Joan mentioned recently that I post about alcohol frequently. It’s true, I do. You have to admit—it’s everywhere. It’s in newspaper ads, it’s paired with entrees on restaurant menus…And it’s easy to see why. It’s the “socially acceptable” drug. A friend of mine recently said that kids smoking pot today are as ubiquitous as people drinking wine. Sad analogy, but it shows once again, alcohol is everywhere and often considered socially acceptable.
One example of how rampant alcohol is in our culture is the articles about the increase in people who shop online after drinking. You’ve probably heard of “drunk dialing” (making phone calls you otherwise wouldn’t make if you were sober); now we have “drunk shopping,” or more elegantly “shopping under the influence,” according to an article in The New York Times.
It was especially popular to drink and shop online over the holidays, according to the writer. Boutiques have long been enticing shoppers with wine and cheese, and over the holidays, at least one brick-and-mortar retailer, A.Line Boutique in Denver, used alcohol and food platters in the hope customers would shop more after imbibing.
As a society, we use alcohol in many ways, such as to mark important occasions, in the Catholic ritual of communion, and when socializing with friends and family. In moderation it’s harmless and even has protective effects on the heart. (Doesn’t it seem like researchers are always finding more benefits?)
Most people can drink socially with no problem. But for others, those who abuse alcohol or become addicted to it, alcohol has serious consequences. (That’s over 14 million people in the U.S.) Socially, it’s a disaster for the drinker and those around him or her. (You’ve probably heard that 1 in 4 people are affected by a loved one’s drinking.) And physically, alcohol can kill.
As I’ve written before, in The Physical Toll of Alcoholism, it affects countless organs in the body, can lead to cancer, and impacts your brain. It’s also the cause of car accidents and accidents in the home. Less deadly but still sad are how it affects one’s judgment. Drunk shopping indeed.