Drinking in your 20’s vs drinking in your 30’s

Drinking alcohol in your thirties is a double edged sword. When you’re in your twenties, you generally drink to get drunk and have an epic time. You drink what’s cheap and doesn’t taste too horrendous, and hangovers are fleeting irritations that don’t interfere too much with your day. When you get into your thirties, you’re a seasoned drinker. You’ve figured out what your ‘tipple’ is (yes I realise using this word makes me sound old) but you enjoy alcohol more for its taste, rather than its ability to lower your inhibitions and allow you to have a good time. You only hang out with people you like now and its a rare occasion when you decide to go ‘out, out’. In your twenties, you sort of knew when you were going to get a hangover. When/if you got home, you were smashed and sometimes you didn’t even remember getting to bed, if you made it at all. You deserve a hangover after the amount of different drinks and shots you consumed into the early hours. So you’re a little smug when you wake up without one. You still experience the post-drinking panic though; did I do something embarrassing? Did I slut drop inappropriately at my brother in laws wedding? Did I act out all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody again? The answer is usually yes.

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In your thirties when you go out, it’s usually a pleasant evening rather than the epic tales of shenanigans you experienced in your twenties. You have long educated chats about whiskey or careers and afterwards you may feel a little tipsy, but the cheesy chips on the way home sorts you out and you even tidy up after yourself before you go to bed. The hangover you experience the next day though, is far harsher than you deserve. You think maybe you’ve caught a bug? Food poisoning perhaps? A dodgy pint? Anything but accepting the fact your body has not got time for your shit anymore. It is punishing you for all those times you got smashed and got away without a hangover. Hangovers in your thirties are things of evil.

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But you don’t get them every time. The hangover goblin has lulled you into a false sense of security. It makes you believe you know your limit. Because last time you went out and drank exactly the same amount, you didn’t get a hangover. You’re convinced you’ve cracked this drinking malarkey, to the point you’re happy to make plans to do stuff the next day. Foolish behaviour. The hangover goblin sees your plans and ruins them. Oh you’ve gotten up early to do stuff? No chance. Instead you’re going to throw up for the next three hours and feel rubbish for the entire day. You achieve nothing and waste a perfectly good Sunday. That will learn you. Except it doesn’t. Despite experiencing the hangover rollercoaster of self-loathing, disappointment and regret. You promise yourself that you will never again let alcohol pass your lips, or that if you do, you’ll be sensible and not accept that last drink that pushes you over the edge. After begging your internal organs to stop teaching you a lesson and spending far too much time looking at the inside of your toilet, despite all this, you end up doing it all over again. I guess it’s a bit like reverse childbirth. The good bit comes after the horrific bit with childbirth, you get rewarded with a child. Well done you. Whereas with drinking the good bit is followed by the painful bit. You get rewarded with nothing. Nothing but pain and regret. But you forget. The hangover goblin tricks you, it makes you forget the pain and nausea and all the horrendousness. And despite swearing you’ll never put yourself through it again, you do. Idiot. Happy hangover day everyone!

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