I am NOT an Alcoholic. Honest. I Swear.

With the holiday season in the rearview mirror, I’d like to opine on an interesting phenomenon.   But before I do that, I have to confess I am:

Not pregnant.
Not taking medication.
Not allergic.
Not cheap.
Not a designated driver.
Not Mormon.. or Amish.. or any other religion that eschews alcohol.
Not a teetotaler.
And, definitely not a recovering alcoholic

But I have used every one of those excuses.  Because for some reason, all of them are more acceptable than the truth:  I simply don’t like drinking.   I don’t like beer or wine or liquor.   I don’t like how any of it tastes or how it makes me feel.  But when I say that, I may as well have confessed to unnatural acts with small farm animals.  It’s not less shocking or disturbing and usually leads to:  “C’mon.  Just one drink.  It won’t hurt you”..  “We’re celebrating.. why aren’t you joining in?”.. “Don’t be a party pooper.”

So here’s my question.  Why do you think it’s more acceptable for me to be a recovering alcoholic than to not like drinking alcohol?


15 thoughts on “I am NOT an Alcoholic. Honest. I Swear.

  1. I guess it makes you ‘more normal’ than if you said you didn’t like to drink. Whatever normal is. This works better in people’s narrow-minded views.

    I get the same weird look when I tell people I don’t drink coffee, that it tastes horrible, and I can’t imagine why anyone would drink that slop, but…it’s so ingrained in our culture that folks look at me like I’m crazy.

    I completely agree with you about beer, by the way. The taste is horrible, yet so many people love it (or pretend to love it to fit in).

    Oh, that’s it: to fit in. For whatever reason you fit in better if you are a recovering alcoholic because they know other alcoholics, whereas they don’t know many people who don’t like drinking period, so it’s like you’re from another planet.

    1. Wow.. and here I thought I was the only one who didn’t like coffee either. I think you are right, it’s about the phenomenon of what’s weird.

    2. Again, this isn’t a huge issue in my life, but I just find it amusing/ironic (even somewhat sad at times). There were even times I would order a stupid beer or mixed drink just to get folks off my back. And then I wouldn’t drink it. So then the questions became.. “why aren’t you drinking?” and then I’d hand the drink to someone who wanted it. And then I’d think to myself.. why did I just spend $10 on a drink I had no plans drinking? Crazy.

  2. Maybe you’re just hanging out with the wrong people.

    The next time someone asks why you’re not joining in, ask them what their most distasteful food is and if they would eat that. Maybe then they’ll get it. If not, then see my first sentence. 🙂

  3. Ha.. I like that. Hanging with the wrong people. I wish it was that simple. With my family, they know I don’t like to drink and it’s fine. But you’d be amazed at how many functions (even when I’m not hanging with “my people”.. even thought I don’t really have my own people) the topic comes up. Happy hours (somewhat unavoidable because of work obligations), parties, weddings, even baby showers. At one baby shower someone pointed to the mom-to-be and said “look at that, even she’s drinking a glass of wine!”

  4. Ha, Masha! You are so right. I’ve found that if I say, “I’m not drinking tonight,” which kind of implies that I would another night but just not now, people usually accept that without follow-up questions. It’s too bad that a “no thanks” is not sufficient. 🙁

    1. That’s a good response, for folks I don’t know. I’m going to use it next time.

  5. Masha, I’m right there with you. I always feel so goofy when I go out with adults and order either a tall glass of milk or my favorite, a Shirley Temple. I usually just say that I don’t drink and my friends accept that and then move on. They’ve never really asked and so I’ve always lucked out on having to share the real reason but today maybe it’s important and okay that I share. Every example of alcohol usage that I grew up with led to the adults in my life losing control and therefore making us kids be the responsible ones. Me not drinking is me stopping that cycle. Love you friend.

    1. Carlene. Thank you for sharing. I know where you are coming from. While I mostly don’t drink because I don’t like the taste, I also don’t like losing control. Bad things happen to good girls who drink. And that’s all she said. Miss you!

  6. I knew there were a lot of reasons I liked you. Aversion to coffee is #2 in the list. Hugs

  7. I love these stories! I love wine, but not sweet wines are unpleasant to me. I love beer, but over-hopped beer gives me migraines. I love coffee, but hazelnut coffee makes me queasy. And I don’t like turnips!

    Masha, you can follow Pintip’s lead, or order ask for a virgin something. Or you could get creative and ask for a soda with a lemon twist. Or a seltzer with an umbrella. Or tell them you’re driving – even if you’re at the retreat! Or you might have to drive.

    Or tell them you don’t drink. And watch them try to figure it out.

    Hugs, always, friends.

  8. Masha-Mermaid – to hell with anyone who questions you! You are fabulous and I heart you! 😉

  9. Masha,
    It’s kind of funny that those who don’t drink feel strange while those of us who do think we’re kinda superior. Lol. I grew up knowing that alcoholism runs in both sides of my family, so I was super aware and vigilant about going down that road, but it doesn’t stop me from having mojitos and margaritas. Lol.
    My friend in college didn’t drink, and she was always the life of the party naturally. I always admired her. I remember someone saying that she was drunk one time because she was having so much. I was like, “she’s drunk on life.” 🙂
    I have several friends who don’t drink at all–for a variety of reasons. I find it interesting for purely nosy reasons. 🙂 I think it’s about creating characters. haha
    But good for you for bringing it to light. Next time someone asks, send them the link to this post.

Comments are closed.