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Author Topic: No, I don't want a drink (update with advice request)
Cinnamon
The First USA Noel


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I'll admit I have had a bit of a bad relationship with alcohol over the years, the sort of thing where you know there is going to be a lot of nastiness but you can't keep away. I wouldn't describe myself as an alcoholic because I've certainly never needed to drink on even a daily basis, but I am a binge drinker and once I've had one it is very difficult to stop. Last month, though, I finally crossed the line and did the one thing I always told myself I would never do - I drove home knowing full well I was drunk. I was lucky. It was late enough that there was nothing much on the road, no people around, and I didn't hit any parked cars or anything on the way. Not surprisingly I was completely disgusted with myself the following day, and I haven't had a drink since. Can't say whether or not I will ever have a drink again, but I will certainly think long and hard about it before I do.

Most of the time it has been fine. I had spoken to a friend on my mobile just before I got in the car and he had been scared because he couldn't talk me out of it, so when I'm out with him and say I'm not having a drink because I've got the car he has completely understood. There have been the odd evenings when I've thought it would be really nice to curl up on the sofa with a glass of wine, but I haven't done it because right now I still don't trust myself that it will be one. Sometimes it's harder than others, but I haven't caved yet.

Last night I went out for dinner. This was work-related, and it was with the guy I was out with the night of my drink-driving experience. He had had a similar amount that nght but I don't know whether or not he was driving. Anyway, I stuck with an elderflower cordial and told a little white lie (I said I had been taking sleeping pills the last couple of nights and didn't want to risk wine - not entirely untrue because I had taken one the night before). I didn't really want to explain why I was off the alcohol, and it isn't any of his business anyway.

The problem was, he seemed to be almost offended that I wouldn't drink. At first he was fine, but after his third glass he tried to press me to have just one. I repeated the line about the sleeping pills. Then, on his fifth I think, he said that he hoped I would be drinking next time we had a dinner meeting. I didn't say anything to that. He then went on to say how he thought it made a difference to a group dynamic when someone comes in who hasn't been drinking while the others have - all well and good, but there were two of us, and he knew from the start of the evening that I wasn't having any alcohol. I didn't tell him he should be drinking mineral water.

I know I'm probably being over-sensitive because of my own position, and I know that drinking with him last time was probably not a good idea because it was a work thing, but last night I had given a very good reason why I wasn't having any alcohol. I had said repeatedly that no, I did not want a drink. Why the hell could he not just accept that? Why keep going on about it? And to tell me he hoped I would have a drink next time - seriously WTF? I didn't say anything but I was really not happy by the time I left the restaurant.

I don't want to have to justify myself to people because I am not drinking. If I'm out and choose to drink water why can't people leave it at that? Why try and pressurise someone into having alcohol, especially when they've said they are taking medication that really should not be mixed with booze? I probably am over-reacting, but I don't need this pressure! It's tough enough not having a glass when I really want one.

I can't see that I'm going to be able to avoid future dinners with this guy - as I said, it's work related and in any case he is senior to me. Does anyone have any suggestions for what I can say to get him to back off next time? I can't keep using the sleeping pills line, he'll think I'm addicted. Equally, just because I'm feeling fragile about cutting out the alcohol, there is no reason for me to bite someone's head off because they offer me wine. Any ideas?

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Mosherette
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I'm teetotal, and I'm sorry to tell you you're going to encounter more like him. A lot of people simply will not believe that other people don't drink - I've had questions and comments such as "What's wrong with you?", "My god, you're really boring!" and "Are you some kind of religious freak?" Even if you have a valid reason for not drinking, such as the sleeping pills, there's always the "one won't hurt you" line. [Roll Eyes]

I've found the best ways to counteract it are to simply tell the truth (in my case, I don't like it) and, if they carry on pressing me, come out with a blatant lie that scares them off (Yes, I am a religious freak. Let me tell you about my relationship with God), tell them I'm driving (even when I couldn't drive) or, if they still carried on, simply switch on the selective deafness and ignore them. It's hard, but you learn to do it eventually.

Actually, the "I don't like it" seems to work more often than not now, and it's handy in my case because it's the truth. Perhaps you could have developed an allergy to alcohol? But of course that means you can never drink anything around him ever again. Antibiotics are always a good excuse as well. I wish that people would simply take no for an answer, but often they won't: when it gets too bothersome, all you can do is ignore their requests for you to drink, smile and change the subject again and again.

