Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Night Road

My favorite part about the summer is reading. I read throughout the year, but there is something about getting into a good book during the summer- whether it's at the pool, beach, local Starbucks, library, park or in your house- books in the summer have a different feel to them. I read two books in the past week and one really stuck with me. It is called "Night Road" by one of my favorite authors, Kristin Hannah (she also wrote "Firefly Lane" which is awesome as well). I don't want to give away all of the book, but a big theme was responsibility. Basically, a twin brother and sister are best friends with another girl, and they all go to a party one night. The twins get hammered and the friend has a few but is in much better shape. They don't want to drive but the brother INSISTS because their mom got mad at them the last time they called her drunk to pick them up (even though she always tells them to). The friend will not let him drive, so she drives instead being in the best shape of the three. Well, they crash and the sister dies. Obviously, the girls gets charged (her BAC is .09) and she goes to jail to be made an "example" for drunk driving. The whole thing infuriated me because they would have crashed either way and she was the best person to drive who made the right decision in fighting for the keys from the brother. I felt all three people were at fault. I know that none of them should have driven but things like this happen all the time and no one gets hurt. It just hit so close to home because that type of thing could happen to anyone. You think you're fine because you had a few drinks a while ago, so you drive home, but you crash (which could happen anyway even if you were sober). I am not going to spoil the ending, but the main focus of the book was forgiveness and responsibility and it was definitely a tear-jerker that gets you thinking. The best type of book in my opinion.

It brought up some of my own views- I have very mixed views about drinking in general. I am fine with people drinking to have fun with friends. My issue comes when people ONLY know how to have fun when they are drinking. I think sometimes people in my age bracket forget that you don't only live for the Friday and Saturday nights out with friends. Life is more than just 4 hours of losing your ambitions. Yes, I think drinking is fun. Yes, I do enjoy the freedom and relaxation and lower ambitions that drinking brings. But it has never been my goal (even in college) to get drunk because it is the only way I know how to have fun. I am fine going out with friends and not drinking while we are at a party or a bar. Some people think I'm not as "fun" when I don't drink and everyone else is, but those are the people that think that being drunk is the ideal state. It's just an interesting mindset that I know will continue for most of my adult life, because once people start drinking, it never really stops. But I never think it's amusing to see someone falling down in the street, getting sick, or running their car into a ditch because they are too drunk. To me, too many bad decisions are made when people are drunk, so that's why it's never been the goal of my every weekend. I also like to get things done the next day, and a night of drinking often leaves you sluggish for the 1st half of the next day. At least when I'm not wasted, I can remember the fun I had and not just think I had fun.

With that all being said- I am heading to the beach tomorrow where I will be enjoying the sun, the sand and a few (summer) drinks in my hand:)!
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