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No, I Don’t Drink And YES, I’m Still FUN

Being a part of a generation that has established binge drinking as an inescapable weekend ritual, often spilling over into all other days of the week, my choice, certainly, makes me the odd one out. But let’s call a spade a spade. I don’t drink. Not because someone or something forbids it. Or that I am about to pop or my doctor said so. Neither because I am a recovering alcoholic or have a knack for harder dope. Not even because it is my act of defiance or makes me stand out from the crowd. I don’t drink because the idea never appealed to me, alcohol doesn’t please my tastebuds, and yes, I don’t need that extra ‘shot’ of excitement to have fun.

woman drinking beer_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

I know, I know- the defense counsel is ready with its arguments. “You do not know the high because you haven’t felt it,” “you’d definitely like the taste of <insert favorite tipple>” and of course, the judgy-look that says “Really? Please tell me you’re kidding” or the snotty one that translates to “she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” It isn’t just friends who immediately shove me in the Ms.Goody two-shoes compartment when they see me picking a cocktail or passing on drinking altogether. The bartenders’ looks are almost equally accusatory. “Hell no, I am not a lousy tipper,” I want to scream but the judgment’s been made. The verdict declared. I am the ‘boring good girl’ and I might just be difficult.

Suggested read: Strong women aren’t difficult to love, nobody is

If, for a moment, I agreed with the ruling- would that change anything except my ability to make stupid decisions? I mean not being in control of myself a full hundred percent is more my idea of nightmare than fun- but let’s save the argument for I can see the pro-moderate-drinking heads popping up. Let’s say if I needed to pick a drink that appealed to my tastebuds, wouldn’t twenty-seven years of walking the planet (okay, lop the first seventeen, still got a decade) be enough for me to go, figure?

I don’t get why it is so hard for people to accept when I set the record straight. I don’t drink. That’s that.

Nothing more. Nothing less. And definitely, nothing boring.

woman drinking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

I have lost count of the number of times friends, colleagues or even family members have pierced through my choice-shield with almost accusatory eye-darts- “…but she doesn’t drink,” “if I asked you to come, would you join in on the fun,” or even “okay, but let’s tell more people because it’d just be boring- the two of us”- like dancing, socializing or even conversation counted for naught when it came to downing those glasses of slow-liver-death! In fact, in a society whose idea of fun has changed from creating ‘unforgettable memories’ with friends and family to ‘downing a few shots or rolling a few joints,’ I am, through default hard-wiring, a rebel who chooses not to conform.

I love going out, making friends, getting to know people and for the most part, find myself singing louder and jumping higher at concerts and the last lassie to leave the dance floor. It doesn’t hurt that I am sober to hold a bestie’s hair back when she’s so sloshed her system needs cleansing or drive my other ‘talli’ friends home. On most occasions, I find myself as having way more fun than people who have a blurred reel of the evening stored in their memory banks or those who have naught, because incoherent babble and a failing consciousness can only do so much!

Suggested read: I am not a chill girl: I don’t promise easy, only worthwhile

When I say ‘I don’t drink,’ I am proclaiming a lifestyle choice and a healthy one at that. It doesn’t define what my nature is like or who I am. Fortunately, people who have been by my side long enough know that. I don’t need to use gin-and-tonic for reading alone in my room. I don’t need to be a bold boozer to become something I am not. I don’t need vodka shots to find the courage to be foolish (yes, I can make a fool of myself and join in the laughter- that makes me brave, methinks). I do not need to empty wine bottles so I can dance all night. I do not need tequila to celebrate success nor whiskey to drown the pain of a breakup. I do not need malbec to keep career frustration at bay and I, definitely, do not need Jäger to flirt or text an ex!

man drinking wine_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

I do not want to wake up with a regret-soaked hangover because I am in the sheets with someone I vaguely recall or am perplexed by a text trail in my inbox I cannot remember beginning! Much less, buy into our generation’s misleading ideas about wine being a Godsend for stressed mommies or cocktails with umbrellas ‘maketh’ a vacation! I don’t think a glass in hand makes any night run smoother or better- and I am living testimony!

For the others out there who are just like me, I’d say wear your ‘I don’t drink’ sash with pride because you are already winning the race. Because a fish that’s swimming against the current is better than a dead (or as good as dead) one going ‘with the flow,’ right?

Cheers to us!

<virgin drinks, please>

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
No, I Don't Drink And YES, I'm Still FUN
When I say I don't drink, I am automatically declared the 'boring' goody-shoes!
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."