Often when I’m out and about with friends and acquaintances there will be alcohol involved. Beer, spirits, cocktails and, of course, wine will be flowing freely as everyone settles themselves into a mindset of relaxation.
From amidst the rabble of conversation a common thread can be untangled:
“This wine is fun!”
“I’m having fun!”
“Fun, fun, FUN!“
And I think to myself – “What are we, a bunch of children?”
Maybe this is just a function of be becoming older. Depending on who you ask, it could be considered a mark of maturity and wisdom, or instead a sign of crabbiness and not getting “with it”. There’s so much more potential for wine, and drink in general, to be a foil for benevolent socialising. Yet more and more people would rather use it as some kind of tool or excuse to abandon their inhibitions and seek sensation.
Is there anything inherently wrong with “having fun”? No, but it should be a natural by-product of any activity, not it’s main goal. When this becomes the case, you lose all sense of moderation and self-control. Perhaps it’s for this reason that a number of laws governing drinking establishments have been passed.
Seeking fun for the sake of it is characteristic of one particular demographic – children. And there are plenty of reasons why we shouldn’t hand over alcohol to children.
Instead, I like to approach wine with the view of taking pleasure.
There is a subtle distinction between fun and pleasure, and perhaps someone with a greater mastery over words could be able to spell it out clearly. It’s the difference between standard of living and quality of life, between machismo and manhood, wordiness and articulation.
This is something that I have begun to apply to many other facets in my life. Instead of drinking at loud clubs, I choose to frequent more causal lounge bars. Instead of mindlessly making impulse purchases, I have a more discerning eye for what is and is not necessary in my life.
But perhaps the biggest impact this particular mindset has had is on my relationship with other people. I have become much more selective about the kind of company that I keep, and a few words exchanged in conversation will reveal to me whether or not we will get along. Whereas when I was younger I would be worried about not “fitting in” with the group, I have begun to look at groups and the individuals within to judge whether or not they “fit in” with me.
Is this judgemental? Discriminatory? Of course, just as you would be judgemental and discriminatory about which wine you would select to go with your dinner tonight.