Be warned about allowing someone like this to buy you a drink, by the way - it's amazing how many people think that (a) a teetotaller won't notice that vodka in their coke and (b) they honestly seem to believe that it doesn't matter they've spiked your drink.

You sound as if you've given yourself a good wake up call about your alcohol consumption, and scared yourself too boot. I don't need to tell you how foolish you've been because you already realise it, and you realised before it really, really got out of ahnd and people ended up getting hurt. Good on you - I wish you all the best.

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Spikey
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Yeah I'm not a big drinker either. I have to really be in the mood for a drink, and even then I'll only ever have a pint or two. If anyone does say anything, I usually just shrug and say I don't feel like it. What I don't like is when people think you have to drink to have a good time.

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finger stutters
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I have had friends in the past that want others to drink. I just don't get it.

I understand if you don't want to drink alone, but then it should be your choice not to have any alcohol.

Go you for making the choice to reevaluate your drinking habits.

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Richard W
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I've only ever met one person like this, and he really was annoying... it was during my year in Cambridge, the night before a rowing race and it was the weekly graduate dinner. I wasn't drinking because I was rowing the next day, but as usual everybody else was. And as you said, this one bloke just wouldn't shut up all evening about the fact that I wasn't drinking. He wouldn't accept that one or two drinks would affect the rowing the next day - he was probably right there, but it was more a psychology thing. Eventually I caved in and had half a glass of wine because I was starting to get a lot more wound up about things because of him, and the wine was the lesser of two evils. But I'd just wanted a relaxing evening to put myself in the right frame of mind, and it really pissed me off. I think he annoyed everybody else too, to be fair.

I actually don't think this is all that common. Either that or I've just got good friends for the most part. OK, to be fair, I usually am drinking (and I don't drive at all), but I used to give up for whole terms because of rowing while I was an undergraduate and nobody said anything at all, and for the last couple of years I've given up for Lent and people have generally just been impressed - people make jokes about it but nobody's tried to stop me or insisted I drink.

If it happened these days, I'd just tell the person that if they didn't stop then I'd leave, and then do so. I guess that's harder if you're out for a meal though...

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Mosherette
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Richard opines

quote:
I actually don't think this is all that common. Either that or I've just got good friends for the most part. OK, to be fair, I usually am drinking (and I don't drive at all), but I used to give up for whole terms because of rowing while I was an undergraduate and nobody said anything at all, and for the last couple of years I've given up for Lent and people have generally just been impressed - people make jokes about it but nobody's tried to stop me or insisted I drink.

It does seem, to me, to be becoming less common, but I seem to attract these characters somehow! I tend to find it's friends-of-friends who do it to me, and my actual friends have been very apologetic afterwards - I suspect you just hang around with a decent sort of chap(ess).

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Cinnamon
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
Richard opines

quote:
I actually don't think this is all that common. Either that or I've just got good friends for the most part. OK, to be fair, I usually am drinking (and I don't drive at all), but I used to give up for whole terms because of rowing while I was an undergraduate and nobody said anything at all, and for the last couple of years I've given up for Lent and people have generally just been impressed - people make jokes about it but nobody's tried to stop me or insisted I drink.

It does seem, to me, to be becoming less common, but I seem to attract these characters somehow! I tend to find it's friends-of-friends who do it to me, and my actual friends have been very apologetic afterwards - I suspect you just hang around with a decent sort of chap(ess).
Thanks Mosh and Richard, it is helpful to know that they won't all be like this.

Mosh, I had been worring a bit about what happens when I drink before the driving incident, but it seems to take something serious before it fully registers. Blackouts and memory loss I managed to ignore, but getting behind the wheel of a car was something else entirely. Thanks for the warning about potential spiking though, that is something I'll need to keep an eye out for.

Richard, when I was at Oxford it was well established that the boaties (men's first boat at any rate) were on an alcohol ban for most of the year so no one bothered them about it. Of course, this was the excessively boat obsessed Oriel College so it might have been different elsewhere.

This guy is about 30 years older than me, so I suppose it could be a generational thing.

