Why my not drinking really isn't a big deal
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Being the only sober person in the room sucks. I've heard this over and over. People say it to me when they're asking how I do it, when they're encouraging me to drink, or when they're downright confused by why the heck I'm at a club then.
I need no artificial amplification. My personality is big enough on it's own, and I don't really enjoy getting drunk. So I don't.
But people always wonder why in the world I spend time with people who do, when I don't. There are a few reasons that it works for me:
1. I am very particular about my friends. People get dumber when they drink, so I keep people around me who can keep up while sober, and at least make an attempt while drunk. My group of friends accumulated around me during university, and if they couldn't keep up drunk, I did not put myself into a situation where they would be my entertainment while drunk.
2. I'm not shy. I go to clubs to dance. Period. I'm not afraid of doing so, and if someone gets grabby, I deal with it and then go back to dancing. Why in the world would I spend 7x more on booze at a club than I would at home? If I didn't want to dance, I wouldn't be there. I'm certainly not looking for someone to take home.
3. Excluding the select few who do not understand that sobriety and fun aren't mutually exclusive, as long as I'm chatting, dancing, and having fun, no one gives me guff about it. There's always that one person who can't help but obsess over my lack of inebriation, but once I get away from her (and it's almost always a her), I can have my fun secure in the knowledge that I won't regret my decisions in the morning.
To me not drinking when I go out is a no-brainier. I don't have to worry about someone putting something in my drink. I don't have to worry that I'll get left behind at the end of the night (as I'm the driver!). I won't be forgetting my wallet, purse, or phone in a cab. I won't be dropping hundreds of dollars on drinks. I don't need to worry about making decisions I will regret. And I'm still having a blast!
I understand that some people require "liquid courage" to get up and go. I'm not one of them. It has never made sense to me that someone needs alcohol in them to dance. I was a figure skater, people. We're INFAMOUS for being terrible dancers. I only got better because I stopped caring how I looked and just enjoyed the music. Eventually -- with much practice -- I got better. But then, I had a harsh teacher I didn't think the kids in high school were laughing at me, I knew it.
At the age of 16 I realized that people are always laughing at you. Sometimes with intent to hurt, and sometimes merely because the situation is ridiculous. However, if you laugh at yourself in all situations, no matter their intent (malicious or benign), they are laughing with you. And I enjoy a good laugh.
Life is too short to take it seriously. It's also -- in my opinion -- to short to measure the success of an evening by how little of it you remember.
Experiment with me. If you need a little red cup with something colourful in it to make you feel better, go for it, but see if you can enjoy a party with sober eyes. If you can't, it might not be the booze you're lacking.