Are we wrecking our bodies with booze?

Amy Durazo

Prior to college, good grades were occasions to wiggle a few extra bucks away from our parents.

Big sports victories earned us nice dinners out.

Birthdays represented all that is wonderful in the universe – sleepover parties, laser tag, great gifts, and ice cream cake.

Those were the days.

Today, when a celebration is in order, we hope for one thing: alcohol; tequila shots, Miller Lights, Franzia, and Red Bull and vodkas.

Anything that might help destroy all or any memories we might possibly like to remember about our milestone moments.

If you are not guilty of this mortal sin, then by all means, please cast the first stone.

My mother, terribly worried (in total mom fashion) about my upcoming 21st birthday, has been frantically nagging me for weeks now.

“Honestly, do you all go out on the weekends looking to get totally trashed?”


“But why?”

I danced around her question for a few moments before confessing that I really didn’t know. Of course I knew – because everyone else does. And it seems like a good idea at the time, like professing your love to an unattainable crush or going skinny dipping.

“I’m not saying ‘don’t drink,'” she pleaded. “I’m saying, ‘why do you have to drink so much that you throw up and feel like crap the next day?'”

The woman has a legitimate point.

We live in a body-conscious world. We learned long ago that too much McDonald’s is horrifically unhealthy.

It goes without saying that too many cigarettes cause cancer. We don’t have to be told twice that heroin is dangerously addictive.

So what is it about “too much alcohol will kill you” that is so hard for us to understand?

Although there are some people out there who would like to hide under the covers and pretend that it’s not true, most of us had fake driver’s licenses before we ever had real ones. Even more of us are proudly-proclaimed underage drinkers. We’ve bowed to the porcelain gods at 2 p.m. on Novafest, passed out cold at 7:30p.m. on homecoming, and cracked open a cold one at 9:55 a.m. for a beloved rugby game. Don’t even get me started on St. Patrick’s Day.

Why do we do it? Instant gratification. Over time, as we enjoyed keg stand after miserable keg stand, our tolerances increased. We needed more drinks to feel the same way.

I think we owe our livers and kidneys some serious apologies.

Unfortunately, while on our journey down the trail of we usually lose soberness long before we remember to weigh in the consequences of our careless actions.

And I think we owe our livers and kidneys some serious apologies.

Does this mean we should stop drinking? Probably not. While the popular belief may be that not enough partying qualifies us as losers and too much drinking qualifies us as, well, losers, it seems that there may be a solution. What we need here is a very happy, moderately tipsy medium.

Next Friday, if you see me stumbling around Brownies during happy hour (for the first time, I swear!) forcefully remind me to take my own advice.

And please, for the love of God, get me a glass of water.