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strange_little_girl
The First USA Noel


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I've often found it is people who have their own issues with excessive drinking who are more likely to pressure you into drinking.

Lately I've had a couple of people try to convince me I must really like wine, just havent found the right one yet. I've tried loads of wines over the years from cheap plonk to supposedly fine wines and I just dont like it. I dont care if not drinking wine makes me a chav, I've got no intention in training my tastebuds to suit your agenda.

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Jay Tea
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I'm glad I don't know anybody who imposes alcohol onto a situation - i've known a few people who don't touch it and plenty who are regular booze-hounds but choose sensibly to knock it on the head from time to time - this behaviour meets with nothing other than total acceptance.

Should anybody get pushy in and around this subject they would likely suffer deserved rebukes - there is no excuse (much like there is no excuse for drink driving).

In essence, I don't think any character who attempts to cajole you into drinking when you've said no is worth knowing, even if it stems from nervous paranoia (some people are guilty drinkers - don't like to drink alone) or from a party spirit (how can you have fun if you've not had a drink? etc)

...and I know i've said it before, but if 'anybody' spiked my drink there would be hell to pay.

In essence 'No Thanks' should be all that's required if you're offered a drink and don't want one - each further entreaty would mean a step towards the door for me...

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Rob D / Blackwolf, the yule dodo
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I would suggest you simply tell him: "I had a bad experience with alcohol, not too long ago, and I dont want to drink now."

I myself am a "Teetotaler" as Mosherette stated it. I simply dont like the taste, and I tried beer, wine. Even in the German Army, where getting drunk after the shift was more or less the norm, they accepted that after 2 weeks of trying to get me to drink.

However, I cannot speak about the "peer pressure" (or beer pressure?) from friends and co-workers as they already know that I wont drink, in the rare cases I would go out.

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Richard W
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quote:
Cinnamon said:
Richard, when I was at Oxford it was well established that the boaties (men's first boat at any rate) were on an alcohol ban for most of the year so no one bothered them about it. Of course, this was the excessively boat obsessed Oriel College so it might have been different elsewhere.

I was at Hertford (I traitorously moved to the Fens for a graduate year) and although we weren't a great rowing college in terms of results, it was still taken pretty seriously, so I probably got the boatie exemption too.

(edit) And I was only in the second eight! We were generally expected to make up for it at Eights Dinner though...

And I meant that our men's rowing results aren't usually that great - the women are better. This year they were the only crew to get blades in the first division at Eights.

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Minstrel gone caroling
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Ah, some of my ex-H's friends were like this, to an extent. I'm not a big drinker, so if I were drinking at all it would generally be less than the rest of the group. If I didn't drink at all, I would be pestered a lot: "Coke? What's wrong with you? Don't you want to have any fun?" *sigh* (Yes, I do, so I should probably be at a different party...) Though it was never as bad as it sounds with this guy Cinnamon mentions, since they usually got tired of pestering me after a short while.

Cinnamon, good for you for reassessing your behavior. You truly are doing what's best for you. Now as for this guy you'll have to deal with, I don't see why you have to give him any reason at all beyond "I don't feel like it, thanks." He may be your superior at work, but it's still none of his business. Make "No, thank you" into a mantra that you keep repeating while smiling politely when he offers you drinks. I can only think he'll get tired of doing so after awhile.

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Auntie Witch
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I'm another teetotaler, and I've dealt with people who were okay with it and people who tried to pressure me into drinking. One of the greatest pressures, ironically, came from my own family. For a long time my dad would simply pour me a glass of wine and sit it in front of me. After several times of me not touching it, he got the hint.

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Zorro
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I don't drink much myself, and I get this once in a while, too. "Why aren't you drinking? What's wrong??" I finally started answering simply, things like, "I don't like it." Or, "I don't want to." Don't give any long-winded explanations or excuses- I've found it's hard for people to come up with a response to, "I don't feel like it." [Wink]

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Hazed
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quote:
Originally posted by Auntie Witch:
I'm another teetotaler, and I've dealt with people who were okay with it and people who tried to pressure me into drinking. One of the greatest pressures, ironically, came from my own family.

