When I was 15 years old, I went to a party at a friend’s house. It was your typical high school house party, alcohol included. It was the first time I’d seen any of my friends drinking, and some of them got so wasted that they were literally swinging from the living room chandelier like obnoxious monkeys.
I decided right then and there that I never wanted to look like an utter moron and therefore would not drink alcohol. 29 years later, I still don’t.
That was an interesting choice for a 15-year-old to make, and it has brought me a lot of grief over the years. I stand by my decision because it has also spared me from a lot of pain. But I want to talk about a specific reaction I’ve received time and time again in my life: that abstaining from alcohol makes you boring.
“Loosen up, grandma!”
“You don’t know how to have fun.”
“You’re missing out!”
“Oooh, how’s that water tasting?”
Honestly, these comments never really bothered me. I wasn’t the one puking everywhere or waking up hung-over. I wasn’t the one getting a DUI or getting led up to bedrooms at parties. But I strongly refute that not drinking alcohol means you can’t have fun.
In fact, I think it’s especially sad if you can’t have fun without alcohol. But that’s just me.
I have been thinking about this lately because Halloween was this week. I hate Halloween. With a passion. One of the things I dislike most about it is that it becomes an excuse for women to dress promiscuously under the guise of “It’s fun!”
It seems like every type of costume for women is sexualized, and somehow it’s OK because it’s Halloween. Come on, loosen up, have some fun! Dress up like a sexy rag doll or a sexy nurse or a sexy zombie! Parade around in your underwear because it’s candy day! I don’t like it.
Does that mean you can’t celebrate Halloween if you want to? Does that mean you shouldn’t dress up? Does that mean you can’t have fun? Of course not. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
But I’m entirely certain that you can have fun without compromising your dignity. Why should you have to? Why would you want to?
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” (Proverbs 31:25)
That seems pretty fun to me. And if you’re not sure about that, may I suggest dressing up as an obnoxious monkey?
Silva Emerian is from Boston but has been a California girl since 2001. With a long and varied background in fashion, she is a freelance writer and editor, wife and mother to two active boys. She lives in Clovis, where shoes and chocolate make her world go 'round. Connect with her at her blog OnMyShoebox.com, on Facebook and Instagram @onmyshoebox. She wrote this commentary for http://www.thefeather.com.