Sunday, July 11, 2004

Clubbing / Offering Drinks

I've got two medium sized annoyances to report for today.

The first is clubbing. It's an activity that I don't understand. I spent a night clubbing once, and it was one of the least fun nights I ever had. Let me make my case.

1. You must wait in a long line to enter.
2. When you get to the front, you must pay a cover charge.
3. You enter an environment that is way the hell too hot.
4. You enter an environment where you can't hear a goddamned thing.
5. You enter an environment so packed with people that you can't really move around.

Then you pretty much have three choices.

A) You can go to the bar and buy a drink. This might make perfect sense to the seasoned clubber, but I don't get it. Didn't I pay to get in? Why should I pay to get to a bar counter where I'll just have to pay again for a drink? Aren't there other places, called bars, that let you in for free?

B) You can try hopelessly to have some kind of conversation. But it's nearly impossible. Here's a related question: why make the music so loud it hurts? I'm planning on discussing this further in a later rant.

C) You can try to find a spot to dance.

Then, after about an hour, you leave the club and go to the next club, where there's a new line, new cover charge and new sweaty, sardine packed interior. This is all "fun".

Obviously, some people love spending an evening this way. Maybe, if drugs are part of the equation and you have a lot of money to burn... And maybe if you really love the music or you love to dance, the negatives somehow get cancelled out. If someone would like to volunteer to explain the joy of clubbing, I'd appreciate it.

The other thing that's annoying me today is these people who aren't happy unless you're drinking with them.

Let me say for the record, I have never in my life cared one bit, for one solitary second whether or not my companions were choosing to drink. Obviously if they were driving, or were 5 years old I'd care. But just in a general situation, watching TV, having a barbeque, whatever. You can drink, not drink. I really do not care. I really really do not care. I'm having difficulty coming up with the words to truly express how little I care whether or not my friends are drinking with me.

Yet there are people, and now I think I've known 3 or 4 of them, who really, REALLY want you to have a beer. They are seriously unhappy if you won't have the drink and will express their unhappiness in a variety of ways. If I'm making myself a bloody mary and offer some to my friends, it's not because I WANT them to drink a bloody mary. It's because I want to extend a hospitable choice so they feel at home. I'm equally happy if they say yes or no. It's not the drinking of the beverage that matters, it's the friendliness behind the offer.

But some people have bought into the culture of drinking, and they think that if they decide to partake, then it's a slap in the face if you don't join them. One of these people might offer to buy you a drink. Now if you say no you're being doubly insulting. Not only was he offering to drink with you, but he was offering to buy the round. You asshole.

I remember the scene in Temple of Doom where Mrs. Spielberg is offered the plate of crap, and she turns it down, but Indy warns her to eat it because it would be an insult not to. I thought "Ahhh, that sure is a wacky Indian culture!" Well, it's the same thing with these drinkers.

I just don't get it. There's not a single atom in my body that makes me want to pressure someone else to drink. Again, I understand the *offer* of the drink. It's a wonderful gesture of friendliness. But if I say, "No thanks, I'm not thirsty." why isn't that the end of the conversation? Why do I have keep saying no until it becomes uncomfortable?

Could it be that you're insecure and that you're just not happy drinking unless others are joining you? Why... yes!

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