Tell me about it. My in-laws are the worst. (and, like Strage Little Girl already pointed out, they had massive drinking issues.) I remember one Halloween, (and this was before I was even of age!), they literally made me take a shot of apple shnapps. They refused to do anything until I took it. Just to shut them up I did, and proceeded to cough and hack so much I almost got sick. But, I guess it's for the best because they never asked me to again.
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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by strange_little_girl:
I've often found it is people who have their own issues with excessive drinking who are more likely to pressure you into drinking.

I'd agree, but widen it to "issues with drinking."

See, if you don't drink with them, then they must choose between not drinking and drinking alone. The first is no fun*, and the second makes them worry that they're alcoholics, or that someone will think they're alcoholics. If they were comfortable with their own drinking habits, they wouldn't care about yours.

*No fun for them, that is, because they don't know how to have fun without alcohol.

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Mr. Furious
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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
See, if you don't drink with them, then they must choose between not drinking and drinking alone. The first is no fun*, and the second makes them worry that they're alcoholics, or that someone will think they're alcoholics. If they were comfortable with their own drinking habits, they wouldn't care about yours.

That's very interesting. I like to knock a few back (and sometimes knock a few too many back) on the weekend, but I never felt the need to pressure anybody else to drink, and never really understood why some others did.

To me, it seemed counterprodutive - if someone obviously doesn't want to drink, pressure is going to make the evening less enjoyable. If they resist your* pressure, they're not going to have a good time because you've made them uncomfortable, and if they give in, they're not going to have a good time because they're engaging in an activity that they don't enjoy. Either way, you're with a person (or people) who are uncomfortable, and that's no way to have a good time.

* This is the generic "you"

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Tzarina
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I'm in a similar boat to Cinnamon. I used to drink, not enough to warrant meetings or anything, but when my friends and I went out to party, I made sure I was good and trashed. I took great pride in drinking the big guys under the table.

Then I got my driver's license and moved about 40 miles from all of my friends. So, I don't drink. It's a long ride home, on a busy highway, and I don't want to hurt anyone.

But the first few parties afterwards, I was greeted with total shock. "You're not drinking??" But once I explained, my friends were pretty cool about it.

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Furious:
quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
See, if you don't drink with them, then they must choose between not drinking and drinking alone. The first is no fun*, and the second makes them worry that they're alcoholics, or that someone will think they're alcoholics. If they were comfortable with their own drinking habits, they wouldn't care about yours.

That's very interesting. I like to knock a few back (and sometimes knock a few too many back) on the weekend, but I never felt the need to pressure anybody else to drink, and never really understood why some others did.
That's pretty much what I meant by "comfortable with their own drinking habits."

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Max_Renn
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I also rarely-if-ever touch alcohol. there are a number of reasons, the large one, I suppose, being that kids at my high school had a very large problem with alcohol. I'm not talking seniors, I'm talking freshmen, 13-year-olds who would cross the river to Hull every weekend and get totally toasted. School dances used to end with police cars showing up, and in one memorable incident, ambulances, as the dances would get out of hand and cause some serious property damage (until my 12th grade, most of our school dances were held off-campus). Being 14 years old and seeing classmates rushed into ambulances with shards of glass sticking out of their foreheads and blood pouring down their faces kinda put the teetotaling notion into my head.

I loosened up a bit during university and would accept an offered beer from time to time, but I never actually consumed enough to get drunk. Then it was off to L.A., where since you have to drive everywhere I'm not sure how anybody drinks at all, and then four years of antidepressants which precluded drinking alcohol anyway. So in my life I've had a few legitimate reasons to not drink, but the standard answer I fall back on when on a date or at a party and I'm holding a tepid ginger ale, is that I "just never developed a taste for it." Though I've had a few folks half-heartedly tell me I just haven't tried the right hooch yet, most let it drop after that, for which I'm grateful.

Cinnamon, I'm glad you're recognizing your problem at last and that your driving adventure has made you come to that realization in a big way. Seriously, though, I would check out AA as soon as possible. Though you "wouldn't describe yourself as an alcoholic," the fact that your judgement was so impaired that you would get behind the wheel while hammered belies that notion.

Max "one more for my baby" Renn

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Aud
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I agree about not making up excuses and just saying "no, thank you". Like many jerks he sounds like he just wants to get a rise out of you.

Also, does your company have any sort of harrassment policy. Pressuring you to drink on a business related dinner just doesn't seem like good office policy.

