I keep hearing the phrase „social drinker”, supposedly describing people who drink alcohol only „socially”. I am still trying to figure out the meaning of that phrase. Does it mean that as a “social drinker” you drink only once a week? Twice? Three times? That one week you drink every day, and the next – not at all? Does “social” drinking happen only on big, communal celebrations? When I look at people in NY, I start to suspect that if one drinks “socially”, it means that having some social gathering around you is enough of an excuse to have a drink.
Polish people are famous over here for their taste for vodka (every single time I say I don’t drink vodka, everyone is shocked), but Poles usually drink on weekends, whereas here people drink on regular days, too. It so happens that I do get to observe people in bars quite often, and I keep seeing scenes that awake my genuine horror and disgust. I see elegantly dressed girls and women sporting rings with diamonds the size of my thumb, who lose all their supposed class and allure once they start to drink. Suddenly they shout, climb tables and drink water out of pitchers, cursing loud enough for the whole bar to hear them. They leave the place as grandly: zigzagging their way, leaning on walls and falling on their faces. The same thing happens with elegantly dressed guys who apparently believe that an expensive shirt is what makes a man. They may be wearing thousands of dollars’ worth of attire, but a few drinks will reveal what they were trying so hard to hide.
Is this only NYC-specific? Probably not, I guess most big cities on either side of the pond share this characteristic. But since I live here, I keep noticing people come to bars several times a week (all the time maintaining they “don’t have an alcohol problem”), and I learn that money and social class don’t matter when it comes to drunken behavior. Alcohol makes idiots of all of us, who after a few drinks all reach the same level: somewhere near the bottom.