Six

Ever since I was little,

I saw drinking and smoking as a terrible thing that turns you into not just an adult but a very bad adult, and I still believe this. I was barely taller than the dinner table when I sipped my first bit of rice wine, and I immediately had this dizziness in my head and gross feeling in my stomach. I still don’t understand why adults like this stuff. Since drinking is also part of business culture, I witnessed loved ones who dislike the taste of alcohol grimly gulp down shots of white wine at the urging of their clients or colleagues. Maybe alcohol’s psychological effects that makes adults loosen up after a long day/week of work are what drives drinking culture in colleges, workplaces, and bars. Perhaps it’s a temporary potion for freedom to act however you want before blaming it on the alcohol the morning after.

Actually, I think adults who enjoy drinking in moderation just want to let go of their responsibilities for a few precious moments. This is something that even I want to do every now and then, because everyone needs a little break. I understand how alcohol relaxes people and makes them feel warm and social, but the “happy juice” makes people throw up in public, lose their self-control, and hurt each other. And when someone passes out or starts a fight, the police are the chaperones of the playground. Still, I’m no prohibitionist. Just because I hate ginger and think that people who like to eat ginger directly are crazy, it doesn’t mean I think people should never use ginger in their food. Alcohol is the same. I will never understand why people like to drink alcohol, but alcohol is used in food and ceremonies. I respect adults who drink responsibility, but I will never understand why people who use alcohol to escape reality or stress couldn’t just take a nap or something.

Am I judging people who drink too harshly? I haven’t had a sip of alcohol since that rice wine, but this is how I feel about alcohol which can be potentially embarrassing, harmful, or even fateful for irresponsible drinkers.

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