Voices

The irony of beer

By the

February 15, 2001


Beer is one of the most ugly things I’ve ever seen. It’s yellow and foamy, and it reminds me of a polluted waterfall as it pours over the edge of a tall glass. If you have ever listened carefully to a drunken conversation, you’ll know that people talk about the most insane things when they’re drinking beer. The smell of it makes me imagine dark bars where men and women do unforeseen things to have “fun.” Not to mention, beer tastes disgusting.

The fondness for beer in today’s society is simply astounding to me. At Georgetown, parties consist of beer, and sometimes only beer. The Block Party that is so popular at our school is all about the beer. When I go to the grocery store on Friday night, I inevitably see someone buying a six-pack of beer in every other line. When I turn on the television, I see a funny Budweiser commercial. During my first year, at a dinner with one of the organizations of Georgetown they served good food and then played a round of who could chug down a cold can of beer the fastest. I, the good non-alcoholic drinker (since it is illegal), left the party feeling depressed and lonely. Maybe I was the only one with an abhorrence for beer.

Then again, am I the only child in the United States who has had a bad experience with alcohol? When I see anyone drinking or talking about drinking, I think of my father and his six-packs of Budweiser that were more precious to him than his marriage, his parents and me. I see his red face shouting incomprehensibly about what had gone wrong that day while slurping his beer. Consequently, whenever I see the color red I think of his round face (which, to my luck, I inherited). I have come to despise that color.

After years of pain and suffering caused by a divorce that happened because of beer, I vowed never to drink alcohol. Beer, martinis and all the wine in the world could go straight down the drain. In high school I did not go to parties because I knew that drinking was a key component at them. And now, I am at Georgetown.

This isn’t about getting everyone else in the world to stop drinking alcohol. I am not that na?ve or hopeful of a miracle. It just seems rather strange that I, who hate beer and alcohol more than Bush hates Clinton, would come to a school where drinking is such a big part of the social life. I should simply congratulate myself for not researching this school further before matriculating, right?

I came to Georgetown for the academics and for a chance to become the educated, hard working person I have dreamed of being. I haven’t let the drinking component ruin my experience at Georgetown, but I will never go to a party and drink, or go to a bar on my 21st birthday. I’d rather, quite literally, climb Mt. Everest.

In the future, however, when I get a job and become part of the professional workforce, what am I going to do at company parties or even family parties? (Koreans do like their alcohol, believe me.) All my friends will go to bars, and I’ll stay home and drink Coke, the best substitute for beer. What am I going to do when my husband or even my brother goes out and gets drunk? I know I will never drink, but I have yet to accept other people’s attitudes toward alcohol. This may be one of the hardest battles in my life.

Since day one I have run away from beer. I have hated it for 20 years (well, counting my infancy). I avoided it in high school, but I managed to come to a college whose students love their beer. And I am also part of a culture where men love their alcohol and cigarettes. It seems that no matter what I do or where I go, beer and alcohol follow me. If this isn’t irony, what is?



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