People can get weird about refused hospitality no matter what drink is involved. My mother-in-law always seems vaguely offended when I ask for water instead of the iced tea she makes. Her tea is freakishly strong and if I drink it in the evenings I can't sleep. I've explained this. Sigh.

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Four Kitties
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quote:
Originally posted by Max_Renn:
Cinnamon, I'm glad you're recognizing your problem at last and that your driving adventure has made you come to that realization in a big way. Seriously, though, I would check out AA as soon as possible. Though you "wouldn't describe yourself as an alcoholic," the fact that your judgement was so impaired that you would get behind the wheel while hammered belies that notion.

As does "blackouts and memory loss" being "ignored."

Four Kitties

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Menolly
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Cinnamon, congrats on your decision. A friend from a long time ago refused to drink and drive. He'd pull the waitress aside and give her a big tip, saying "no matter what is ordered for me, I want a 7Up with a twist". That way he'd look like he was drinking something alcoholic and his buddies would leave him be. Brilliant, I thought.

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Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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See, if someone doesn't drink *with* me, that's one more *for* me. Come on over, Cinnamon!

I think the wise snopester(strange little girl) who linked this to the other person possibly having an alcohol problem was correct - why do others have to drink with them?

But if you are doing things under the influence that you, sober, know were not the right things to do, you may have a problem your ownself.

Good luck!

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"The little local company I buy from has CHEAP shipping and I have met their goats." (snapdragonfly)

"And that's one lost erection I'll never get back! You hear me Dan! I'm owed an erection!" (I'mNotDedalus)

Posts: 2658 | From: California | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Kitten in the rain
Jingle Bell Hock


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Like many others here, I don't drink at all. There's a lot of alcohol and drug addiction on both sides of my family, plus I take a medication that alcohol can do bad things to. I'm dating a good Mormon boy, so he doesn't drink, either. When I look at the alcohol-related problems my friends have had, I don't understand why ANYONE drinks.

(For example: Boyfriend in the Rain's family is HUGE, but family gatherings like Thanksgiving and Christmas never result in blowups or shouting matches or any of the things that people usually complain about, despite there being tons of people. Why? No one is drunk. So they all can have a good time.)

I can usually talk down the snide "what, are you boring?!" people because in my heart, I don't feel guilty for not drinking. Plus, most people back the hell off after I tell them that there's a lot of addiction on both sides of my family. I think I've had to bust out the fact that my grandfather was an alcoholic who committed suicide only once or twice, and that one shuts up even the nastiest boors.

The hard part, for me, about not drinking is parties. Most of my friends have parties for exactly one reason: To get drunk. There is nothing in the world less fun than being at a party full of drunk people when you're sober. At this point, most of my friends know that they can count on my presence at any gathering only until the alcohol comes out, and then I'm going to leave. With a couple of my friends, alcohol has become so central to their social lives that I've actually drifted apart from them, and in those cases, I don't know what's sadder -- that we've drifted apart, or that alcohol has become so central to their social lives that they never have a gathering without drinking to intoxication anymore.

Anyway, I have a couple of non-drinking friends, and believe me, I treasure them. I would advise that, if you want to stick to your resolution not to drink anymore, you see about tracking down such people. It'll be a lot easier not to drink if no one else is drinking, either.

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Roadie:
See, if someone doesn't drink *with* me, that's one more *for* me. Come on over, Cinnamon!

When I drink alone, I prefer to be by myself. [fish]

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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ladyknight
The First USA Noel


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I went to my doctor's for a yearly physical earlier this month, and was asked the normal questions (Do you drink? Smoke? Take drugs? Etc.). I said no to everything, even to drinking caffeine, since I gave up pop in October. The nurse looked at me in shock and said, "So what do you do for fun?". I had no idea what to say...am I really that boring because I don't drink? I always thought it was because I get tired so early!
Seriously though, I hang out with a bunch of people who do drink, sometimes heavily, and they've always been cool with me not drinking. I usually tell people who ask that my dad used to brew his own beer, and the smell of beer cooking for three hours is enough to put anyone off drinking it.

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Triumphs cannot be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds, and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. -- A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold

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Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by Roadie:
See, if someone doesn't drink *with* me, that's one more *for* me. Come on over, Cinnamon!

