Alcohol and Me

I was once a really strange person in that I never get drunk. In fact, I’ve never been able to drink alcoholic beverages because all I taste is this bitter, acidic, boozy flavor that just makes me want to gag and it never really seemed worth it to drink other things to cover up the taste of alcohol when I could just not drink the alcohol and drink diet Coke and be totally content. It’s not a prude thing, I wasn’t judging everyone around me for it, I just don’t like it. It’s like meat, it was just never my personal preference so to each his own.

That was in college. Now, I feel like once you get past the age of 30 getting shitfaced such that you can’t even walk yourself through a revolving door and starting to grope the woman sitting next to you under the table who is not your girlfriend who is as it turns out sitting across the table, you are inviting my judgement and disdain.

This latter part is the reason I have a very strong distaste for drunk men, who decide to take all kinds of liberties with their hands. Let’s talk about gender for a second. Am I in the wrong because I wore shorts and he sat next to me? Is he not responsible for his actions at all? Am I wrong to feel like this is completely unacceptable? No one else saw it happen, no one else noticed especially since they were all a little buzzed themselves. It’s moments like these when I feel gender the most, if that makes any sense. A few years ago I was on a crowded subway car, and there was a man who was being … well, anyway, I never rode the subway during rush hour again. I never told anyone that this happened, I just stopped riding the subway at rush hour and took the bus as much as possible. Thinking back on it, I still feel grossed out and filthy about it. Something that lasted less than 40 blocks on a subway car and 6 years later I still remember it.

I don’t find drunk people to be pleasant to be around, and maybe it’s their loss of self-control that makes me so nervous. This has started me thinking about how I am generally somewhat skittish around men as a default setting. I don’t like anyone touching me, I don’t like it when they crowd my personal space. Physical contact is one of those things that I just have some issues with, and I don’t know why exactly, but especially around men it takes a long time for me to feel comfortable with anything vaguely resembling contact. So what happened this weekend just made me really uncomfortable on a lot of levels. And maybe I’m just overreacting and it wasn’t a big deal, and when I told him to stop he stopped, but I feel like I shouldn’t have had to tell him to stop. He shouldn’t have started in the first place–hands shouldn’t go where they’re not invited. Is that wrong?

It was one of those moments where I really just wished I had my friend’s wife around. Some guy on a crowded metro car was placing his junk too close to her face and she punched him there. Hard.


7 thoughts on “Alcohol and Me

  1. It was a big deal. He was probably an asshole, absolutely a drunk asshole. As you get older (45 here!), it becomes clear it’s not about women being provocative (I ROCK frumpy these days, believe you me) but about some dudes’ entitlement — and their reliance on our guilt and desire not to make a scene. Which I totally get from your POV — you’ve got 2500 years of Western culture telling you Not To Make a Fuss. But I wish I’d been there. Like your gonad-punching friend, I am a Scene-Making Warrior. But if I were you’d I’d focus on his being an ass, not inventing any unearned guilt for you. Because you’re awesome. (Or your blog is, anyway. You might eat babies, for all I know)

  2. Coming from the one who hates to make a scene about anything, this would have been worth making a total scene about it. You’d be surprised how many people will jump in to defend you when some drunken buttwipe is acting like a complete ass. Of course, you can always play you touch me, I touch you back. HARD. See how long it takes before he gets THAT message.

  3. You are not being weird at all–for anyone to touch you at any time without your consent is wrong, and being drunk doesn’t make it ok. In fact, it makes it worse, because now he’s going to blame his actions on his drunkenness and never look deeper at what made him do it–it’s erased any guilt or culpability. Jerk. Pig. Ass.

  4. Ugh, I’m sorry this happened. I loathe most people, and also public transportation. I feel lucky that I’ve lived in New York for several years and the only harassment I’ve had on the train has been verbal. Plus several instances of people vomiting, fighting, falling over … but they haven’t involved me.

    However, several years ago, I was at a holiday party for the first (shitty, awful) job I had in New York, and a male co-worker (who was drunk and had been surreptitiously sneaking out to the bar’s patio to smoke weed) touched me inappropriately. I had also been drinking (just drinking) and was simply talking to him while we were leaning against the bar, and suddenly I realized what was happening, and I was shocked. He was really blatant about it, and smiling, and I just … slowly backed away, then I grabbed my shit and left.

    I never told anyone about it. Ever. I felt uncomfortable around him for the next entire year I worked there. I never went out to any extracurricular office function that I knew he would be at, and I left if he showed up at one.

    I wish I had said something and handled it differently. This is literally the first time I’ve ever said anything to anyone about it. But that office was so small, and corrupt in that office way, and everyone LOVED that guy. I guess that was kind of the reason I never said anything. And I wasn’t sure if something had to happen in the physical confines of an office for it to constitute sexual harassment, and if HR or any higher-ups would’ve brushed it off because he was drunk, and I had been drinking. But everyone was drinking. It was the company-sponsored open-bar holiday party. God. I don’t know. Fuck.

    • RIGHT?! And now I feel weird and incredibly uncomfortable and all I can think is, “FUCK I FUCKING HATE YOU!” And now whenever he’s nearby I’m like, GET AWAY FROM ME! But how are we supposed to handle this in a way that won’t blow up in our faces when they either don’t apologize for it or just bullshit apologize and are all, “I was just joking, lighten up” and everyone agrees with them. And you’re like, “teasing shouldn’t involve your hands touching me, at all, ever.”

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