In college, I was scorned by friends for going home on the weekends.
Without my authorization, I once was made the designated “coat and purse hanger” in a lonely corner in a bar room while my friends danced on the bar.
On more than one occasion, I was intimidated by my own roommate who wanted to see me “chill out and smoke some pot” with her and her friends.
At my last job, one coworker had me pegged as a “non-drinker” and thought it was worth sharing with everyone that I actually had a drink during our department holiday party.
Yes, I’ve had a drink or two in my life. I’ve been drunk and hung-over only a handful of times. I’ve had shots at bars and played beer pong at college parties before I was 21. While I had fun socializing some of those times, I never really wanted to be there. I think some of us are intimidated, overwhelmed, or even just bored by “that scene.”
It’s more acceptable for people in college and in their twenties, it seems, to be seen as someone who likes to have a good time drinking, being inappropriate, and taking risks. Just think about the Billy Joel song, “Only the Good Die Young.” You hear things like “you’re only young once,” and it becomes a game seeing how much illegal and dangerous stuff you can get away with.
Most young people will have to deal with the fact that to be seen as a drinker and partier is far better than to be seen as a homebody and non-drinker. It’s way cooler to be called a slob than to be called a prude. Because prudes must not have fun?! But why do people look down on those of us, especially girls, who aren’t rowdy or raunchy, and who simply don’t like Jager Bombs?
I know there are more girls out there like me. We aren’t prudes. We aren’t boring. We’re maybe just, mild. Maybe we can band together to make Girls Gone Mild acceptable? Maybe it’s a bone we’re born with or without. Maybe it’s a learned behavior. Either way, here are five reasons I’m fine with being “mild:”
1) It’s never fun to be hung-over. Period.
2) It costs a lot of money to go out to bars, between cover charges and each round of drinks. Of course, girls are often treated to free drinks from the stranger across the bar, which brings me to my next point…
3) Trouble lurks in many forms when you’re out. The creepy guy who won’t leave you alone after he’s bought you a drink (even though you didn’t ask for it). The fight that’s happening next to you and ends with someone getting arrested. The Roofies and other date rape drugs. It’s scary out there.
4) You might say and do things you would regret. Sure, being under the influence comes with an element of fun. The good news is you often don’t remember anything bad that happened. But the bad news is, you get dressed up, plan a night with friends, and make memories, but you may not remember any of them.
5) There are a lot of calories in all those drinks. But then again, calories are in all the sweets I eat too, so I’m not going to say much here.
I’m no “saint” but I’ve grown tired of people thinking I’m no fun because of the choices I make. I’m supportive of people having a good time in any way they choose; why can’t that same support be given to me?
It’s time for people to stop making those of us who prefer the peace and quite of the non-party scene feel bad. Not being a partier does not mean you’re boring. In fact, here are five ways I’ve had a blast as a “mild” girl:
1) Go out dancing. You do not need to “have a few drinks in you” before you hit the dance floor. Find a place known for its dance scene. Even if you have two left feet, everyone has fun dancing, and the DJ usually shouts “no drinks on the dance floor!”
2) Host your own party (host it alone, with friends, for a holiday, etc.). Put all the emphasis on planning the menu, choosing a theme, selecting music, entertainment (like games) and decorations, and getting dressed up. You can hand select your pals who can appreciate a milder scene like this. There can even be adult beverages, but it doesn’t have to be the highlight of the night!
3) Stay in. Have a movie marathon, spa night, order take-out and catch up on the novel you don’t have time to read during the work week. You’re a busy girl and you need to slow down on the weekends. And none of these ideas will leave you hung-over.
4) Go home to see your family. Take your niece out for the day, or offer to babysit her. Spend some quality time with your Gram and Gramps while they’re still around. They would love a surprise visit from you. That’s what memories are all about.