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No, Thank You, I Don’t Drink

No really, I don’t. 

It’s okay though, really, it is. 

You don’t need to pressure me, I’m perfectly fine without it.  And, no, I’m not judging you for having a glass of wine. 

Since you seem so uncomfortable about my glass of ice tea, I’ll explain it to you. I have alcohol intolerance.  I never know if it will be my first sip (like that New Year’s Eve when I had a sip of someone else’s drink and broke out for days) or if I’ll make it through a drink and loosen up enough to have just one more.  The last time that happened it was vomiting, diarrhea and migraine for the next 18 hours. 

So you see, it’s just not worth it. 

But ya know what?  Why do I have to explain that every single time I decline a drink?  

Why does it matter to anyone if I just say “no thanks”. Last time I declined an ice water nobody said, “C’mon, can’t you have just one?”

What if I had a medical condition or was taking medication which prevented me from drinking, would I have to explain that too?  Or if I was pregnant and nobody knew it yet?  Or what if I was a recovering alcoholic and that wasn’t your business either?

Do me a favor, folks, just drop it, mkay?

When offering drinks, if your company declines, just say ok, and leave it at that. 

Oh, one last thing, I don’t need you to be my personal Google and figure out if there’s a type of alcohol I can tolerate. I’d really rather not chance it just to make you happy. 

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5 thoughts on “No, Thank You, I Don’t Drink

  1. Some of us don’t eat meat, especially pork; some of us don’t deal with dairy or gluten; should we face an inquisition about why we decline cheesecake or bread? “No” should always be accepted; “no” means no. Period. End of sentence.

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  2. hi,
    Thank you for writing on “I don’t drink.”
    It seems like a lot of the pictures I see on facebook glorify, drinking, “good times”.
    Would you expect to see someone holding a glass of milk or soda? What’s up with the totally
    immature, “glory days”, everyday attitude?
    The other thing which is very common, is the idea that it’s responsible to have a designated driver.
    Yeah, okay, but does that give license to getting sh_t faced falling down slurring your words passed out drunk?

    I’m an alcoholic. I haven’t tasted alcohol for 4 years. So, I’m not censorious of regular, like you say a glass of wine.
    But, the time, we as a society, and the priorities around this issue deserve a serious look.

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  3. Thanks for this. I’m a lifelong teetotaler- and a rock & roll singer- who has faced derision, criticism, outrage, to people accusing me of being an arrogant elitist- since I was a teenager. It does become draining to deal with and eventually you learn to just avoid those situations when saying “no thanks” (always BEFORE saying “no thanks, I don’t drink” as this provokes an inevitable inquiry) three or four times just won’t cut it. And, far from having a chip on my shoulder or a straight-edger’s preachy mentality, the people who always accept the first ‘no’ and figure that’s more for them? Can’t thank ’em enough.

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  4. And it’s not just booze. Pot is another one where I hear this happens. I read one blog from somebody who didn’t smoke pot but attended an event hosted by her professor and she felt pressured to partake because she was the only one not doing so. Fortunately about 20 years ago somebody came up with the term “designated driver” and in many scenarios these people are celebrated – or at least given free non-alcoholic drinks. But the point of this blog entry, of course, is that you shouldn’t have to justify yourself. “No means no” has become a hard and fast rule regarding a certain other, uh, “social activity” – why shouldn’t “no means no” – without the necessity to explain yourself – apply to booze, pot, or any other thing that you don’t feel comfortable to (or more medical reasons cannot) partake in?

    Excellent article and one worth signal-boosting, I think.

    Like

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