When I drink alone, I prefer to be by myself. [fish]
GAHH!!! Earworm, for the rest of the day. Thanks, Lainie. Where's that beer?

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"The little local company I buy from has CHEAP shipping and I have met their goats." (snapdragonfly)

"And that's one lost erection I'll never get back! You hear me Dan! I'm owed an erection!" (I'mNotDedalus)

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queen of the bah-caramels
Jingle Bell Hock


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I find the worst type of social event is the social/business meal . There are some drinkers who insist on the waiter refilling your wineglass even when you have made it clear to the staff that you only want ONE drink. Yes I am driving but a small glass at the start of the meal will be metabolised sufficently to leave me under the limit several hours later.

Once I started driving I always offered to drive my colleagues if we were drinking away from the local area. That way no-one pressured me into drinking.

Oh and I would never spike some-ones drink. I had it happen to me by some chap who wanted to be my boyfriend. Sorry but vodka tastes of aectone to be and gin like perfume. Budding relationship lasted one date.

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Focus On The Family- An opinion group who think more about Gay Sex than gay people do- Rick Mercer

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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One night, I had 3 or 4 watermelon martinis... another night (far spaced apart), I had 4 glasses of wine. While I wasn't falling down or anything, gravity and I did have an interesting relationship for a short time.

But I'm not a really big drinker. If I have a whole glass of wine in a 3 or 4 month period, it's practically notable. If my hubby buys a bottle of wine that's something we've never had before, I'll have a sip to see what it tastes like, but we cook with wine a heck of a lot more than we drink it.

Cinnamon, whatever your reasons are for choosing not to drink, they are your reasons. You are not required to explain yourself to anybody, nor should you have to offer excuses--some folks might try to talk you out of it if they know your motives for not drinking... not all, but some. Also, some folks might take your not drinking to mean that you are sitting in judgment of THEIR drinking. You can assure them that this is not the case without having to defend your own reasons.

I would recommend that you find some local AA meetings. I'm not saying that you're a raving alcoholic to the point that you need to booze up every day just to function, but if one drink can very easily lead to 10 or more, this might be a sign that you need help, and you can easily find support from folks at an AA meeting. This doesn't mean that you can never drink again and have to shun all of your friends and acquaintances who drink, but the support you can get at an AA meeting will help you feel more confident in your own decision to abstain.

If you need to PM me, feel free. [Smile]

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They just don't make crazed, beserk robots like they used to. --Sheen Estevez, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

If I manage to post something swipe-worthy that you would like to make your sig, you may do so with my blessing.

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Max_Renn
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by ladyknight:

(snip)
I went to my doctor's for a yearly physical earlier this month, and was asked the normal questions (Do you drink? Smoke? Take drugs? Etc.). I said no to everything, even to drinking caffeine, since I gave up pop in October. The nurse looked at me in shock and said, "So what do you do for fun?". I had no idea what to say...am I really that boring because I don't drink? I always thought it was because I get tired so early!

(slight hijackHow refreshing to run into someone who also eschews caffeine! I haven't drunk caffeinated cola in a decade, and I never drank coffee. I imagine I get some naturally-occurring caffeine in chocolate, but that's it for my consumption. I quit because I have enough trouble sleeping, and bum tickers run in the family to I try to avoid chemical stimulants if possible. People who can't believe I don't drink coffee are even more strident that people who are puzzled that I don't drink booze. I've heard pleny of "Oh my god! I could never function without a few cups in the morning! I don't believe you!" but never have I heard "Gotta get a brewski first thing or I'm a wreck all day."

Max "Beer: it's not just for breakfast anymore!" Renn

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Sister Ann: DRIVE! DRIVE
Crow T. Robot: Look, I'm already driving, there's no inherent quantity of driving that I can increase! If you want me to go faster, you should say so.

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Danvers Carew
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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In almost all cases, booze should be an optional extra and not the main purpose of a social event. When you want to socialise, you can go out to a pub and maybe have a beer or a coke and chat amongst friends. Or there may be a celebration or party and you all go along and have a beer or a coke and have fun. Booze isn't a necessary feature here, and there's no reason whatsoever to badger folk into taking a drink. And it's a pain in the arse when people try to force others to drink alcohol or make fun of them for not doing so. The person forcing or cajoling or spiking drinks is always the person in the wrong in any situation.

