No, it's not one of those posts. I don't have a problem. Or at least not that problem.
However, I have had to more or less stop drinking for a couple months because of some medication i'm taking to get rid of something disgusting in my body and it's frankly given me a new perspective on the drinking population.
I'm not much of a heavy drinker--except at company parties and other events where it's necessary for survival. And I'm too lazy and boring and uninterested in watching professional sports to be much of a bar fly. But I do like good wine with a good meal, and it's been over a decade since I willfully gave up drinking a glass or two with dinner for any length of time, and frankly this stretch--now over a month--has led to some observations.
There is a certain pleasure and ego-maniacal sense of power that comes with maintaining clarity and focus as you watch everyone else around you slowly degrade: slurring their speech, mixing up words, losing their train of thought, stumbling around, etc. But far more interesting then these slips of speech or step is the way alcohol reveals people's intentions in a fairly transparent way, so that by the third or fourth drink they are more or less confessing things about who they are and what they want in ways you rarely see when you are both sober or both drunk.
In fact, staying sober in a drinking crowd gives you a pretty clear advantage if an advantage is what you are looking for, particularly with people like clients and bosses and other people you want something from.
I know this is old news when it comes to the art of seduction but I'm not sure i've seen sobriety explored as a performance enhancer. Of course, there is plenty of advice about how it's a bad idea to get drunk at company parties so you don't have sex with the boss's secretary or wife or husband, but I'm not sure I've read anything interesting on how to manipulate drunk people to get what you want. It's surprising considering how much career advice is out there.
But of course, I'm just making a virtue out of a deficiency. It's reasonably interesting to make people say stupid things, and watch your client tell you that they hate their or your boss, but I'd still trade it all for a nice glass of Brunello.