I did an Escape the Room last night at the Franklin Institute. The “team” managed to escape with 8 minutes remaining. I’d guess 3/4 of the group had done an Escape the Room before and there were a few noobs. I was one of the useless noobs.

You pay $28 dollars so the Franklin Institute can lock you in a room for 1 hour. Sweet. There are a punch of puzzles that unlock steps and it’s a team building exercise. Did I find the experience boring? Ehhhhh. Not knowing what’s going on makes it hard to help people who have done it before because you don’t understand that certain puzzles unlock keys to other puzzles. One time I was wearing a helmet because some audio said “Ground Control to Major Tom” and people thought that it was talking about me. It wasn’t. Then I was scanning some rocks when the puzzle had been completed 15 minutes ago which was news to me. It’s a worthwhile experience to say you’ve done it, but I wouldn’t have much interest in returning.

I did this event sober which is an odd way to phrase it. Can you have sober fun? This experience would sum up what my expectation is for sober fun. Time is passing. You’re existing. You tell yourself your having fun. But all you’re doing is scanning rocks.

The older I get the more I understand drinking alcohol. Alcohol has negative effects on your health. If you drink too much, you’ll feel like shit the next day and it will effect your performance. With more responsibility as you get older, this makes a big difference. When you’re in college, not only does your body recover faster, but people are not relying on you. This changes. So knowing that getting black out drunk is not desirable, why do it? This is where the slippery slope begins. For instance, I’m planning on going out of Friday and I know that I don’t want to get black out drunk. However, once I drink 3 pints, this thought that I have this morning, fades and the moment takes over. Alcohol helps you live. What do I mean by live?

You talk to people differently. At least I do.  Last night was a good example of sober conversation. How’d your fantasy team do? How’s the job? Where’d you get that jacket? This is all surface banter. It means virtually nothing. After a few drinks, I stop worrying about the walls and go after whatever I feel like caring about at the moment WITH that person. Being a drunk asshole is not what you are going for. Utilizing social cues and skills, combined with alcohol, is a weapon of mass destruction. You’re searching for genuine conversation.

This is one of my favorite topics so if you’re reading and you’re out with me, talk to me about this and you have my interest.

When you stop thinking about yourself, and lure the other person in by talking what they are interested in, the conversations can start opening up to truly meaningful discussions. Can I do this sober? Not so much. I’m more careful with my emotions and feelings. When drinking, or drunk, you get the real me and I can be a manipulative / thoughtful son of a bitch. Do I mean that I’m purposely being manipulative? No. However, if I’m showing interest in something that I don’t care about, how can that be truthful? Is the alternative saying, “I don’t give a shit” and walking away? This feeling of feigning interest (which I’m using extremely lightly because I’m still not convinced that this is the truth. Can I be interested in something I have no interest in is another discussion) is one that makes me feel bad the next day. It’s because I know what I’m doing. The other person thinks they are having a conversation with this well rounded person and all they are talking is to some raging alcoholic on some social experiment. Here’s the rub, I like it. It makes me feel like I’m connecting with another human being in a deep and impactful way. I just said it makes me feel bad, how do I like it? The interaction with other human beings is what I’m considering living. Not surface interaction. Boring. The talk I can only seem to get when I’m drinking is what I yearn for.

So when I weigh the benefits I receive from alcohol and the negatives that come along, it becomes a balance. How do I work this increased connection with humans that comes along with alcohol without reducing my life to an alcoholic mess? It’s a constant battle. People who don’t drink like this, or haven’t read books like “how to win friends and influence people“, probably don’t think like this. I’m aware this post is long and babbling but these are the underlying thoughts I have week in and week out. My experiences continue to evolve me as a human the same way as you evolve throughout your life. The only difference is I have a blog and your reading my blog and not vice versa. Writing this (and knowing so few are reading) gives some insight on a part of life that you may or may not be experiencing, but I can share because I know for a fact, not many people do what I do. You’re not striking up a conversation with the bartender and explaining how a room with a bed in the middle is the sign of maturity. You’re not standing in the elevator with a stranger and asking if it would be uncomfortable if I looked at the wall instead of the door (I did this sober btw per Mindhunter). This is what I’ve found makes life interesting in an otherwise monotonous game.