“Why Aren’t You Drinking?”Posted by blatantblithe on January 15, 2012 Blog posts | Personal | | One comment
I don’t drink much. Some find that hard to understand – I’m not teetotal (which is seen as “good”, but also a bit geeky and goody-two-shoes), but I’m not someone who drinks every time they go out. I usually get lumped into one of those categories, instead of being accepted for who I actually am – someone that sometimes likes a drink, but generally can take or leave it.
Don’t get me wrong – I like to drink. I love being drunk too – and I love that feeling when you’re drunk with a new friend, and you’re giggling together about the fact that you’re drunk. I love the way being drunk makes certain activities very amusing. But when I drink, I have to be very careful. Drinking enhances my emotional state – if I’m excited for a fun evening (excitement which is often geared towards dancing), then alcohol will make me loose and relaxed and giggly. But if I’m not happy and excited, alcohol will either make me miserable, or incredibly drowsy. This is often the case if I’m in public with people I’m not completely comfortable with, such as work colleagues or new friends – people always say “have a drink, loosen up”, but it doesn’t always work. It usually has the opposite effect, actually. I also can’t eat and drink at the same time; I know I’m supposed to drink certain wines to enhance certain flavours in the meal, but if I do so, I’ll be practically asleep before dessert arrives!
So if I’m going out for a relatively unexciting evening (e.g. a nice meal), drinking will in fact probably ruin my evening. I can also think of 100 other reasons for not drinking when I’m out; the main ones being:
1. Soft drinks are cheaper
2. Soft drinks are less fattening – a glass of wine is about 150 calories. I’d generally rather have a cookie than 2 glasses of wine.
3. Soft drinks don’t impair my judgement.
But then, sometimes I do fancy a drink (a baileys is sometimes a nice evening tipple), but I try to drink carefully in order to avoid getting drunk and ridiculous. I have the world’s most sensitive body – I also get hungover very easily.
I dislike the relationship our country seems to have with alcohol – that assumption that you have to drink to have a good time. Sometimes when I drink, I have a terrible time – there have been nights out when I’ve tried to keep up with my friends drink by drink, and after 2 hours, I’m in tears because I’ve somehow convinced myself that no one wants me there, even though there is no evidence to suggest that. It’s not something I can control when I’m emotional and drunk – these things really take over me, no matter how unfounded my fears are.
I’ve ruined too many potentially good evenings by getting emotional through drink – whether I’m drinking or not, I’ve probably got good reasons for doing so. Maybe I can’t afford to, or maybe I don’t trust myself not to get drunk and start crying over something stupid. If I don’t drink for an evening, don’t call me “boring” or nag me to buy a pint “like everyone else”. It’s fine if you drink, and it’s fine if you don’t.