Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Raise Your Glass!

Hello. My name is Miss Daisy and I'm an alcoholic! I've done a few of those quizzes you always get in January in magazines because they know one of your resolutions will be to cut down on drinking - you know the type:
·         Do you ever worry that you drink too much?
·         Have you tried to stop drinking, but found that you were unable to for more than a few days? 
If you answer yes to a few or more of these questions, it is indicator of alcohol misuse

I haven't managed to beat my previous January record of 2010 when I didn't drink for 2 weeks solid. Mind you I did have Swine Flu and was hospitalised so I don't suppose that counts. I always dismiss the possibility of being an alcoholic because I never drink in the mornings and never hide my drinking. I'm also fairly rubbish at it - pissed on two glasses of wine and sick on 3! I don't drink spirits at all! Now there is a word that makes Americans titter. They say Liquor over here.
There is a very different attitude to drinking in the states. Some of it is really positive. Going out on a Friday night and drinking until you are sick, fight, or cause serious damage to yourself or somebody else is not a national occupation here. Teenagers don't sit on street corners getting drunk on cheap cider. I actually have no idea what teenagers do here. You never see them. I will investigate for future reference! You can't drink here until you are 21. Stores have a policy of asking for ID if you buy wine and appear under 40. I have stopped going to Walmart because they didn't ID me. You have to go to a separate store to buy liquor and they wrap in in brown paper so no-one can see it. You cant buy wine on a Sunday until Church closing time. I have forgotten and had a trolley full of the stuff before now, waiting for it to turn 12 - very ungodly of me!
Whilst the British attitude to, and certainly the tabloid press version of, Britain's drinking habits are something to be ashamed of there is something surreptitious and worrying about the attitudes to drinking in the states. It is all like a dirty secret. The women at the pool will be supping from 'to-go-cups'. When they get to know you they will confide it is wine or a G & T as the kids were getting on their nerves and they needed a treat. Some of it comes from their history and religious attitudes. There are still 'dry counties' in the States that prohibit the sale of alcohol. There are hundreds of counties - mostly in the south where we are! It is in the religious states that you find dry counties. They hide their drinking. It has a taboo connected. They seem to forget that God is omnipresent!
The most worrying thing is the attitude to drink -driving. It is like Britain 30 years ago. You have to drive here- there is nothing to walk to. We are used to going out and getting a taxi home. The first time we did this in America was to meet some other Brits in a bar/restaurant. We booked a taxi home so we could both have a drink. The Brits (having been here a while) said it would never turn up. The taxi driver phoned us 4 times to make sure we really wanted a taxi that wasn't going to the airport.  Hubby walked the five miles the next morning to collect the car. I'm surprised he wasn't arrested for vagrancy. ('Look - there is a mad man walking on the sidewalk - take a photo - some things only happen once in a life time!!!). I have heard many a wife ask if her husband is OK to drive home after visiting friends. It would never enter my head to ask Hubby that because I know he would never drink and drive.
There isn't a pub culture here because there aren't pubs. There are restaurants and bars but they center around food. The sorts of bars that center on drinking are on the outskirts of towns in the middle of nowhere. You would have to drive to ...and from them and the good folk of this county never go to them (or certainly never mention it - but someone is keeping them open!)
According to Wiki so it must be right :
Prohibiting alcohol sales may actually reduce public safety. Research has found that dry counties have higher proportions of alcohol-related traffic crashes than do wet counties. A study in Kentucky suggested that residents of dry counties have to drive farther from their homes to consume alcohol, thus increasing impaired driving exposure
I watch people in restaurants drinking, at dinner parties drinking, at the pool drinking and they are all driving home! That is something I can never rationalise and find more offensive than pub kick out time on Broad Street in Birmingham! I can avoid that - A drunk driver on the road takes any choice out of my hands...
I am all too painfully aware that there are drunk drivers in the UK but at least we have stripped religion out of the equation and drinking is out there in the open. Judging by the comments on every one's facebook status' I think that most people I know, based on the quizzes, are alcoholics. They also quite happily share their drunken antics.  In fact maybe I should have started by saying 'hello, I'm a Brit and it goes without saying....'

3 comments:

  1. Remember the nights at the Dilshad?...i've lost count of the times you've woken up in your curry!...HAPPY DAYS XXX
    (you never forgot to ask for 'breast off the bone'though)

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  2. I thought i had posted a comment earlier but it has' nt registered. No i hav'nt had a drink , well not yet any way. You know i like a drink(or two)but i certainly do not hide it >its a bit like most things over there FAKE.I often wonder where you get your drinking habits!!!

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  3. Hey deb!I think you are confusing me with you!!! Lol!!!

    Ann -I think we should take some note of the reservation of Americans when it comes to drinking - We Brits can be a disgrace!

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