Last weekend I was invited to a party and barbecue. Some old friends or acquaintances planned this a month ago and asked if I would like to come too. I don’t hang around with them often, because I have other friends. But some of them wanted to go there too because of holidays, boredom and seeing old faces again. It took a while until I was persuaded because the host is known to make no jokes when it’s about doing a party, which means purchasing too many alcoholic beverages. I barely still drink, maybe one or two times a year and I am very well aware that I can’t take drinks anymore because they knock me off too fast as I don’t practice anymore (laugh). After asking me several times and after saying “Common, it’s summer, you need to socialize, there will be more than 20 people, let’s have fun!”, I accepted reluctantly and went there on Saturday.
And honestly, the barbecue part was fun, at least until a heavy storm came up. The storm tore the table cloths away, which resulted in forks, knives, paper plates, and all the other stuff on the table flying left and right. That was not funny, but it got worse. The parents of the hosting guy have a company, and we sat behind his large hall in the garden and the storm was so heavy that corrugated sheet metal was torn away from the hall and almost hit us. Whoa, at that point we understood that it’s not safe anymore outside and went inside.
It was bad because at home I thought I don’t have to eat much since we are doing a barbecue anyway, and before the storm swept away all the things on the table, I just ate 3 sausages. Not a great base to take some drinks, but at the moment I had this thought, a friend gave me a glass and poured Jack Daniel’s and Cola into it. Before that, I already had some beers. So, the party began. After a while, the weather calmed down and we went outside again. The garden didn’t look good, meat all over the place, on the ground, in the pond (laugh). It was definitely the end of the barbecue and the place looked as if some insane people made a party there, but it really was the storm that swept all the stuff over the place.
The only things that were left, were enough alcoholic beverages to drink because of the hosting guy who had enough stuff safely stored in a small shed, as expected. It was probably a bad idea to take the first whiskey glass, because I knew three facts, that I barely still drink, that this would be the place where you would be asked again and again, and that whiskey tastes great. I didn’t want to be disrespectful and drank it inside, and yeah it tasted that good that I continued outside when I was asked. But I was not alone, a few other friends who barely still drinks did the same mistake and the old acquaintances have been in practice since they do still party regularly. So, we were wasted before midnight. One friend was pretty much done at 11pm and went home and complained in our barbecue WhatsApp group that he pukes at home, but he also managed it to take a photo of his bare feet lying in bed, which was basically the answer to someone’s question “Are you coming back?”.
We weren’t better. I was still at the party and it must have been midnight when I managed it to tumble over with the garden chair. When I think about this today, I still don’t know how this works. Isn’t it quite safe if you sit on a garden chair with armrest? How to hell did I do that? Friends helped me up again and I managed it to sit still, at least for a moment. I still remember that I thought “Now I don’t take any more drinks” but it was probably too late because a moment later my head dropped forward and hit the table. I got told that they carried me to the shed where there was a couch and I slept. I think I woke up at 3am beside two other wasted friends. A third friend attempted to get out of the shed on all fours. The realization was pretty great that I wasn’t the only idiot at the party but I helped him up, which wasn’t easy until another person helped.
But anyway, I thought it would be time to go home and I left the shed to say goodbye to the remaining people, and even if they kept going with the party, I wouldn’t say they looked fit anymore either. I said “I go home” when a friend approached me in slalom to tell me “Tiis iss daaaaangerouuus” (Literally translated, haha). Taking a look 360 degree, I had to laugh and replied “This probably counts for all of us”. But I really wanted to go home and sleep in my bed. This, however, didn’t happen, because walking was still so difficult that I decided to ring on my mother’s door at 4am, because she’s living somewhere in the middle of my way. She opened the door and said, “Oh my god, go into the living room and sleep on the couch”. I woke up at 8am and said to my mother “What the hell, I thought I made it home” and she laughed and said “Nope, the last time I saw you that wasted, you’ve been in your twenties. What the hell did you guys do?”. I couldn’t give any serious answer, because it took a while until the memories came back.
So, I went home after 8 am and slept the whole day. I woke up several times, but always if I did, I thought “Oh my god, that’s unbearable” and continued to sleep. My complete Sunday was a horror show. I didn’t puke or anything, but I felt horrible, it was a heavy hangover. On Monday it was better, but I still had circulation problems, which is why I would say I had a hangover for two days. That was easier when I was younger and it is a very nice lesson learned. I’m too old for this. I did everything right the last decade by not participating in too crazy drinking sessions anymore. It’s just not worth it. Lesson relearned. The barbecue WhatsApp group was still existing days later and those who barely drink shared the same thoughts. But as said, some of them do it once a month, or once every few months and they already asked us to do it again next month but I replied “Nah, I think it was funny but I’m just happy that I am fit again now” and some other friends agreed while the more regular party-goers replied with sad emotes and started to plan the next party without us.
I don’t even want to complain, because, in the end, it’s your decision how much you drink. In other words, it was my own mistake that day. But I believe many people know this, you know some closer friends with which you can drink a beer or two and go home, calling it a day. And then you can also get asked by those where it can get out of hand easily because they like long nights with lots of drinks. At my age, I prefer to hang around with people where it doesn’t have to get out of hand every month. So, yeah, it was funny and brought some memories up of old times, but nope, I don’t want to do that regularly again. It’s really a matter of quantities, I’m not against a few drinks with friends per se, but if you and five friends buy a bottle whiskey, it’s maybe two or three glasses for each and you can go home, being fit the next day. That is different if the host is purchasing a whole arsenal of bottles, if someone is constantly filling your glass up again or asking why yours is still empty. That’s not the type of socializing I want to do regularly.
So, that’s how I choose my close friends. I prefer to hang around with friends where this isn’t common, where you can purchase ONE bottle once in a while, like 2-3 times a year and call it a nice meeting. The type of friends where you actually don’t have to bring a drink with you at all, because they can socialize without. Because they have the same interests, that are everything but not about drinking. That’s the lesson I learned after this weekend again. I grew out of this, and now I knew again why I accepted reluctantly and why I should have refused the invite of acquaintances… but the day after it was too late. The insight is, there is a reason why some of us changed, why we found new people in our life, that some old acquaintances might not have changed, and that we fall back into old habits if we meet them again. Simply because in these circles, it’s expected from you to waste yourself and all it takes to get to this conclusion is to take a look at how much bottles there are on the table.
I’d still say it was interesting to see and talk with some of them again. It wasn’t all bad. But it was also more curiosity. The day was also good because some closer friends were invited too. But then again, they already said too that it was a mistake to go there and that we should stick with our smaller circle again, that it was just too much over there. It seems we needed to waste ourselves to get to this conclusion. But maybe it’s not that bad if it’s a way to learn. I still remember how I stopped to smoke cigarettes three years ago, and how I tried one again a year later and thought “That tastes like shit”. Since then I never smoked a cigarette again because I developed a real aversion with the last one. So, maybe you need a faux pas once, like a reminder. I think the last weekend was a good reminder.