Article posted Wednesday, October 16, 2013 2:25pm

Dear Mary Pat,

Fall Fest is coming up and though I don’t want to get sloshed, I do want to partake in the fun and have a few beverages. (I’ll have a designated driver, of course!) But I’m worried about how I will appear to the community if I wander the streets with a beverage in hand, a few beverages in my belly. I’m a successful business owner and work hard all season long, I feel I deserve to let a little loose. But how much is too much?


Life of the Party

Dear Life of the Party,

It sounds to me as though you perhaps you know you might overdo it, otherwise you wouldn’t need to be asking the question. I think deep down you know that no one will raise an eyebrow if they see you with a drink in your hand. That is commonplace. Having a drink in front of fellow business owners, visitors, etc. is certainly socially acceptable. Your term “let loose” is the crux of the matter. (I’m glad you are being responsible and having a designated driver.)

How much is too much is different for everyone. In a business setting, two is the standard limit for most. Since this is a social setting and you are worried about how you appear to others, keep the following in mind:

1) Keep tabs on how much you are consuming.

2) Don’t let anyone fill your glass before it’s empty. Top ups can really make you lose track of how much you’ve had.

3) Don’t drink on an empty stomach.

4) Consider having a glass of water in between your beer or liquor.

5) Drink slowly. It’s not a race.

6) If you feel yourself getting buzzed, put your beer glass down. You’re probably at your limit. The same goes if you start talking louder, pointing and laughing at people, doing handstands on the bar, etc.

We all work hard during the season and it’s okay to have fun, however, getting blasted isn’t the best way to “let off steam,” “unwind” or “let loose.” You can do that in other ways too, such as booking a massage, spending time with friends, taking a walk and/or limiting your workday to say 7 or 8 hours versus the 12 – 14 that is sometimes the norm during the season.

Good luck,

Mary Pat