Save. Spend. Splurge.

It’s my choice to drink or not and I shouldn’t be bothered about it

Every time I say I’m not drinking alcohol, people give me such a hard time.

They first give me incredulous looks like: WHAT???? Never??? Not even ONE GLASS?

It is like if I don’t drink, I’m a freak. To be normal, you have to imbibe a little.

I have had this reaction from pretty much 99% of people who have been put into a social alcohol-friendly situation with me from lunches to dinners to any event in and everywhere between.

If I don’t drink, there is also nothing TO drink. I can’t even take virgin cocktails or drinks because I’ve realized that the syrup for those things has a bit of alcohol in it!!!! Can you believe this?

I asked for a virgin mojito thinking I was safe, and I ended up feeling sick after one drink.

Look, what if I was a secret recovering alcoholic?

Wouldn’t that just be sort of goddamn rude to not take my alcoholism into account and to embarrass me into admitting to a large party I was a drunkard and am sober now after trying to get clean???


Then they ask me if it is a religious thing.

Again, NO.

I’m not religious and I don’t need religion to tell me that drinking doesn’t make me feel good.

Point blank, alcohol makes me nauseous, dizzy, I don’t feel good after I drink, I just feel SICK. Who wants to do that just to fit in? I’d rather feel good and not fit in.

Then they ask me if I will drink just a little.

This, is for them, not for me.

I don’t know what guilt people feel about drinking alcohol or what, but I have long learned it is a reflection of them more than of me.

I don’t need to drink to be funny, interesting, talkative and happy.

But maybe.. they do?

The last, is a twisted social game to try and force any bit of alcohol into me. It is wheedling, guilt tripping and otherwise a lot of goddamn hassle to the point where I have such a distaste for going out and going to bars with people who invite me.

There is no safe level of alcohol either

Hate to burst all of your bubbles but even one glass of wine a day is not healthy according to this study.

There is NO safe level of alcohol.

“Our findings are consistent with other recent research, which found clear and convincing correlations between drinking and premature death, cancer, and cardiovascular problems. Zero alcohol consumption minimizes the overall risk of health loss.”

Even better. I’m glad I don’t like to drink.

So what do I do?

I say that I am allergic to alcohol (not a total lie but I won’t die from it per se), and/or I take a drink that looks like alcohol but add a lime to the top of the glass to make it look authentic.

Or, I make myself the designated driver all the time. I pretend it is for the others not for me (but that isn’t fun either).

Unfortunately this is what I have to do to fend off all offers of alcohol (surprisingly frequent).

The next time someone says: no thanks, I’m not drinking.. leave them the eff alone.


  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

    I have no idea why anyone has anything to say about anyone else drinking or not. I have some of the pushiest relatives but this is one of those topics where pushing would make absolutely no sense even to their weirdo selves. Hell, lots of times I’m just too lazy to drink (which means I have to make sure to have something to eat and maybe I don’t feel like it), and that’s my answer: eh nah don’t want anything.

    It bugs the heck out of me when people presume to question that stuff. Mind yo business!!

  • Mia

    Yuck, this is why I like my circle of good friends. One of our friends in our circle is a wonderful man who is a former alcoholic. Nobody ever pressures him to drink, even if others drink. Another woman is a cancer survivor. Everyone is just very respectful of other people. For that reason at parties in our circle we always just have tons of both alcoholic drinks and non alcoholic in one place and tell people to help themself to whatever and leave them be. 🙂

  • Alice

    I never understood why it’s socially acceptable to try to pressure someone into drinking. It took me years before I did not feel guilty for being the sober one.

  • Jodie

    It’s immature to pressure people to do anything they are uncomfortable doing; especially drinking alcohol. There could be a whole host of reasons a person doesn’t want to drink. I do drink but at times choose to abstain. I think most people that worry about whether or not you are drinking have their own issues. Why should they care whether you are drinking?

    We just lost a beautiful young woman in our community to a drunk driver, another young woman who lives in our community. It’s a tragic situation. For some, many actually, drinking is heartbreakingly deadly and should be avoided at all costs. As you mentioned, how can people know if others struggle with an addiction? You do you, with no apologies.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh my 🙁 I am so sorry to hear that. I wouldn’t want to tar everyone with the same brush, but I do get pressured in almost every social situation or if I just mention (in the context) that I do not drink. The shock on their faces… I have to then run through reasons why and it is starting to get tiring.

  • Lemonade fan

    I had a bit of a falling out with a friend over this point on our annual pre-Christmas meet up. She clearly wanted me to have an alcoholic drink with the meal, which I didn’t, then wanted to go to a bar afterwards, which I didn’t and made a point of telling her husband who gave us a lift home that I had said I hadn’t had a drink for a year. It ruined it for me. I will drink some alcohol but I rarely ever drink and only want to do it on my terms and it really annoys me that you are considered to have something wrong with you if you don’t want to drink.

  • Gail

    My relatives used to try to get me to try various drinks to find something I liked, but I refused. They even suggested I try to develop a taste for it! Why would I want to learn to like something that is bad for you and changes your personality. I never pretend to be drinking alcoholic drinks. I just watch them swallow, become ridiculous or weepy, and not really be there for the event they are supposed to be enjoying.

  • NZ Muse

    This was one of the best things about pregnancy – straightforward excuse!

    Our drinking culture is so ingrained here it’s ridiculous. There’s one girl in our team who also doesn’t drink though (this has seriously never happened before in my entire career) and it’s nice to have someone else on the juice/coke train with me at Friday drinks.

  • Sense

    I feel ya. I am definitely allergic to wine–I can have like 2 sips and 5 minutes later I start to get a bad headache like I have a hangover, but WHILE drinking. What is the fun in that?

    Because of that, I actually never drank it enough to grow to like the ‘taste’ of it, which everyone tells me is what happens. It just tastes really bitter and awful to me.

    But when I decline, they always ask why and everyone I tell acts like me being allergic to wine is the most awful thing that they have ever heard (or they doubt my experiences), and want so badly to rectify this “travesty” for me. They always try to be “helpful” and suggest all these ways that I can get around it and all the varieties I could try (non sulphites, etc.) They do not understand that I DO NOT CARE TO EVER DRINK WINE EVER. It is the most boring convo now, I just want everyone to accept it when I say I don’t want to drink when they are offering wine.

    Luckily I can drink (and enjoy!) some beer, ciders, cocktails, and, weirdly, even a little champagne! I only ever drink socially, though. I find it really fun in the right setting with the right group of friends. 🙂

    But yes, I have been there. If you don’t want to drink, it is total crap that they pressure you to.

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