Beer tastes terrible. Fight me.
by Meredith Mclaughlin
What up, college kids? What’s more rad than drinking, am I right? The thrill of it all, having a beer despite being two years away from the legal drinking age – it’s the life. Who doesn’t want to get a little buzzed and have a good time with their friends? Well I’d sure love to, but no matter how hard I try I just cannot stand the taste of alcohol.
It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m not much of a partier. The one time I went to a party at one of the sports houses, I felt like a specter drifting between groups of people, feeling out of place yet unnoticed. Obviously, those big parties are a lot of fun; they’re just not for me! So I never had a problem with feeling out of place there per se because I just knew it wasn’t my cup of Guinness. It’s when I’m at something I like, like a hangout with friends, where the feelings of alcoholic inadequacy start to nag at me. This isn’t a peer pressure problem where I feel like I have to drink for the cool kids to like me. I just want to be slightly drunk and have a good time with my friends. But my God, at what cost? As soon as the cranberry vodka hits my tongue, I’m internally reeling! It doesn’t taste good! And I know that alcohol isn’t supposed to taste good, that’s why you mix the hard drinks with juice. But where others can get over that hump, I find it hard to have more than a few sips. I also am a major goober who has no concrete idea of what being truly drunk is like, so for the whole night I’m like, “Oh am I feeling it? Oh I’m feeling it!… or am I?” However, when it comes to liquors, I generally don’t try to act like I love it. Everyone knows it tastes bad, so I feel no shame in asking for a liter of juice with my single shot. The same goes for beer, which I can safely hate in public since it manages to taste awful even with a low alcohol content. It’s when I’m drinking wine that the real problems start to crop up.
No matter what job I say I want in the future, know that what I really want to be is the 50-year-old widow to a millionaire who mysteriously died and left me his whole fortune. I will be reaching my peak when I walk down the stairs of my ridiculous mansion, fur coat on and wine glass in hand, explaining to the authorities that I haven’t seen my husband in weeks. The slight wine addiction is essential to cultivating the lifestyle I want, but, not gonna lie you guys, it still tastes bad! All goofs aside though, wine has this specific persona attached to it that I’ve always wanted to emulate in a way. In my “““formative high school years””” my friend group didn’t go to house parties and drink beer, nor were we looking at clubs and mixed drinks as something that seemed like a good time. And while we were (unfairly) judging those pastimes, wine managed to slip out of our condemnation because it was associated with stuff we liked to do. Wine is the drink of choice when your ideal adult pastime is reveling in your self-described introverted-ness while reading a book on a Friday night. Wine is the drink that you have when *the ladies* are getting together to hang out and gossip, free of the scary social situations and loud EDM music you associate with parties you avoid. Wine is the drink for murderous widows and “wine moms”—two personas you invoke jokingly while secretly admiring their underlying individualism and confidence. “The women in my family drink Pinot Grigio at get-togethers you guys! I’m gonna drink Pinot Grigio too!” is essentially what my alcohol-related humor boils down to. I name drop Pinot Grigio all the time because it is the only brand of wine I’m familiar with. I have even been trying to drink the communion wine at church, to get used to the taste and closer to this ideal version of myself. Both at college and at home, I create this fake persona who says over and over again that she loves wine and asks for it whenever alcohol is being served. But when I get said wine, without fail, I find myself unable to enjoy the drink.
I know that no one likes alcohol for the taste, and I’m not going to turn away from drinking because being a little drunk is fun. I guess what I’m trying to say with this confession is that we really do live in a society that associates certain things with the lifestyles we want to emulate. And I know that’s not exactly the hot take of the century, but for my own self-improvement, I want to let myself be okay with not loving wine. I just want to have who I want to be not be something that forces me to drink something I secretly don’t love. So, for the future, I’m just going to embrace my unwavering love of milk.