Studies indicate that nearly 40 percent of Asian American women drink alcohol and, while that’s less than the 55.2 percent national average, we are at a higher risk for all sorts of medical issues due to our binge drinking. So why do we do it? Editor Janice Jann investigates.
ISSUE: Winter 2011-12
DEPT: Feature Story
STORY: Janice Jann
As I lean over the toilet bowl, my hair grazing the rim, I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the water. “Who is this puke-strewn girl, bleary-eyed and green-faced, with her pajamas on backwards, staring back at me?” I think to myself. I mutter, “Never again, never a—,” before nausea sweeps in.
There have been many morning afters like this in the years I have been drinking, each time steeped with more regret than the last. Most of my peers have stories like mine. Many laugh, “Who hasn’t gone through it?”
As normal as binge drinking has become, new studies indicate that Asian American women may want to hold off on that second cocktail the next time they drink for reasons more than just avoiding the toilet bowl the next morning.
Every year, I resolve to keep the resolutions I make come January 1, and every year — usually around January 14 — I break every last one. Well, this year, it’s not even February and already I’ve accomplished three! Granted, some of my turnaround has to be attributed to my job; I’m taking credit for the accomplishments nevertheless!
It’s Teetotal Time
Maybe it was the over-partying I did over the holidays. Or maybe it was Assistant Editor Janice Jann‘s eye-opening feature story in our Winter 2011-12 issue about the dangerous effects of binge drinking on Asian women, but my Ketel One martinis have not been very appealing lately. In fact, it’s been almost an entire month and I have had nary a sip. I feel cleansed, I’m less bloated, my skin isn’t so dry anymore, and I have more energy. We’ll see how long this keeps up — there are a number of birthdays looming on the horizon — but for now, I’m feeling mighty good about myself.
It’s been ages since I’ve gotten my vision checked, which probably explains why I haven’t been able to appreciate our new plasma TV — my glasses were so scratched and so outdated, it was like I was living in a Vaseline-smeared world. So when the opportunity arose to interview an optometrist, let’s just say, my eyes were finally opened to the sharp reality of my existence. Yes, I no longer squint, but yes, I can no longer obscure the fact that the face looking back at me in that mirror is a far cry from 32.
The good news is my new vision prescription allowed me to indulge in some new eyewear, which these days is practically as important an accessory as shoes. My favorite? The Derek Cardigan eyeglasses from Coastal.com. It’s perfectly big but not cartoonishly oversized, and the nerd in me adores the multiplication and division signs at the temples. Another plus? It does a better job at hiding my wrinkles than that $200 tub of eye cream.
You know you’ve devolved into some form of boob tube Neanderthal when a tabloid headline reads “Will Ashley choose JP or Ben?” and you know exactly what they’re talking about. Determined to claw my way out of pop culture purgatory, I bit the bullet and switched over to DirecTV. (Good riddance wretched cable companies!) Essentially, I had about a half dozen weekends of marathon television, but not just any television. Breaking Bad, Dexter, Game of Thrones — my gawd, does entertainment get any better? But the highlight was by far Season 2 of Downton Abbey. Sure, the clothes weren’t as good as in Season 1 (a dreary war will do that), but the mischief and romantic angst (Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley!) rivaled those of any Korean drama. And then there’s the brilliant Maggie Smith who always seems to steal every scene she’s in.
You can buy Downton Abbey, Seasons 1 and 2, here.