So am I being a friend or an asshole here?

Just had a chat conversation with a friend of mine. Her SN has been replaced by a convenient X.
X: hello
Red dragoN 60: hi
Red dragoN 60: whats up
X: i just got home, i need a shower.
X: whats up?
X: i need to eat.
Red dragoN 60: I reccommend cheese
Red dragoN 60: have fun in Cols?
X: of course. got off my ass drunk, hungout, went skinny dipping.
Red dragoN 60: jigga-what?
X: what it says hon. we went skinny dipping in alum creek.
X: at like 3 oclock thismorning.
Red dragoN 60: with who?
X: matt carrie burch and i, burch and carrie are 21, been friends with matt forever.
Red dragoN 60: so you are drinking now
X: no.
Red dragoN 60: so you miraculously got drunk without booze?
X: i was sober by 1 or 2 thismorning.
X: youre an odd one. you know i went to matthews last night? wehad a cookout, hada party, got trashed and went skinny dipping when we were sober enough to to crash the car.
Red dragoN 60: sounds like a lot of fun
X: it was great.
Red dragoN 60: so I lose another friend to alcohol
X: no.
Red dragoN 60: fuck that
X: it was a party doug. you didnt lose me to alcohol!
Red dragoN 60: so you decided to get drunk for fun. I know far too many people that have decided to drink. Many of them are alcoholics. I lost friends this way. I even live with one. I call him DAD.
Red dragoN 60: so what difference does a party make?
Red dragoN 60: fucking shit technicalities, that’s the difference
X: doug. im sorry that your father drinks. you dont have to take anything out on me alright? ive been drinking (you know socially, at parties) since last year okay, since before you knew me!
Red dragoN 60: so you going to a party gives you the right to suspend all judgement?
X: what?
X: i go to parties all the god damned time. im not judging anything but the fact that youre giving me shit for nothing.
Red dragoN 60: look, I love you. but in the past few weeks or months, I see you slipping away. you are ceasing to be the unique and funny meggie, and becoming just another partier girl who doesn’t really do anything interesting
X: im sorry that you feel that way. i havent slipped though. thats the way i have always been. i censored myself for you doug! when you said you were alright with those kinds of actions, i let you know me a little more.
Red dragoN 60: I’m alright with those things, but it hurts me to see my friends doing those kind of things. So I’m a fucking straightedger, I have not even gotten drunk once. I choose not to. why? becuase I know it would hurt those that love me. and it hurts me when you do this obviously “normal” shit that you think everyone else does.
X: im sorry that i hurt you. you know i never intended it that way.
Red dragoN 60: life fucking slips up. we always hurt the ones we love, sometimes intentionally
X: well i never hurt you intentionally. you should know that. i hope you understand that.
Red dragoN 60: I do. but I know that you will continue to drink in spite of what I say. maybe you will get off lucky, or maybe you will become addicted. it happens to the least likely people. and I know that you are creative enough to find other things than get drunk
X: youve always known im not a good girl like that you know? im not a different person though. i mean, you just have a wider perspective of me now.
X: dude, its totally a “have fun” kind of deal. i wouldnt do it by myself, the stuff tastes terrible. it just loosens you up. everything seems more fun. its just summer, i can fuck myself during the summer.
Red dragoN 60: I thought you cared about yourself enough not to do those kinds of things to yourself. I guess I thought wrong
Red dragoN 60: you know, addicts say the same about cocaine
X: i dont do coke. i know thats not your point, im just saying drinking occasionally is harmless.
Red dragoN 60: fuck that
Red dragoN 60: you think if it was harmless, I would be having this conversation with you?
Red dragoN 60: it is harming me
Red dragoN 60: but do what you want to
X: i really need a shower doug. please dont take it like this. its not a big deal to me, ot me its just a good time. im sorry.
Red dragoN 60: do what you want
X: bye doug
X signed off at 5:00:31 PM.

Now, am I being an asshole here? I think came off as patronizing, and sounding a lot like a parent. I really think she is slipping away from me here, and I care about her. Gimme your opinions here, I need a bit of advice. Thanks.

If you made it a point from the very start that a condition of you remaining friends with someone is for them not to drink then you aren’t being a jerk. As a self proclaimed ‘straightedger’ I assume your friend knew this. If you didn’t make this clear then you are being a jerk. I am a recovering alcoholic and have seen FIRST HAND the damage done but I still would never lecture anyone I consider a friend this way. With that said I didn’t grow up in an alcoholic household so I don’t have your experiences.

The only person who can help you sort this out is…

You are definitely coming off as an asshole. Age would play a big part in this, but if this person is old enough (21?) to consume alcohol then what right do you have to judge this person? I have many friends that drink socially that aren’t alcoholics and won’t ever be alcoholics. If this is a teenager, then she has no business drinking. But it’s evident from your OP that you have let her know in the past how you feel about drinking, yet you keep hammering at her. I’d say at best you’ll lose her friendship and probably anyone else that you hammer at this way. Stating your opinion clearly is enough, it’s not going to change anyone’s mind and probably won’t make them act any different. If you don’t like drinking or being around people that drink, then you need to seek out those kinds of people for friends.

um. well, w/o knowing how old the two of you are (as in, are you both over the age allowed for drinking in your area). that’s one issue.

however, as the adult child of an alcoholic myself, it’s tough to see other people drink at all 'cause we think so much of what we have experienced with a problem drinker.

Not all people who drink are problem drinkers. If your friend is being careful (ie not driving, not drinking with folks she doesn’t know etc), and the drinking is not negatively impacting her life in other areas (as in not missing work 'cause of hangovers etc.), I’d say you may have overstepped your boundaries of friendship.

