Lim: Party sensibly

Melanie T. Lim

MOST people love parties. I don’t. A few in a year are acceptable—among close friends and family. I call myself selectively social. Not a hermit. Not a party animal. Just a creature—free-spirited, adventurous, social—who occasionally walks on the wild side but mostly tries to live in peace, her best life.

Of course, this is the “old me” talking. The “young me” had my fair share of soirees.

I was a bit of a party animal. Yes. But thank God, I was a party animal at a time when partying didn’t mean getting wasted on booze, party pills and hooking up with anyone looking mildly hot.

Why talk about parties? It’s fiesta time in the city! And while I know all the partying creates a boom in the economy, I can’t help but act like some prefect in a dormitory.

At the dining table today, I wondered out loud to my sister. Why can’t young people listen to live bands, scream at the top of their lungs, dance the night away, without drinking alcohol and taking party drugs?

We had a great time when we were young and we didn’t need alcohol or drugs to give us a high. We got our high from the genuine joy we felt—being with our friends, having a great time, having been let out of the corral by parents who trusted us to come home safe and sound.

Of course, mass media which now includes social media strongly influences the choices of each generation. Sadly, the pathology of nomalcy reigns in each generation—what is normal is necessarily sane. A fallacy that is not only foolhardy but one that can also prove fatal.

I come from a different era of party animals. I’m not saying we were better. I’m saying we were luckier. The unintended consequences of hard partying today are tragic—sexual assaults, unplanned pregnancies, substance abuse, STDs, DUIs, DOAs.

I don’t expect young people today to adopt the norms of 30 years ago. But I do wish they would take greater efforts to preserve their health, safety, sanity as well as dignity.

I do wish they would develop a sense of self—strong enough to allow them to think for themselves, to walk away from the throng, to unfollow the herd.

I do wish they would develop the mindset that “negative” emotions are normal and that they don’t need to reach for a pill, a joint or a drink, to feel better. You can ride them out. And be stronger.

I know a lot of people fighting fiercely every day as disease mercilessly spreads across their bodies and slowly eats their days away. And this is why it especially enrages me to see the young and healthy callously throw their lives away on reckless choices produced by mindless groupthink.

I’ve partied hard in my young life so I understand the need to party. But remember, you only live once so make wise choices. Party hard if you must but please party sensibly.