SUMMARY: My rambling thoughts on being someone who doesn't drink alcohol.
Seems like a good time of year to mention this--inspired by a Huffington Post article, "It’s OK That I Don’t Drink. It’s Not OK That You Ask Why."
For the most part, people don't harass me about not drinking alcohol. I and many of my friends and family, for various reasons, don't drink or drink very little and only on certain occasions. We've always had a pretty good time.
I learned quickly as an adult that most party hosts provided alcohol and most guests doing the BYOB thing brought alcohol, so if I wanted something other than water, I'd have to bring my own soft drinks--and discovered that there are apparently plenty of closet nonalcohol drinkers, because my 6-pack of soda would be sucked up (I'd see people drinking from the cans) (and so sometimes I took *2* six packs to be nice to those who were afraid to admit that they weren't the "cool" kids who didn't want to drink alcohol all evening). Always alcohol, everywhere.
At a friend's memorial--
I am on occasion baffled by the huge emphasis that our culture places on drinking alcohol; in fact, often glorifying being tipsy or drunk, which baffles me, as I don't see tipsy/drunk as something to glorify but rather a sign of excess (and most people are not pleasant to be around when they've had too much, in very many different ways). But, you know, mostly I don't say anything because people will do what they want to do, and mostly other people treat me the same way.
However, on two occasions that I still resent, people who were close to me thought that for some reason I was just being stubborn and annoying and prissy-face at claiming that I don't want to drink alcohol, and gave me drinks with alcohol while claiming that they were, e.g., "coke," apparently to try to prove to me that I really liked alcohol?! First sip was obvious. I felt betrayed on both occasions.
More up my alley--
It's a weird world for me--for gift exchanges, or when people come to my house, I so often end up with bottles of wine that I will endeavor to send home with the donee or pass along to someone else. See, to ME, the world is essentially nonalcoholic. Never needed it, never wanted it, don't interact with it, don't hang out with people (usually) who overindulge, would never think of giving other people a drug as a gift.
I know that many other people enjoy it without overindulging, so it is what it is. But, yeah, when someone wants alcohol, I don't believe that I ever ask them why (unless I know there's an issue), so why do people ask me why I don't want it? I get that question far more than I ever am questioned as to why I turn down any other kind of food. And while, for me, it's a simple choice, it's a health issue for so many other people and I wonder how they feel about the implied or explicit pressure to partake of something that's not good (or even dangerous) for them?
(You know what's really weird now--all the research that shows that drinking some alcohol is actually good for most people. Ah, well, I'll just have to try to eat healthy in other ways.)
And, BTW, I am horrified when I see people giving their pets alcohol. Just. Don't. Do. It.
Dogs drink water. Even if others with feathers have been bathing in it first.