In England there are many Pubs, or Public Houses that are closed every week because of recession and people just not going to the pubs frequently like they did in previous years.
The reason is of course, you can buy all the booze you wish to in the supermarkets and then sit and watch tv or films in your own home.- which indeed might be a worse scenario... but this is my reason.....
When I was growing up, my parents gave frequent parties and had a lot of fun, but I never ever saw a drunk person in all the years I was growing up.. There would always be drinks in the cocktail cabinet for people who came to dinner or parties and not once did I have to deal with anyone drunk. I never realised it at the time, but of course in the other world, people had terrible tales about the drink and how they had to live with the aftermath.
As I said, I never knew what it was like when someone liked drink more than he liked you or the family he created with you. Knowing how hard his life had been with a dad that drank too much, I would have expected him to be more aware... but of course he was not. His mother had got him and his siblings to sign 'the pledge' which of course, as soon as he was adult enough, he broke time and time again.
I ran away to live with him in London when there was a train strike going on. I told my parents that as my job was in London I had to stay up there with friends during the strike. I am sure that they didn't really believe me, but I went anyway and completely cut off communication with them. I was being so happy and loved up, it never occurred to me that I was causing them heartbreak and trouble and worry..
However, despite all my loved up feelings, I began to dread each day after work. I would meet him and we would go to a pub which he had chosen and where he would meet up with his friends and their girlfriends. The girls chatted away and smiled and laughed at their jokes.. as the bars became crowded and noisy and the smoke from cigarettes made your eyes water.. he would keep going up to the bar with his friends, bringing back drinks whilst I drank Ginger Beer and Lime cordial all evening.. each time it would be such a time waster... I would sit and try and be happy whilst all the time, keeping an eye on the clock to see how many more drinks he would have before the bell rang for last orders.... time took a long time going in those days.. it seemed so long and I was so bored with all of the noise and the chatter and the silly silly discussions that got worse by the hour.. when the bell finally rang.. they would be up and rush to the bar for the last bl....... drink which sometimes was two at a time...
You might ask where did all the money come from, as he was a student at London University and had a tiny grant.. His mother was very generous to him sending him money. and I was working at a secretarial job which paid a small salary.. we never had money for luxuries, like paying the rent, and looking back I can see why.... most of it went on booze and food.. Nowadays pubs are allowed opening times for all hours, but they have cut the cigarette smoking out, so its much easier to breath there.. but the drinks are still available for all if you have the money that is... its much more expensive for going out for a couple who meet up with friends..
The reason I hate pubs, is that it took hours until last orders, and god only knew how many drinks could be drunk in the time between 6pm and 11pm. and then getting a man/boy home in such a wobbly condition on the trains and tubes, was no picnic.. I hated the stupidity of it all, the waste of time and energy trying to be a good supportive girlfriend to him..
They say that all the signs that will break a marriage are also there in the early days, you just choose to avoid them.. hope that this is just a phase and it will all work out.. but the signs are there and if you choose to ignore them, then the price later on is so much higher than if you had just said.. 'enough, I do not enjoy this, so we should decide whether our relationship is worth all those drinks'...
Of course I did no such thing.. I smiled and loved and laughed too because it was not all bad, but it took me 23 years to stop being married to someone I loved so deeply and hard, and yet, as my young son said on the night before I got married for the second time..' I know dad loves us, but he threw us away for a bottle didn't he'? Those are hard words, but so true..
Like all good ideas, going to the pub, in moderation, can be a pleasant way to waste a few hours in congenial chat and laughs, but when it creeps up on you and you go every evening, its no longer a nice thing to do.. instead of a servant the drink becomes the master and nothing is ever the same again..
I have been thinking this through this evening, as there was a review on the radio of a play in London set in a public bar, and where the actors tell stories and have a lot of fun whilst they are all drinking... [this scenario is one that Publicans would have believe that its why they are in business, offering a good time for all..].
what they do not think about is when that person enjoying all the conviviality and drinks, how he is when he comes home, and how the family listen silently in fear as he starts to discuss something with the wife, that then gets to frustration as she seems not to be listening and then the noise grows louder and louder whilst he is trying to get her to understand what he is saying.. and the whole caboodle comes to a crashing halt... it might be that he has been calmed enough to sit down and has then fallen asleep, or worse he has started to attack his wife.. whilst the kids hear everything upstairs and lie frightened in the dark.. when it is all quiet, then they relax as they hear mother coming upstairs to bed..
Pubs sell booze and booze is evil when it is allowed to master the person drinking.. This is why I hate pubs and all the money in china would not make me change my mind.. I do use them to meet friends, but I have never been comfortable in them, ever since those days in the mid 1960's when I should have been reading all the signs and decided myself if I wanted to live a life with another person plus their weakness..
But then, if I had listened to me, I would never have had my five wonderful children and now their lovely children... but I do think how it all went wrong and I do regret that.