjoy the party more by not saying a word to anyone? That mixing and mingling might actually be a painful chore?

That's why I usually avoid parties whenever possible. I'm not particularly good in large groups of people, hence I tend to clam up. Rather than trying to engage me and make me more sociable, however, in such circumstances, people usually end up ignoring me. So large social gatherings tend to be quite stressful, frustrating, and disappointing to me.

One of the reasons I always prefer smaller, quieter groups of people to larger, louder ones.
Does being ignored always bother you? Sometimes I prefer it to small-talk. Other times I hate it.

A lot of large social gatherings are stressful and disappointing for me too. But it's strange because sometimes I have a fantastic time and sometimes I feel like going to a large social gathering.

At the moment I really want someone to throw a party. I think it will have to be me (doomsday or physics themed ;-)). I always like my parties. The parties of close friends are usually good too.
Depends on my mood at the time. Sometimes I enjoy being the social scientist watching people's interactions from a remove. And sometimes I'm feeling like I want to be involved (or simply included), which is the times I get annoyed. Often, big parties are things I don't really want to go to in the first place (e.g., weddings or bar mitzvahs for distant relations we barely know), so that makes me negatively receptive to the whole thing from the beginning. A party thrown by a friend would definitely positively incline me towards it.

And I do hope you're planning on sending me an invitation, whatever the party theme turns out to be :)
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