To expect that any friend of yours completely abides by exactly the same list of codes of conduct/proper behavior or risk being seen as slipping away’ is unreasonable IMHO. This does not mean that you’re not allowed to screen out folks as being friends to hang with. It may be better for you to hang out with non drinkers.

So, do you get to demand that she change her behavior?
well, you can try, but you need to accept also that she’ll say ‘nope’ and move on.

May I suggest (if you haven’t already) trying Alanon or Alateen or ACOA (adult children of alcoholics) meetings (see your local listing for AA or an alcohol abuse treatment facility for locations/times of meetings)???

Were you being an asshole? Maybe, but maybe not. From where I’m sitting I can’t judge whether or not your friend is just a party girl or in the early stages of alcoholism. Probably the former, but if it’s the latter and you don’t say anything (this might be your reasoning) then the results could be disastrous.

Bottom line, I don’t think ‘X’ thinks you’re an asshole. Definitely not when you consider the history of alcoholism among your family and friends that you refer to.

One of the toughest parts of recovery, for me, was coming to terms with the fact that there are some people out there who can, and do, use drugs and alcohol responsibly, and don’t have problems with addiction. I am just not one of those people, so I don’t do any of that anymore.

You are coming off as needlessly judgemental. Just because you’ve made a decision to avoid doing something, doesn’t mean that doing otherwise is morally wrong. It certainly doesn’t mean that when a friend goes out and does something you wouldn’t do, they’re trying to hurt you.

It’s your choice if you want to avoid all social contact with anyone who drinks any alcohol. But you’d be cutting yourself off from a lot of interesting, worthwhile people. Your friend in the post deserves an apology, even if you decide to cut off the friendship.

Just based on the context of this conversation, you were being overly-dramatic, patronizing, and judgmental (Well, you asked). This is presuming your friend is drinking legally and does not have a history of abusing alcohol.

It is possible to consume alcohol and not be an alcoholic.

I, too, am a “straightedger” but don’t chastise my friends every time they have a beer. Obviously the girl can handle it.


My analysis of the OP:

Red Dragon, methinks, wants X to become more that just an OL ‘friend’.

Red Dragon is pissed that X got drunk, but probably because he’s more pissed that she went skinny dipping with other guys present and he wasn’t there.

X did not log on to chat only to receive a ‘holier than thou’ diatribe on the evils of alcohol; she just wanted to take a shower and go to bed.

Conclusion: Asshole. And Red Dragon needs to get a life.

Look, she is 14.

I had some time to think about it, and I do sound preachy. I guess I overreacted.

You want to know what I think? I read the dialogue without reading the first sentence of the OP, and I thought that red_dragon was the person being complained about.

You went way, way over the top. And I say this speaking as a teetotaler.

Here’s what I find scarier almost than the fact that she was drinking(or maybe in addition to):


If x is 14, and goes drinking with 21 year olds, while she may not be predisposed to be an alcoholic, she is putting herself in a dangerous position. Where is the parent in this situation?

red-dragon60 You are right to be concerned, of course. And perhaps not just because of your experience with alcohol abusers.

Getting drunk and going skinny dipping at 14?

Being judgemental isn’t the way to go. TELLING HER PARENTS might be a better thing to do.

Jesus Christ!


14?! That definitely changes things around a bit. I agree with Esprix, red_dragon. If you’re honestly concerned about her, which you should be, I would have a talk with her parents. It doesn’t seem much like she’s listening to you, and though she probably won’t listen to her parents, it’s at least something. This girl needs some sense.

And Nothing But Net, fuck off, kay?

My comments were made before I knew girl was 14. That does put a different color on it.

BTW, how old is Red Dragon?

Exactly. You made an incredibly harsh generalization before you knew all the facts. THAT, m’friend, would be why I am “jumping your bones.”

How old is Red Dragon?

OK a 14 year old getting drunk and skinny-dipping with 21 year olds with no adult supervision in sight, would be a cause for concern to me, as would her casual reference to drink at parties for the last year.
This would have nothing to do with the alcohol but more with a concern over her safety when engaging in these activities.
However the approach and language you used may no have helped the situation, personally I would offer information and try and let them know the risks involved.
What ‘other’ steps I would take depends on your age and how exactly you know this person, but some adult should be taking some action to insure the safety of the events a 14 year old involved in.


Server timed out L it’s been a while so I will try again (hopefully no double post)

Well, a few things:

  1. Red Dragon, you must understand that alcohol in itself is not bad. It’s not going away and people will always be consuming it. You will know people that do drink it. You may even drink it yourself when you get older. No one’s forcing you to, and no one should force you to. In the same light, you can’t force your friends to stop drinking on account of you or your family history.

2)Notice, however, the swing in position on this thread when we found out she was 14. That spins things around 540. She is doing bad things, way underage, with people that are way overage. She needs help and she needs a friend who will help her.

  1. While I agree with your position, that doesn’t change the fact that you were extremely harsh to her in that message. That isn’t going to help her! Obviously she cares deeply about you and/or this friendship because there would have been many a people who would have logged off halfway through that conversation with you.

Don’t get preachy. Don’t start yelling at her. Help her to understand that what she is doing is wrong and VERY dangerous and it has nothing to do with your father.

See, I am also worried because combining swimming and being drunk is very dangerous, and also that someone drowned in the same lake YESTERDAY. The same lake that she went swimming in. That got me really paranoid.

FTR, I am 16.