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The Myth of the “Straight Edge Day Off”

Written by Rachel

Straight Edge Lifestyle and Bad Days

It’s no secret; everyone has bad days. The worst “bad days” usually involve an ending of some sort: an end to a relationship via the insatiable loins of our counterpart, an end to a stream of good grades in a particularly vicious class, the end of functionality in our four-cylinder go-karts known as “neons” and others. The point is, on one of these frequent bad days, some helpful friend will always blow a smoke ring at my face, giggle, snort, and break out with the most original advice they think they’ve ever uttered, “straight edge day off!”

Staying True to the Commitment

I’ll admit, the siren call of the straight edge day off has tempted me a few times when I find it particularly difficult to remain in voluntary consciousness throughout pain and trouble. However, I never give in and learn a bigger lesson, rainbows, bunnies, whatever. What surprised me is the sheer number of straight edge kids I know who actually do take these “days off.” Upon surveying twenty self-proclaimed straight edgers, I found that seventeen of them partook at least once, and ten indulged at least five times.

Questioning the Lack of Control

This smacks loudly of those heavily used cheating excuses: “It’s not cheating if it’s in a different zip code or if I don’t remember.” Are we in such a lack of control over our own bodies and our constitution? That ought to frighten people. In a country and in a world where self-control and independence are regarded as not only a privilege but a right and an obligation, why do we skip out on responsibility and sell out so willingly?

In the same way that we wouldn’t accept a significant other telling us that they “just had a day off from fidelity, baby it’s fine,” we cannot accept days off from a lifetime commitment. We can’t go from being married to unmarried for just one day, or pregnant to not pregnant for a little while. If a straight edger is having trouble remaining true, perhaps it is time for them to reexamine their reasons.

The True Meaning of Straight Edge

Someone said once that there aren’t too many divorces in the U.S.; there are too many marriages. In the same way, I think perhaps many people enter into the commitment of “straight edgery” too easily. It is not a fashion statement to be completed by messy black hair and heavy eyeliner. Straight edge is not something we do to impress a vegan in a band. It is also not taking pictures of ourselves in the bathroom mirror with Xs on our hands. Rather than take that muscle relaxer or pain killer, try a massage. Before downing, a couple of 40s, call up a friend and hug the living hell out of them. Maybe I’m an extremist, but I’m married first and foremost to being straight edge, whatever form that may take in my life, and I’m committed to not giving up on it and myself. See? I told you. Rainbows, bunnies.

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