“Why are you not drinking? You’re so boring!”
“Go on, just have one.”
“But if you don’t drink… What do you do??”
For those of us “freaks” who don’t enjoy guzzling litres of alcohol every weekend, we’re often met with this kind of response when we’re found empty-handed at a bar. People stop mid-conversation, look around, at your hands, at the table in front of you, and a puzzled expression comes across their face when they realise there’s not an alcoholic beverage in sight. You take a deep breath as you wait for the the interrogation to begin, the same interrogation that you hear every, single, time.
“No, I’m good thank you, I’m not drinking.”
“No no, I’m not on antibiotics, I just don’t drink.”
“Nope, not pregnant either, I just don’t drink alcohol.”
“Yep, really never.”
“What do I do? If I don’t drink? … Is that a serious question?”
“No, really, thank you, but I don’t want a drink.”
“Oh, you think I’m boring, do you? Sweet, well I think you’re a dickhead so let’s all move on shall we?”
It’s the same questions with everyone. Always. As if they’re in complete disbelief that a person could manage to have fun or enjoy their life without there being alcohol involved, and to be honest, I’m totally over it.
I’m not saying I never drink. I enjoy having the odd cocktail on a date, or a glass of wine with my family over dinner. But at the end of the day, it’s poison. It is. And I don’t want that in my body. I don’t like what it does to me or how it makes me feel. I don’t like being out of control. I don’t like waking up the next day and feeling like I’m dying. When I train 5-6 times a week, when I eat a great diet, when I care for my body at this level, it makes no sense for me to go out at the weekend and drink until I’m sick. Everything about drinking alcohol contradicts my lifestyle, my views and my routine. It goes against everything that I am.
Now, if you ask me, that’s a pretty legitimate reason. Not that I need one. Not that I need to stand there and justify myself to you and all your pals as to why I don’t want to drink alcohol, as if the opinion of some dude in a bar who I met just five minutes ago is going to be enough to pressure me into doing something I don’t want to, or to change my opinion on something I feel this strongly about.
But, BOY, do people try and change your mind. And I just don’t get it.
“You’re So Boring”
Please, explain to me how I’m boring. Really, I’m curious.
Is it because I spend time in the gym, instead of at bars?
It is because I eat well, instead of drinking alcohol?
It is because I like to wake up early every day, and go and explore and live, instead of waking up at 13:00 with a hangover and regrets?
That sounds boring to you?
Let’s take a look at you.
You go to work. You talk to all your colleagues about your crazy weekend and how drunk you got. You then spend the whole week praying for it to be over, for it to be Friday again so you can go to the same bars, with the same people, drink the same drinks, talk about the same shit and wake up the next day to have the same conversation with the same friends, when you all agree you’re “never drinking again”, only for Monday to roll around and you’re already thinking about the next time, when you’ll do the same thing all over again. Every, single, weekend.
And what I do is boring?
Okay. Yeah. That makes sense.
Don’t push it
Let’s try this the other way around.
Imagine, for a second, you’re at a bar with your friends. You’re enjoying your beers, minding your own business when I come skipping in, look at you, and stand back in shock.
“Why are you drinking?! That’s so bad, oh my god! You’re such a loser! I can’t believe you’re drinking alcohol! GUYS, EVERYONE COME AND SEE THIS! THIS DUDE’S DRINKING ALCOHOL! Hahaha, how lame! Do you have any idea how bad that is for you? Oh my god, seriously, what do you do with your life?!!!”
You’d think I was an asshole right? You’d get pissed off. You’d think “this doesn’t affect you, leave me alone. I’ll do whatever the hell I want.”
Well, that’s exactly how someone feels when you do your whole “YOU DON’T DRINK?!” drama. Trust me, someone who chooses not to consume alcohol is going to be pretty strong in their beliefs. You’re not going to change their mind with your probing. All you’re going to do is reassure them of their decision not to drink because they see that the majority of people who do drink turn into assholes like you.
I Don’t Care
I would never give someone a hard time for drinking because, honestly? I don’t give a f*ck. Not one. I don’t give a damn how drunk you got last weekend or how drunk you’re gonna get tonight. It’s your body: you do whatever the hell you want with it. Sure, I don’t agree with what you’re doing, but it doesn’t affect me. It’s your life, you do what you want.
I don’t want nor care about your opinion on my life choices. And I don’t think you want mine, because the honest one is that I think you’re all a bunch of empty, unsatisfied losers who can’t get through a day or can’t spend time with your friends without their being alcohol involved.
You think it’s lame that I don’t drink? Well, good. I think it’s lame that you spend every weekend getting drunk with the same people talking the same shit. The difference is, I don’t care enough to question you as to why you do it, or try to change your mind.
So why does it bother you so much that I don’t want to drink?
I’m still at the bar, I’m still talking to you. I’m still laughing, having fun. My glass could be full of lemonade not vodka and you’d have no idea, but as soon as you find out I’m not drinking alcohol, you freak out. But how does it affect you, really?
I think it makes you uneasy, doesn’t it? It’s unsettling to be confronted by somebody who says “No, sorry, I don’t like to put that shit in my body.” It makes you feel uncomfortable, because you know it’s not right either. So instead of respecting my decision and shutting up, you try to push me and pressure me into doing the same as you, so that you don’t feel so guilty.
It’s not going to work.
And the more you push it, the more convinced I become that I’m not going to drink.
So take my advice: focus on yourself. Don’t worry about what I’m doing or she’s doing or anybody else is doing. How somebody chooses to spend their life has absolutely nothing to do with you, and you’ve got no right to try and make them uncomfortable about the way they live.
If you want to drink, go ahead.
But don’t you ever try and make someone else feel small because they don’t want to.
Give it a break. Respect people’s decisions.
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