I am well aware that Friday Nights at my house have developed something of a reputation as being boozy affairs with copious amounts of good food and midnight snacks. I’m not gonna lie, the wine (or alcohol of choice for the week) is pretty free flowing and there is a gluttonous amount of food that must be eaten that night so it isn’t hanging around my house the next day. We can’t have proof it happened. Again. Because if there is, I have to go through and drink and eat all day on Saturday too.
Despite this, I want to be clear that we are all incredibly self-aware of how much we drink (be it a little or a lot) and the reasons behind why we’re doing it. I wanted to talk a little about my own experiences because when Suzy’s album, Faces of Love, came out a couple of weeks ago I felt a little funny that my favorite song (outside of the title track featuring DPR Live) was SOberR. It made be take a step back and question my life choices a little. I find it’s important to do that every now and again…take a quick check to make sure your motivations are still pure…or at least reasonable.
Just as in the video and lyrics, I remember being young (too young…it was rural PA) and drinking because it would squash down some of my inhibitions. Like maybe drinking would be the instigator of really, really fun things happening. And yes, some fun things happened, but some incredibly scary stuff did too. I stopped drinking…after two years…when I was sixteen. Not because I had a problem, but because it was a problem that we didn’t have anyone to take care of shit when the bad stuff happened. Over the next several years I was the sole individual tossing chicks into the cold shower when they got out of control, coming between two folks that should absolutely not be having sex and driving overly inebriated persons to the hospital when they’d had far, far too much. I didn’t have any alcohol from that moment in the tenth grade until I was twenty-one living in Scotland where alcohol was so much less about getting piss drunk (for me, not so much for some of the younger crowd) and more about a way to de-stress and loosen my joints so I could dance after a long week in the classroom. This was also when I also started to get more tattoos and piercings. Scotland was good for self-discovery.
In the song, SObeR, Suzy is talking about how she’s drunk and her inhibitions and patience for whatever game this particular guy is playing are gone. She’s ready to get to the bottom of her angst and wants to hear straight up if the target of the song wants to be her boyfriend. She’s emboldened by her many, many drinks. Her dancing is super stylized, girl group fair. Until it’s not. She’s very strategic in how she moves…it’s all good until she flops around like a 20-year-old with a fake ID at the club. The camera work is pretty great…the blurred edges focus us onto her sloppy smile as if we are that potential boyfriend and we can’t help but stare. I remember that feeling, that tunnel vision when you had someone in your sights but you’d skipped over that moment when you were just tipsy enough and now aren’t capable of smart decisions. I don’t miss it.
As a responsible adult with a full time job that exposes me to not only the normal day-to-day reality of office life but also the potential nightmares of natural and man-made disasters, I drink on Friday nights as a way to shake off a long week and mentally re-set. I don’t get wasted (it takes a disgusting amount for me to reach that point and I don’t know if my body can even hold that volume) and I don’t drive. In this setting, or when I’m on vacations or weekends away, I like to have beer or wine with most of my meals. I like to enjoy the feeling of those much older joints being loosened and my almost nonexistent filter thinning even more. But I don’t drink to make myself feel pretty anymore. I don’t need alcohol to give me the confidence to talk to someone or to make decisions around getting body art or to, in any way, validate my fun in the way I feel like Suzy is talking about. At this point in my life, I know me quite well and I just don’t need it.
I typically have zero alcohol from Sunday at dinner time through Friday at dinner time. Zero. Much like I’m sure Suzy feels when she’s released a new album and is constantly on schedules, I don’t have the time nor the energy to crack open a bottle. And frankly, I’ve learned the hard way that my daily runs aren’t as much fun after a can of beer. So while you all hear us in the Nerdherd joking on and on about all the wine we’re drinking or see pics on Instagram of our beverages of the moment, or enjoy listening to annual or semi-annual drunken podcasts, I hope you know that these are isolated moments. This isn’t how we live all the time. Life isn’t a party, we just choose to make parties a regular affair because we are grownups and are making the conscious decision to unwind.
And dude, the song is fantastic. The whole album is. Suzy done good. She’d probably fit in on Fridays…though she might make us dress up and go out occasionally too. She’d have to do my makeup.