I went out last Friday and Saturday. Friday there was an housewarming and Saturday I went dancing with colleagues and a friend.
Friday posed no problem when it comes to not drinking. All of my friends know by now that I don’t drink so nobody offered me a beer. We ate together and had a good time. Eating together is so fruitful when it comes to socializing. There’s something about sharing a meal with someone, that love of unity… It pays off to dine with your equals.
However, Saturday was a day of different social circumstances. The peer pressure began immediately after work, when my colleague and I were hanging out at the local garage. The car mechanic, who comes by the gas station daily for a cup of coffee, had ordered fried chicken, of which I took some. Better than KFC.
My colleague proceeded to take a six-pack of Heineken out of his backpack and started handing them out. I politely declined, after which I got a puzzled “Why?”. After I explained that I don’t drink anymore, the beer was offered to me three times.
Now I don’t feel too bad about this offering. One feat of alcohol is that if it’s present in a party, it wants to be used by everyone. That’s why people give rounds. It’s not to be altruitious but it’s to ensure that everyone gets a buzz going. That’s the the social effect of the globally accepted poison.
You see, people get very self-aware when they get drunk. They hide this with loud behavior, but that’s just a mask. The truth is drunk people want to be approved of. If there’s someone in the party who’s not drinking, he or she might be thought of as ‘boring’ or ‘lame’ but that’s just a trick that alcohol plays on the drinking person to mask the fact that they might be judged by the non-drinker. The non-drinker stands above this, judging the drunken slurs with a clear mind, but forgiving, because he knows all too well what it’s like to have your drinking socks on.
So I know that a no doesn’t necessarily mean no when alcohol is in the game. I’ve been there, on the other side too. Handing out alcohol, trying to be approved of. Pressuring people into drinking more than they want. It was the time I derived my happiness from the wrong things.
Glad I left that behind me. Now I’ve found my calm and contentedness.
We went to eat at my place, made music and went to the city. We visited a joint where they had karaoke and played James Brown.
We also had a meaningful conversation with a twenty year old who was down on his luck when it comes to love. Although I sympathized a bit, I couldn’t help but feel that his lack of self-confidence was making him cynical. I advised him to work on himself and derive happiness from that instead of trying to text with girls just to get friendzoned. I told him that that happens when you’re not clear about your motifs. Hesitancy is a turn-off for everyone.
After that, we went out to dance. One of my best friends showed up and we had a great time. Water and cola only. Okay, and some cigarettes. Not quite done with those yet.
In other news, I’ve become a member of the Socialist Party! I’m eager to see what I can contribute locally. I’ve just received two of their magazines in the mail, one of which was scientific and the other of which was more of a newsletter. There are great inequalities within this current system of neoliberalism, but there are things you can do as a worker. One of those things is to organize yourselves and stand up for what you think you deserve. It’s appalling that the current system allows for so much inequality. There is too little housing for people in their twenties where I live, while a lot of useable buildings are vacant. Something to fight for, partly because it’s in my own self-interest.
As to what things that you can do, self-education is one of them. I’m now reading Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, in which he states that there is no free will, only strong and weak wills. He also repeats the phrase will to power a lot, but hasn’t explained it yet – I’m only on page 60. Wondering what he will learn me about the Superman and what lessons I can take from the book in order to make and save more money and care even less about external factors.