COLUMN: How to be happy in only 12 sips
My British teacher who teaches British literature, where we discuss British works with British people doing British things, one day looked at us in a very British manner and boldly proclaimed, in his most British accent: “All you young people do is think about death.”
And hell, he’s probably right. In fact, I thought about death for about an hour and a half yesterday. I concluded drowning seemed pretty painful, being stabbed with a spear is dreadfully archaic and spontaneous combustion was unlikely. I also decided against dying in my sleep: there is no way my last moment of existence is going to be as boring as sleep.
Speaking of death, this weekend is Western Weekend.
“Why do you go to Central Michigan if you don’t like to party,” you’re probably all thinking right now.
But listen, I was deceived. It was false advertisement. I came to CMU to party. All you people who came here to be doctors, teachers, journalists, businessmen, you have nothing on me. I came here to party full-time. I’m way more hardcore.
But I thought partying involved sneaking into night clubs, picking up chicks, getting into a black Mercedes, getting the police off of our trail and riding into the sunset. Or at least something just like that. Just a tad more realistic.
Instead, it involves drinking contests. And I don’t mean drinking contests in the classical context. I mean it in the junior-year-of-college context where we all compete to buy as much alcohol as possible for as little amount of money possible.
“Hey, I just bought a fifth of vodka for $2. I didn’t even know there was a K-Mart brand,” my roommate boasts at the top of his lungs. Then he rushes to fill his glass with enough ice tea so that the vodka doesn’t burn a hole in his stomach.
Partying also involves stuffing yourself into a cramped apartment, because nothing says the weekend like brushing your face against someone’s sweaty armpit. Make sure to turn Skrillex and Kid Cudi on as loudly as possible and then try not to pass out on your girlfriend as you finish your 19th shot.
Or, in the case of K-Mart brand vodka, just try not to die.
I guess it’s suitably ironic that colleges’ favorite pastime includes waking up in your own vomit in a random ditch. Because hell, that’s fun, right?
When I was a kid, I thought of happiness as something constant, bright and, most importantly, easy. One of the most devastating truths we learn as we grow up is that happiness doesn’t come without hardship, sweat and hard work. And it doesn’t come very often. At least not the kind that means anything.
But as soon as we convince ourselves that we can buy happiness for $15 a bottle, then heck, we can be happy every weekend.
And if it isn’t alcohol, then it’s sex, gambling, religion, work, drugs or coffee.
If college has taught me anything, it’s that nobody survives without their drug.
But, please, pass me my mixed drink. I’m certainly no exception.
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