TMP25: Booze Infused

Paula Light hosts The Monday Peeve – an opportunity to let rip and have a good old rant. There’s a weekly topic, but you’re free to vent about whatever displeases you.

It’s official; I am the most boring person on the planet. Twice in the last week, I had the temerity to turn down the offer of an alcoholic beverage.

The first occasion was Mr Neighbour’s Name Day. And Mrs Neighbour looked askance at me, but still poured a hefty dose of Rakia into my glass. I ignored it.

The second occasion was at an English friend’s birthday bash. The whole party stopped and stared when I said no to a beer and asked for a juice instead. Or maybe I made a derogatory comment about the size of my hostess’s arse. Which would have been a lesser faux pas than not having an alcoholic drink.

If you are interested, my reasons for not drinking were weather-related. We are in the middle of a heatwave. And I have learnt from painful experience that after breaking sod in the hot sun, if I so much as look at a beer bottle, I will have a screaming hangover and feel like crap the next day.

So, I decided to forgo the dubious pleasures alcohol can impart and stick to juice and water. Why is this incomprehensible to some? No really does mean no. And if you can’t cope with that, then you can jolly well do one.

But, they say, how can you have fun if you don’t get a wee dram of falling-down water inside you? I have news for these people. I never was the life and soul of the party type. And have no desire to be.

Booze is not a magic potion for the socially disinclined (me!). It does not transform me into an entertaining bon vivant. Quite the opposite. It turns me into a gibbering twonk who thinks dancing around the room with a lampshade on her head is hilarious.

Why are we conditioned to think being teetotal is weird, and non-drinkers are sad, lonely people without a life? And the best cure is to pour more booze down their throats.

If I said I was in recovery because of drug, gambling, or video game addiction, I guarantee no one would insist I shoot up, place a bet, or play Fortnite. People would be supportive and not tempt me. But the refusal of a glass of grog can put some on the defensive and unleash their weird side.

They are fine if you don’t drink because you are the designated driver, on medication or in recovery. But not drinking through personal choice, then you must be clinically insane.

Here’s something for them to mull over. When you offer someone a cigarette, and they say I don’t smoke or I’m giving up, do you force a fag on them? No, you don’t. So, if you can respect a non-smoker, you can bloody well respect a non-drinker.

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