Back in the old days when I was young, the drinking age here was 21.
That meant that you couldn't go into a hotel bar area unless you were over 21.
They weren't the sort of places nice girls frequented anyhow as women were only allowed in what was called "Lounge Bars ".
None of that really bothered me as I didn't drink alcohol - the reason being that I didn't like the taste, not from any anti-alcohol principles.
At home my parents liked an occasional alcoholic beverage and Dad, at 92, still downs his two stubbies of beer every night before dinner.
Throughout those younger years I continued to pass when offered alcohol and when I met Tony he also didn't like alcoholic drinks ( I'm sure there was the odd trial episode - perhaps to excess- in his past !)
it wasn't easy !
The pressure to conform was huge.
An Aussie man,
a football player
who didn't like a beer ????
An Aussie woman who didn't like a wine or a shandy - was I some sort of pious wowser ?
We were just NOT COOL !!
We almost felt apologetic as we turned down an alcoholic drink and asked for a soft drink option.
Over the last 15 to 20 years we have slowly developed a taste for wine and now enjoy a red or white in social situations so we fit in much better but left alone at home it's usually a Diet Coke that is our drink of choice - a dash of Bacardi is often added to Tony's but I prefer mine straight !
These days the drinking age is 18 with many young people drinking to excess on a regular basis, often well under the drinking age.
Peer Pressure seems to be stronger these days - in fact everything seems to be more these days !
So now we have a huge problem with binge drinking and the anti-social problems that spin off from that.
Young men in drunken brawls on our streets are a regular event every weekend with some horrific results where a young life is ended and another ruined.
Young women staggering down the late night streets as they try to find their way home.
What I don't understand is how the young people can afford to PAY for the huge amounts of alcohol that they consume on a weekly basis. Buying drinks at nightclubs is hugely expensive and to get to the inebriated states they attain must cost a fortune.
The need to fit in seems to get stronger and stronger and these days that seems to mean you need to go out and get drunk every weekend.
It should not be the government's responsibility to step in once again and become the NANNY to try to minimise this anti-social, social problem that seems to stem from social pressure !!!
Rant ended !