Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over

I got to pee in a cup today. It is not typically how I enjoy starting my day, but my future employer wants to be sure they are not hiring a pill head or drunk. Those who know me also know that I am hard-pressed to even down an aspirin. It has to be a really bad headache, or those times when my sciatica acts up, before I dive into the Advil gels. Other than that, and my daily dose of Synthroid, there isn’t much going into this body.

But you do have to take pause about the state of our society. Drug testing is a fact of life. If you want a job, you pretty much have to be willing to submit. Though we should all enjoy basic human rights, if you refuse to submit it presents the appearance of guilt, and employers have every right to say “thanks but no thanks” to your job application. How did we get like this? And more importantly, who licked the freaking cherry off my lollipop?
The drinking age was 18 when I turned 18, how convenient. I still remember my first legal drink. Richie Appleyard, my friend Janet’s older brother, took me to the Bluebird Bar in West Islip. I don’t recall what it was I drank. I’m sure Richie, the older and wiser of the two of us, ordered appropriately for me. Richie died a few years later, apparently having dove into an empty swimming pool while under the influence of alcohol.

My only foray into alcoholic beverages prior to my 18th birthday was Boone’s Farm Apple Wine or Colt 45 drunk through a straw. I would take a few sips with friends, more succumbing to peer pressure than trying to get high. I was much too afraid of the wrath of mom to come home plastered. I did, however, make up for lost time after 18. My biggest accomplishment – downing 16 shots of tequila celebrating my college graduation. I was in bed for three days afterwards, eating toast and drinking chocolate milk.
My generation drank and smoked a little pot. We imbibed on the weekends after working hard all week. We kicked back at a local bar, sat around trading stories of our youth and our dreams for the future. The rowdiest we ever got was getting up to dance if the juke box played a particularly invigorating song. My personal favorite was Mack the Knife by Bobby Darrin. We were peace-loving hippies and we enjoyed the simple pleasures. And we didn’t hurt anybody. And more amazingly, if we got pulled over on the way home and the cop thought we shouldn’t be driving… he drove us home and told us not to do it again. And that’s the God’s honest truth.

So which of the generations that followed ruined it for the rest of us? Who decided they needed more, more, more of a kick? Who brought in the cocaine and, worse yet, the pharmaceuticals? Who decided Oxycotin and its derivatives were now the cool drug of choice?
Somebody is to blame for this more, more, more attitude. The technology has to be faster, the movies have to be more violent and the drugs need to produce a bigger and better high. Why? Was the beer and marijuana cocktail all that bad? Hell, I have friends old enough to collect social security who still find this combo more than enough.

Today I can’t go downtown and enjoy myself before assigning a designated driver. Even then, we have to be wary of public drunkeness citations.  Is my generation of senior citizens wearing tie-dyed clothing and carrying peace-symbol key chains really an issue? Do we really need to be subjected to three field sobriety tests by a Doogie Howser looking trooper looking to nail us? Do I really need to pee in a cup?
My parents raised me to work hard, never call in sick, give 100% to my job, respect my employer, follow the rules and participate in the retirement plan. Does an employer need to know more than that to size me up as a valued employee? Trust me, by Monday morning the hangover and the sweet scent of Mary Jane will be undetectable and I will be ready to report to work with a salute. So don’t ask me to pee in a cup. It insults my intelligence and my values.

1 comment:

  1.'s hard to hold that damned cup still while you're trying to stand up straight!