The Luck of the Sober
Published March 20, 2012 • 1 comment
BY TOMMY ALEXANDER, Photo Editor
Saint Patrick’s Day from the perspective of a non-drinker is an experience to be had. There’s the typical bar girls, biker dudes, and middle aged men and women trying to relive their twenties. There are drinking games named after bison and people asking me why my shirt has an “X” on it. There were girls who considered my non-drinking to be “cute” and guys who considered me to be “gay” because of it. I learned that I could fit 6 of my drunken friends in my small focus, and I learned that 90% of my graduating class would most likely never leave downriver.
The holiday in itself is considered a “religious” holiday, celebrating Saint Patrick, who is widely considered the reason for the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. The day is supposed to be observed by Christians by attending church services.
This past Saturday I saw a lot less worshiping God and remembering Saint Patrick than I saw drunken messes and people passing out on the floor. I mean if that’s how they were giving thanks for St. Patrick, then more power to them. I have a feeling though that more often than not, a good amount of people “celebrating” this holiday have absolutely no idea who St. Patrick was or what he is famous for. Probably a good 90% of the people claiming to be Irish also are most likely lying.
I worked until about 3 p.m. and occasionally people would stumble in clearly already pretty drunk and I would ask them how their day has gone so far. I occasionally got coherent responses but the general consensus was something along the lines of them asking me why I was not drunk yet. Well I do believe it is frowned upon to be drunk at work but don’t quote me on that.
I called my friends who had apparently been out since 10 a.m. that morning, so I expected them to be fairly obliterated by 3 p.m. Surprisingly they weren’t too bad. They told me to come up to a downriver bar called McCaffrey’s because it was “bumping.” I’m not up on the hip-hop lingo but apparently “bumping” is supposed to mean, “It’s awesome.” Boy were they wrong.
I don’t know if it was the alcohol that made them think the butt-rock playing bar band, the middle-aged women, and sea of sloppy drunks was “awesome” but I pressed on because God knows they needed a designated driver.
After forcing them to pay the $5 cover charge for me, I waded my way through the crowded bar and through a sea of people wearing shirts with just plain green all the way up to t-shirts sporting slogans like “Kiss me I’m shit-faced.” Mind you I’m wearing a white straight edge t-shirt with an “X” on the pocket, and not a shred of green on my entire body. I was only pinched once all night and it was by a lady old enough to be my mother, who creepily stared at me during the duration of my stay there.
Bar culture is another thing that I don’t understand, and I doubt I’ll ever fit into. Desperate guys who are trying way too hard to pick up chicks, men who look like they’ve taken every steroid on the market who are getting all the chicks, and then the even more desperate cougars are my favorite groups of people to observe while I’m at these places.
St. Patrick’s day is just another excuse for people to go out and get really drunk and belligerent at a bar without having to feel bad about themselves. Except the next morning when everyone tells them what (or who) they did last night, then the regret and bad feelings come creeping out. Many people look at me making fun of people who go to bars and drink, and think I don’t have the right to do so because I myself don’t drink at all. I don’t care if people drink, it’s your life not mine. I’m just annoyed with all the excuses, like “It’s okay, it’s St. Patrick’s Day.”