It is rarely a good idea to have a mindset of “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” In fact, one might say that adopting this as a personal philosophy is hazardous to one’s health and spiritual wellbeing.
However, this philosophy seems to come with some exception clauses. One of them, of course, is eat, drink, and be merry because you actually plan to die the following day. Doing anything particularly foolish the day before dying is still not recommended, especially if you’d like people to remember you for the right reasons. There’s also the rather large chance that your plans of dying the following day will fall through, and you’ll be left with whatever baggage you gave yourself the day before.
There are a few more clauses lumped under the descriptive heading of “Holiday Clauses.” While holidays do not typically inspire us to think about death (with the exception of Halloween), there is a carefree attitude that comes with each holiday as part of the package deal. The easiest way to recognize the presence of this manifestation of the philosophy is by the presence of key phrases. For example, around Halloween, one might hear the phrase “It’s Halloween. I’ll just eat one little Reese’s cup.” At Thanksgiving, we are told to “go ahead and take seconds/thirds/fourths. It’s Thanksgiving! It doesn’t matter.” And of course, there is the time-honored “Christmas comes but once a year,” although some have called that a poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December.
In the minds of all students, the beginnings and ends of breaks in the semesters have always been a cause for rejoicing. This rejoicing may or may not result in a phase of binge eating, always followed by the resolution to jump back on the treadmill as soon as school starts up again. Interestingly, the same is often said after stress eating during the semester, resulting in an endless cycle of poor food choices.
Tomorrow, I and the other students at Undisclosed University will return to the rigors of academic life. I am willing to bet that several of us went to the nearest greasy fast food joint we could find and bought the largest, fattiest sandwich possible (with the necessary accompaniment of salty French fries) and stuffed our faces. Christmas break comes but once a year. We’ll be better tomorrow…if our arteries can forgive us.