“I don’t drink” is probably the one thing I say that’s guaranteed to be met with a puzzled look 99% of the time. Yet every time we’re out with colleagues or a group of friends, it’s always somehow assumed that everyone wants an alcoholic drink. If you, for whatever reason, decline to drink it’s normally assumed that you’re 1. pregnant, 2. on some form of medication, or 3. BORING!
I don’t normally drink any alcohol and there isn’t really any reason for it except that, well, I just don’t really like it. Yep. I don’t really like the taste, I don’t like the feeling of being out of control and I can’t say that the idea of being hungover makes me want to grab a bottle of vino asap – I’d rather save the money and spend it on new clothes, thanks! However, choosing not to drink alcohol is something that I felt like I have had to justify ever since the day I turned 18. Even writing this, I feel like I should be ever-so-slightly ashamed of my perfectly okay choice.
As we’re all aware, alcohol is available and encouraged literally everywhere – whether you’re at a family reunion, catching up with some colleagues after work, going out for a meal or going clubbing – there’s no escaping it. This is great for anyone who does fancy a drink, but it also means that those of us who don’t want to have a drink are expected to give a reason for their decision and if you haven’t got a reason, you simply get put in the ‘oh, they must be boring‘ category. Errrrr- wrong!
Believe it or not, it is actually possible to have fun when you’re not drinking. I don’t drink and I’m still able to have fun whilst not being drunk. I have fun going to see my favourite artists/bands at concerts, I have fun shopping, I have fun going out for lunch and I have fun spending time with my family and friends. Back when I was 18 I would even go out clubbing on a Saturday night and not drink any alcohol whilst most of my friends did – I still had fun! I had even more fun the next day when I woke up feeling freshhhhh AF on a Sunday morning, totally hangover-free and ready to face the day.
Having fun and having alcohol – the two are totally unrelated!
I don’t have a problem with anyone who does drink and don’t expect them to justify why they do want to drink. Likewise, I feel like anyone who doesn’t want to drink – whether that’s just a one-off, or always – shouldn’t need to justify their decision either. They shouldn’t be told to loosen up or not be boring.
So to any fellow non-alcohol-drinkers out there – Don’t feel the need to ever justify your decision. You do you, enjoy life and take pleasure in all the hangover-free days you can enjoy!
And to anyone who does love a drink – Enjoy your drink(s)! Just also, PLEASE, let the non-drinkers in your life have a great time too – without being asked to give a reason 🙂