Home > Kev's Blog > 31-Dec-2014 New Year’s Eve

31-Dec-2014 New Year’s Eve

Wednesday 31 December 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Another New Year’s Eve. I dropped Dawn off at the station as she was working, so we left home at 5.10am. Not a good start but other than a swim with all 3 girls I haven’t done much. I like it like that. I am meeting Dawn as she comes home later tonight and we will go out then.

My resolutions for the coming year ? In general I think I have improved myself over the last few years. But here’s my main aims :

  • Drink more water – I probably don’t drink enough. I don’t drink cordials or sugary fizzy drinks and drink just an average amount of coffee. But sometimes I am more dehydrated than I should be.1
  • Drink less alcohol – as it happens I drink very little alcohol, as in the past year I probably had 20 standard drinks over the whole year spread reasonably across the year (a bit more in the December social season). However I really dislike drinking and I usually feel like crap even after one drink. I would be totally teetotal other than I only drink to fit in at social occasions and should just have the balls to say “no”.
  • Running consistently – When I get back to running, I want to aim at consistency and probably fewer races as I think that a lower level mileage and big races is contributing to me getting injured. Certainly when you can’t run, you would trade all the races in the world to just be able to run injury-free again. The simple pleasures in life!

Anyway here is an article I clipped from last year, which got me thinking most of this year about drinking less. Not that I was ever like this, but I like being hard-core about stuff like this.

Sobering night out highlights the horrors of our lushy lifestyle

Like a great slab of the population of Australia, I got rotten this festive season. I’m talking wobbly in my heels, slurring and gibbering sloshed. And while I thought I was having fun at the time, I wonder in hindsight whether I really was.

I certainly know I wasn’t the morning after, when I was woken by a stranger who had crashed on my couch, asking me to let her out of the locked front door. When I couldn’t find my handbag – which I hoped still held my keys – in any of the usual places, my new friend/couch surfer said I should retrace my steps after coming home. But I couldn’t. It was all a blur.

Eventually the bag was found under a pile of jackets that didn’t belong to me. They were next to several half-empty bottles of wine and a dishevelled display of empty beer cans. It seems I had hosted an after-party to the Christmas bash I had attended. Which was very generous of me, considering I couldn’t instantly recall who the guests were.

Some might laugh hearing this, others simply zone out because it’s the same old thing they hear day after day. The reality is that right now, there are literally thousands of Australians recalling how wasted they were last night, believing their excess to be amusing. But here’s the sad fact: it just isn’t.

I don’t think it’s funny I lost count of how many shots I downed on my recent night out. I don’t think it’s humorous that someone I barely knew slept on my lounge – it was reckless and dangerous to allow it. And I don’t think it’s in any way a laugh that I couldn’t immediately recall getting home.

I’m also sure that in all of the gibber I no doubt spouted there was little that would have been relevant or interesting. And I don’t think for one minute that I would have looked chic with panda eyes, Joker lipstick, red-wine teeth and bird’s-nest hair, looking and smelling like I’d just stepped out of a skip.

I could say I’m too old to act this way, but that’s irrelevant. No one looks good smashed – no one. I don’t care how young, pretty, handsome, affluent or intelligent – all drunks are the same: ugly.

I say this because since my big night, I have been abstaining from drinking – well, OK, limiting myself to safe driving levels of consumption. And oh, what a bloodshot red eye-opener it has been.

Take, for example, a pre-Christmas catch-up with dear friends this week. After struggling to find a park, I had to walk several blocks to the restaurant. It was 7pm and already I saw young girls in dresses too short and heels too high staggering and screeching on the streets. They were surrounded by young men similarly messy, some shirtless. They seemed to be heading out rather than returning from their night out.

And so, after a lovely dinner, I headed back to my car. It was probably 11pm and I swear that in the four or five blocks I had to walk, I witnessed the following: a girl with her dress hitched to her waist urinating in the gutter in front of a group of laughing onlookers; a young man vomiting against a tree; a loud, violent scuffle outside a bar between two blotto men; a couple pashing in full view of outdoor diners, the man’s hand down the clearly inebriated woman’s bra; a middle-aged man with an open pizza box dropping slices as he staggered, before being tripped up by a pesky gutter.

I also saw a woman screaming obscenities at her boyfriend before kicking over a garbage bin and leaving its contents strewn across the road. When I asked the woman if she intended to pick up said rubbish, she told me I could ”f—” myself and called me an ”ugly c—”. Charming.

Then, to top things off, there were three men loitering by my car who, as I approached, asked if I would like to fellate them.

Is this really what a fun night out has become? If so, I’m staying in and staying sober because it not only disgusted me, it left me feeling depressed.

Why? Because I realised that the atrocities of the few blocks I had travelled were being repeated all over Australia; that this is what now constitutes socialising in this country. And it made me despair for the generations to come, because even though drinking to excess was a rite of passage for my generation too, things have deteriorated.

This is not just a case of me being older and believing, vainly, that I wasn’t that bad, statistics show that binge drinking is increasing, especially among young people.

A 2012 report by the Victorian Auditor-General revealed alcohol-related violence and health problems cost the state $4.3 billion each year. It showed that ambulance attendances to alcohol-related incidents had increased by 219 per cent from 2009-10 to 2011-12. What’s more, the increase was 329 per cent for people aged up to 21. Add to this a 93 per cent increase in emergency department presentations (191 per cent for those up to 21) and it’s pretty clear we don’t have a problem with drinking in this country, we have a full-scale epidemic.

It is disturbing to think of just how many Australians suffer the short-term effects of alcohol – hangovers, headaches, nausea, shakiness, vomiting and memory loss – on a regular basis. Then there’s the behavioural problems – falls, assaults, car accidents, unplanned pregnancies, loss of valuables, overspending, time off work, relationship breakdowns. This is before we even get to long-term health concerns, such as addiction, liver and brain damage, and death.

I am grateful that my recent binge made me sober up and realise that while a few drinks with friends is fun, more than that is not.

So, with New Year’s Eve approaching, I plan to have a happy one, which means no hangover the next day, no strangers on my lounge, and no ouchy regret. I wish you and yours the same.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Please enter your comment below, sorry about the increased security, it's to reduce spam. If it's too hard then send an email to me : kevintiller at gmail dot com

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s