However, I do think a certain level of common sense and responsibilty lies with the teetotallers in certain circumstances. In Britain at least, there's a bit of a pub culture/drinking culture. Like it or not, drinking to drunkenness is often held as a recreational activity or a hobby in itself, akin to scuba-diving or macrame. Occassionally groups of people will like to get together to have the odd 'let's-all-get-drunk night', where boozing it up can reasonably be said to be the main point of the evening. If a night out with friends is understood to be a 'let's-all-get-drunk night', and I'm not wanting to drink or get drunk, I would likely avoid going along rather than turning up and sticking to soft drinks. This is because I've never enjoyed being stone-cold sober amongst drunk people, and I don't imagine many people do.

It may be unfair, but I suppose if you're invited on a night out that's clearly understood by all involved to be a 'let's-all-get-drunk night' and you're a teetotaller, or just don't fancy booze that night, then you should probably expect some element of confusion or cajoling if you choose to attend. If I was invited out explicitly to 'get drunk', and then turned up and said I didn't drink, I'd fully expect confusion and to have to explain myself. I think if you're a teetotaller choosing to attend a clear 'let's-all-get-drunk night', then you've no reason to feel surprised or offended when people ask you why you're not drinking. They shouldn't press you or push you to drink, of course, but showing confusion is perfectly reasonable (they're drunk too remember, and thus easily confused).

I suppose it's a bit like someone asking you if you fancy playing football on their team at the weekend, you agreeing, then turning up and saying, "I don't actually play football, but I'll happily watch you guys and play tennis over there by myself". People might be confused and won't quite know how to gauge the situation and might try to get you involved in order to be friendly. They might wonder why you've come out with a lot of footballers if you don't play football and don't have any interest in football, or perhaps even find the very idea of football distasteful or reprehensible. Those playing football might feel like they were looking forward to a good game, but now have to keep stopping and coming over to make sure you're having a good time by yourself, and they may resent you a bit for spoiling their game.

Of course, the main problem with this little theory is that a great many people think every night out, from 'work night out', 'the office christmas party', to 'Little Charlie's Baptism' constitutes a 'let's-all-get-drunk night', and they're the chumps that cause hassle for all.

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Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by ladyknight:
I went to my doctor's for a yearly physical earlier this month, and was asked the normal questions (Do you drink? Smoke? Take drugs? Etc.). I said no to everything, even to drinking caffeine, since I gave up pop in October. The nurse looked at me in shock and said, "So what do you do for fun?". I had no idea what to say...

Channel Adam Ant:

"Don't drink, don't smoke
What do you do?"

(Roadie, is that better? [fish] )

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

Posts: 8322 | From: Columbus, OH | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
frogpond
Jingle Sales


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I believe that someone who is pressuring you to drink is absolutely feeling insecure about their own habits. Would they insist that you must join them in eating brussel sprouts if they were? It's just that "peer pressure" stuff all over again from those old enough to know better.

Though I do enjoy a glass of wine or a drink with a nice meal and friends I never felt comfortable drinking much in college - in the party situations I wanted to remain fully in control. If anyone asked why I wasn't drinking I always said that I was having too much fun watching what the drunk people did and then reminding them of it all the following morning! [Big Grin] I was never really given a hard time about it.

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So many books, so little time.

Posts: 1192 | From: McDonough, Georgia | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
glisp42
I'm Dreaming Of A White iPod


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I'm goint to agree with Lainie and Strange Little Girl. Like it or not, you were one of his drinking buddies and as long as you were drinking with him, he didn't feel like an alcoholic.

I have a friend like this, whenever my boss/roomie/friend and I go see her, she insists on drinking and on buying drinks for my friend. She even tried to buy drinks for me, but I was firm about being the DD.

I do drink but I keep it in moderation and have changed my habits so I don't feel the need to get drunk everytime I drink. I do have to keep a reign on myself because otherwise I would be drinking myself to sleep every night. As it stands now, I generally drink once a month.

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What does "Bookachow", "YOMANK" and other lingo mean?

And we'll collect the moments one by one I guess that's how the future's done. -Feist

Posts: 1641 | From: Kansas | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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