Growing up in my ultra sheltered environment, I was under the impression that only about 10% of the population drank, and that 10% were the worst of the worst people imaginable. Even when we went out to eat, whether it was Chili’s or Applebee’s or wherever, I never really noticed anyone sitting at the bar or anyone having a beer with their meal. But when I got to college, I realized that not only was I very wrong, but I was actually the minority. And now that I got my big boy pants on, it seems like everyone is drinking.
Maybe it’s coincidence, but for whatever reason, the people around me cannot comprehend why I don’t drink even though I’ve explained it several times. But of course these things don’t matter to people who drink, and so I’m forced to endure the same questions and statements from the same people (often every few months because of course they’re not going to remember) every time I’m around alcohol.
3. “Why Don’t You Drink?”
This is always the first question, and everyone always jumps to the conclusion that I’ve taken some moral stance against it and that I believe everyone who drinks is an awful person. And while that’s what people in the environment I grew up in taught me to think, I certainly don’t believe that.
Instead, my choice to not drink comes down to three very simple, and very logical reasons
- It’s expensive – I can have just as much fun going out and having a $2 soda or sweet tea versus a $6 beer or whatever they cost.
- It tastes awful – It’s very bitter and almost like I’m drinking medicine that’s several years past its expiration date. I like the taste of medicine. NyQuil and Dimetapp are all kinds of good. But if it’s bitter and gross, then why bother?
- It makes me feel bad – I get tired and hot when I drink, and when I’m going out to try to have fun, those are not the feelings I’m looking for.
2. “We’ll Find Something You Like”
When someone finds out I don’t drink, they make it their mission in life to find something I’ll drink, completely forgetting reason #3 above. Even more, anytime they’re drinking something mixed, they’ll look at me and say “I bet you’ll like this.”
Under special circumstances, someone will take reason #2 into account and then say something along the lines of “Oh you should try this…you can’t even taste the alcohol.” First of all, I probably will because my palate is sensitive to these sorts of things. But also, if you can’t even taste the alcohol, what’s the point of having it in the drink to begin with? Oh, you want the effects of the alcohol? See reason #3.
1. “What Do You Do Then?”
People who drink have the hardest time understanding what I do since drinking apparently takes up all of the free time anyone has ever had. And I suppose that when you start drinking, not only do you lose the desire to do anything else, but you lose the ability to do anything at the same time even though most things these days are done while drinking. You can go to sporting events and drink. You can go fishing and drink. You can even write and drink.
But people who drink don’t realize this (or they don’t notice that they’re drinking while they do other things). And that’s it. I don’t know how to end this. Maybe if I was drunk I could, but…whatever man.