Day 27: Power Tools

“She was the third beer. Not the first one, which the throat receives with almost tearful gratitude; nor the second, that confirms and extends the pleasure of the first. But the third, the one you drink because it’s there, because it can’t hurt, and because what difference does it make?”
― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

There is a truth in handcrafts that cannot be denied. The act of picking up a chisel you just sharpened to carve away a perfect shaving. Metal that shapes under the file. Dropping wood fresh cut with a hand saw. Attaching the final hardware with a screwdriver.

I wish that all my projects could be made this way, by hand. However, life does not work this way; there is simply not enough time in the day. When the work is before you and needs to get done, I reach for the power tools to get it finished quickly.

A lot can be said for taking one’s time when developing a new relationship with alcohol. There is a satisfaction to slow and steady progress when trying to find new ways to be comfortable while drinking, without the pains of excess. It is good to be careful, and take it slow, when venturing into new territory. Then again, Dryuary only lasts a month and then it is done until next year. The time for messing around is over. We need to bring out the power tools, and get this job done.

How many times do you go out and drink one drink right after another? (All the time, right?) Well, that is simply a good way to get drunk. Try separating each drink from each other with a non alcoholic drink. This can be as simple as seltzer with a twist of lime; it will LOOK like a drink and nobody will be the wiser. But if you separate your booze with a little break in between, it will make your evening (and tolerance) last must longer – without getting blotto in the process.

Did you ever drink instead of having dinner? (Dieting?) Another sure way to forget the night’s events is to begin the evening on an empty stomach. Don’t make this mistake- Eat something before drinking! A slice or two of pizza, a falafel sandwich, a burger – anything. TIP: Most bars serve food, too. Try it; you may be pleasantly surprised.

When does the evening end? When I was drunk every evening, it never really ended- I just stayed out until everything around me fell apart and I had to go home. This is not a reasonable expectation for a good night out. Before your evening begins, plan ahead- and do not forget to plan when to leave. Leaving is not the end of things; it may just be the beginning of a new experience.

How many drinks did you have in an evening? Do you ever keep track? (What is a drink anyway?) A standard drink: one 12 oz-beer (5% alcohol), one 5-oz glass wine (12% alcohol), or 1 and 1/2 oz of 80-proof liquor (40% alcohol). That Iced Tea you just had? That may have been three or four “drinks” in one glass. A pint of beer may be 1.5 drinks, or more if it is one of the high alcohol craft beers I enjoy. If you don’t know how many “drinks” you just had, you cannot keep count- and if you are not keeping track, you may be well on your way to an evening you will not remember.

There are other ways to have a memorable evening out with alcohol without it getting out of hand. Consider putting off your first drink as long as possible into the evening. Discover favorite non-alcoholic drinks you can order at a bar; most bartenders actually like making mocktails- if they have the chance. Remember during your time out what you want to accomplish that night- and chances are it does not include being blindsided by drink.

Pay attention. Plan ahead. Have an enjoyable evening, and many days and nights after that. Fun is a precious concept; does it have to include too much alcohol? A good night, a safe trip home, and a great day afterwards – what more do we really need?

Post Submitted by: Kurt S., Dryuary Administrator