Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Does Teetotal Really Mean Boring?

After what seems like days of endlessly trying to write and getting nothing, it turns out all that it took for me to get back to the keyboard for a triumphant return was a Guardian article suggesting I was boring. Okay, I'm paraphrasing, the actual article was - "I was a teenage teetotaller... and boy was I boring" by Peter Ormerod. Here's the thing, boring is as boring does - with or without a drink in it's hand.

I was a teenage teetotaller and - unlike Ormerod, I'm not here to defend it. Now that I don't go to University, and spend a lot of my time past 11pm lying in bed watching Netflix, I still consider myself a teetotaller - I can tell you the last time I got drunk was the Summer after I turned eighteen, and even that was a mix up about the potency of shots provided by rural Spanish bars (seriously, I only had one drink then we ran up a practically vertical hill to look at a church, not my finest moment). It's not, as the above article suggests, through fear of embarrassment (although, I don't like to vomit - but I'm not sure anyone really does), or necessarily down to witnessing alcoholism within my family, nor was it for health reasons, or to be edgy and cool by being the exact counteroffer to edgy and cool - it just was. Drinking was expensive, sticky and uncalled for - I am a hyperactive child wrapped in the body of a babyfaced adult as it is, I didn't need alcohol to have fun. I had absolutely no qualms about ordering a diet coke at the bar, bouncing back to my group and necking a random stranger, then making sure everybody got home safe. Plus, I can confirm - absolutely nobody gives a crap about whether you're drinking or not, most people literally don't notice unless I actively tell them.

Teetotal Quotes

Ormerod is quick to suggest that these increasing levels of sobriety are making us a generation of boring, apathetic conformists - and I couldn't agree less. He's right, in some ways - gone are the days of rock'n'roll being controversial, and our parents banging on the ceiling with their brooms, willing us to switch it down (I'm pretty sure our parents knowing about the volume and content of our music died alongside the invention of the headphone), but it's only because we're on to bigger and better things. Our eyes have been opened to the world's events better than ever before, and our plight is no longer about defying out parents and sneaking out to dance with cute boys (I think I might be mixing up older generation's upbringing with Footloose a little bit, come to think of it) - we've got bigger fish to fry. Our sobriety, or lack of, has little to do with it - our witnessing of daily inequality, religious intolerance and general ignorance shown by such a vast amount of people means that we're done overruling our parents, we're too busy trying to change the world - and if you think it's only through violent, thuggish means, you've obviously not been on change.org, or Facebook, or Tumblr in a while.

Sobriety and boredom do not go hand in hand, and neither are we forced to stay within the realms of our own "pack", I've joined in many a drunken debate - stone cold sober. It doesn't take courage to drink, nor does it take courage to opt out - especially as we get more and more accepting as a society. It's not us judging each other that's making young people feel like they have to drink, but rather articles exactly like Ormerod's. Our drinking has nothing to do with our apathy, or lack of - just because our courses, methods and pastimes are different - it doesn't make us a boring generation. After all, our generation is more tolerant, empathetic and strong willed than we've seen in a long time. As I sit comfortable, sipping my coke and flirting with girls in a bar at the weekend (girls I can now marry, should I want to - just one thing our generation helped change) and telling jokes, I'll be sure to remind everyone how boring and conformist we all are, that's sure to get a laugh.

Do you drink, do you think people who don't are boring?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: The A-Z Of Sammy


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