Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Glow with the Flow

For someone who gets the "glow" from drinking alcoholic beverages, I don't even know why I even bother to drink anything. For those of you who don't know what the "glow" is, allow me to explain: it is when your body absolutely refuses to digest the distilled-beverage-of-your-choice being put into your body. Instead of quietly flushing the obtrusive toxin out of your system like a normal person, your body decides to teach you a hard lesson by turning your face, then gradually your entire body a lobster red. That is after one drink. After drink two, the red turns into a magenta. After drink three, the magenta turns into an unhealthy purple hue. That is when the bartender starts cutting you off, your friends are starting to look worried, and you are absolutely mortified because the people around you think you are a raving alcoholic. In order to avoid the concerned/disgusted stares, I have learned to spend my adult drinking years in dark rooms, nursing my paper cup full of mystery juice all night long. It took me a number of years to really sit down and do a benefits analysis; upon doing so, I came quickly to the conclusion that it was not worth the social agony to continue in this fashion. Once I stopped imbibing fermented beverages, my defenses toward the poison started to get weaker and weaker. The happy buzz that accompanied my rose visage was replaced by nausea, irritability, and a desire to go the bathroom every ten seconds - in other words, a temporary pregnancy! A miracle. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is having a grand old time, completely oblivious to the irritable red heifer in the corner doing the pee pee dance. Adding insult to injury, those individuals unfamiliar with the glow syndrome often stare at my 7/8 full glass of Riesling in disbelief and ask me what's wrong with me. This is especially true among the fraternity/sorority demographic, who never quite grew out of the college drinking scene, and have built up an impressive tolerance. Explaining my affliction has taken so much time and energy out of me over the years, so for the sake of my own amusement, I resort to one-liners that have varying degrees of diplomacy like, "My body is my temple," "I don't need alcohol to freak people out," "I am trying to build my investment portfolio by conserving my spending habits," or "I saved just enough of my drink to throw in the face of people who try to tell me what to do," and other such niceties. Perhaps that is a little mean, but don't people have to make choices that are the best for them and those around them? Having one less red-faced, irritable New Yorker will do the City a whole world of good. So please, be kind to those with the "glow" the next time you encounter one. By nursing our mini-mug of gin and tonics night long, we are doing everyone a public service.

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