Monday, January 14, 2008

Alcohol 101 - Part 1

As someone who has seen the ups and downs and in and outs of drinking alcohol, I am going to impart as much of the knowledge that I have gained upon you in four short posts. First, a little background on my pedigree and qualifications.

Growing up, I rarely saw my parents drink. I might've seen my father have a whiskey sour once or twice, as well as the occasional red wine because it was supposedly good for the heart. My mother would keep a pint of Seagram's whiskey hidden in the kitchen that would make an appearance once or twice a year for a 7 & 7.

I dabbled a bit in drinking when I was 19 or 20, frequenting a bar that was known to serve minors - I think the draw was 2 dollar margaritas if I'm not mistaken. I didn't really drink a whole lot though, until I turned 21 years old. On my 21st birthday, I went from 0 to 60 and began partying on an ever-increasing basis. I was the oldest of my friends, so it was up to me to supply them all with libations.

Between the ages of 21 and 24, I basically turned into Van Wilder and corrupted as many people as I could get my hands on. We threw house parties on a regular basis - BIG house parties. We taught people how to do shots, shotgun beers, make flaming Dr. Peppers and car bombs, keg stands, beer bongs (funnels) and pretty much anything else that might get you tanked quickly. At the same time, my wife was a bartender for 8 years with an extensive knowledge of mixed drink recipes - hence, we didn't need any mixology posters on the wall. Of course, there are the obvious downsides to this lifestyle. Blackouts became a regular occurrence as well as a fair share of vomiting. Not to mention the plethora of poor moral choices that go along with being drunk.

When I was 24, I found Jesus, or rather I submitted and gave control of my life over to Jesus. I stopped partying cold turkey, went to AA everyday for a month (though I hated it because they were depressing and defeatist and prayed to a faceless "higher power"), and stayed completely "dry" for about six months. One day, while sitting at the bar where my fiance' worked, a fellow offered to buy me a beer and one of the bartenders declined the offer on my behalf, remarking, "Lew can't drink." I was bothered by the fact that she said that I was unable to drink rather than "He chooses not to drink." As a Christ-follower, I was perfectly able to have a drink and remain sober, and I didn't like being made to look like a weakling. Jesus had given me strength, power, self-control and if I couldn't exemplify that, then what was the difference between my relationship with Him and an alcoholic's commitment to the "12 steps." Well, in my mind, there was a big difference.

So after being "dry" for six months, I began to slowly integrate alcohol back into my diet. Fortunately, I discovered that I had new-found taste buds and a new appreciation for beer that actually had taste, flavor, and weight. In my next post, I will continue to tell you a little of what I've learned about alcohol - differentiating between beer, wine and hard liquor.

1 Comment:

Mayoliv said...

Great post, I really like the honest and open approach. Very intresting stuff. I can't wait to hear more.....

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