In which I kinda stopped drinking

I guess this makes me officially old.

I’ve realised that I can no longer really drink alcohol. I had two glasses of champagne the other week and had to take a sickie the next morning. I woke up in the middle of the night, couldn’t sleep, finally fell back to sleep, then woke up several hours later feeling like absolute crap.

I’ve had a glass or two of red on other nights. While I did fall asleep eventually, I woke up feeling exhausted the next day.

This makes me sad, because I’ve learned that I do like having a drink every now and then.

I still remember my first drink, at a friend’s party. I was 15, a sophomore in high school. Nobody really implemented the legal drinking age in the Philippines. (It’s 18 years. I had to Google it, because it was such a non-issue back then.) Alcohol was always just there at parties.

I don’t think I liked the taste the cheap alcohol I was drinking at that time. But that’s what you do when you’re young and trying to fit in. I did enjoy the slight buzz from having a drink or two. And when we were working on our thesis, during my last year of college, we would end a hard week’s work with an evening of drinking to celebrate. Or mourn at how long we still had left to go. Probably both.

Somewhere along the line, I stopped drinking to get buzzed and actually started drinking because I started appreciating drinks. I would no longer go for the second-to-the-cheapest wine on the menu (ha!) but go for a Shiraz, which I discovered was my favourite. Whites and rose wines had their place every now and then. I spoke with beer brewers and started getting an appreciation for craft beers.

I started cutting down on drinking, though. First, for financial reasons. Then, for health reasons. But I was always up for a drink for a special occasion. Then I noticed that slowly, I was getting tipsy earlier and earlier into the night. My body’s no longer used to it, I suppose.

In summary: this makes me sad. I enjoy a crisp rose on a hot summer’s day, chatting with a girlfriend; or a glass of red with a hearty meal. I can still have some, I guess, but now I have to choose when, and where. And what. There’s no point using up my paltry alcohol tolerance on a bad drink.

So if I have a drink with you, you should know that you’re pretty awesome.

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