When I was a young girl, at the age of... 18... I still didn't drink.
Well, I was busy doing interesting things and having full time theater jobs etc. etc. But, I was also such a approval-basker that I was perfectly happy to be well-behaved, thanks.
(Plus, I was on diabetes medicine, even though I didn't have diabetes. One time the meds actually burned a hole in my esophagus. So... I couldn't drink anyway or I would ruin my stomach and liver, but that is a DIFFERENT story for a different day.)
Anywayysssssss, one time I was being a little stick in the mud- judging everyone who was just trying to have a good time and said to my mom "Ugh, I just don't understand why people have to drink to have fun! It is so annoying!"
There was a pause.
I was expecting some kind of praise, or at least approval for my straight-edge sentiments. But, no. She had to go CHANGE the game on me.
"Caroline, don't be so hard on the drinkers. Drinking is fun"
"Drinking is fun. You don't have to be angry about it.... Most people drink in high school"
Let's not even mention that I was actually on a drug that she of course knew about and paid for because I was a child! -that I expressly wasn't supposed to drink with. Not that that was the only reason I didn't drink.... I was also clearly a goodie-two-shoes with an attitude problem.
"Mom, I cannot believe you are saying this to me."
And let's be honest, I totally forget how the conversation went after that point. Maybe it ended then, or maybe it ended with her saying "I am not saying you should drink, I am just saying you shouldn't be so hard on the people that do".
Ohhhohhhhh, but I was mad. I was mad for a few reasons:
- How was I supposed to know how to keep the approval of my parents if they were going to tell me "Drinking is Fun?". How confusing is that
- How dare she be the one to make me feel bad about my straight-edge nature!?
- Forget approval! How was I ever supposed to eventually rebel against her/myself if she was pushing me to accept underage drinking?
- And most upsettingly: was she calling me UNCOOL!?!?