Lent is not technically over, but I only have twelve hours to go and it is unlikely I am going to ruin it by spontaneously necking a bottle of vodka when I have come so far, so as far as i am concerned it is over. Many, many people thought I would fail, and I was subject to much doubt, but as people slowly (someone who swore off Papa Si’s greasy food for Lent but caved a mere three days in) but surely (someone swore off sex for Lent, but decided after getting with someone they may as well go the whole way) dropped out of the race, I carried on. I’m pretty sure that my dedication to Lent is similar to that of what a Mother shows her children; I have text a friend asking if I could have Chicken Soup in White Wine, and I even refused Jack Daniels BBQ sauce as I feared that even a hint of whisky would see me fail. During my 40 days and nights of being dryer than the Sahara, I learnt a lot of things, and here they are:
1) People have (secretly AND mistakenly) long held a belief that I am an alcoholic.
I have mentioned previously, that in my fresher year I went out a lot, but who didn’t? Second year saw me curb my nights out, but I was still out quite a bit, and all of this contributed to people’s belief that I was an alcoholic. When I initially told people I was giving up alcohol for Lent, I was laughed at, mocked by bar staff that I had never even met, and I am pretty sure people were placing bets against me completing Lent.
A month in however, and I was getting people tell me that they were ”proud” of me, like I was some old lush who boozed from morning till night. I am sure my friends meant it in a nice way, but there is something slightly unnerving about the fact that the only time people tell you that they are proud of you is because you have decided to stop being a victim of one pound shots.
2) Drunk people are funny.
”I think you are very attractive” a drunk male friend whispered in my ear as he hung around my neck before attempting to give me a sloppy kiss, all of which came after he told me about the last weekend he was out he had tried getting with girls from work and that he came across a bit ”rapey”, which is slightly worrying since he’s a barman in the students union.
Luckily, I was able to see the humorous side to all of this, probably because I knew that he would have no recollection of this the next morning judging by the way he was stumbling around like an elephant that has just been shot with a tranquilizer, but it just highlights how funny drunk people can be. I also had the pleasure of someone telling me that they like my writing and he agreed with my article on casual sex, and just as I was telling him that I had never seen this side of him before he started telling me about the last person he had a one night stand with with him saying ”I bet you’ll put this in your blog, won’t you?” right after (Well, duh).
3) In equal measure, dunk people are annoying.
Yes, some drunk people are amusing, but some are just annoying and should not be allowed to drink. I have had girls crash into me before decking it and proceeding to roll about on the floor. I have also had the displeasure of a girl barging STRAIGHT through me when I was talking to my friend, and was extremely fortunate that I didn’t march right after her and drag her along the floor by her hair to the other side of the room. It’s moments like these that you wish you could have a couple of drinks in you just so you can tolerate the people who can’t handle their alcohol.
4) Drunk people give sound advice.
Some drunk people give you advice that is so right on (and wrapped up in hilarity) that you forget the annoying drunks and go back to loving them. I once told someone about the time I needed a bouncer but there wasn’t one in sight (I was encircled by a group of boys trying to grind on me) and I was told to ”Smash a bottle on the counter and I guarantee that you will have at least two running towards you; it also helps to wave the smashed bottle around threateningly saying ”Come at me and I’ll chop your dick off with a rusty nail” it works everytime”. Amazing.
5) The music rarely varies.
One of the hings that irked me the morning after a night out is that I could never remember half of the music that was played the night before. It got to the point where I may as well have been attending silent discos; in fact, one time Rihanna’s ”Diamonds” started playing on the radio and I started complaining saying that I didn’t like it, when she said ”Well you liked it the other night, you were singing along and dancing to it” which was a sobering moment.
Luckily, all these issues were resolved for me during Lent, because I found out that the playlist for certain nights is pretty much the same week in and week out. The reason for this is because drunk people don’t really care what music is playing as long as it is in the UK top 40, but occasionally they will care when their favourite song comes on, and you will know this has happened because you hear a mini scream like someone’s waters have just broken and then see their facial expression change to one similar to someone experiencing sexual pleasure.
6) Alcohol stops me being ill.
I always thought that I had an immune system which was one level below being that of a deity’s because I rarely got ill and when I did it was for a very short period of time. However, a couple of weeks after giving up the booze and I was getting every illness going, from a fever and migranes to colds and three week long coughs. Either alcohol is more numbing than I thought and it prevented me from feeling illness, or I have discovered the prevention to the common cold: vodka.
7) I want more chilled out nights
So much of the university social life is about drinking, that it becomes a bit tiring being sober when everybody else is drunk because every birthday is a predrinks before ending up at the students union. However, it is a case of the grass always being greener as some people have told me (as they made their way to a pre drinks just as me and my friend were settling down to chill for the night) that they were tired of going out and wanted to do something different. Either way, I’m happy to report Lent has made me realise that I really want to cut back on the amount I go out and do more sober things, so it seems it has definitely tamed my partying streak