FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Alcohol (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Alcohol
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't drink alcohol. It's because I decided not to. I'm 21 and have been since June. My main trouble is justifying this decision to my peers in a way that expresses my personal disapproval without making them feel like they have to justify their decision to drink, attempt to tell me that I could find a drink I liked that doesn't taste alcohol-y, continually offer me drinks, or socially isolate me.

The issue is currently moot right now. I'm currently taking anti-depressants, and can't/shouldn't drink. I wanted to post this thread a while ago before I got diagnosed with depression, but then I figured the point was moot. I was at a party for accepted grad students and some guy (who actually doesn't work in the program), gave me the talk that I've heard before, when he found me sitting on a couch, just talking to one person in my prospective program. I forgot to tell him that I a. felt sick in the car on the way over, so I wasn't going to be social until I was going to be not nauseous. b. can't drink anyway because of my medication.


I have lots of reasons for not drinking. They aren't good enough on their own, but combined, I respect my decision.

My background:
1. I'm an atheist. I make my own morality. I try not to be hypocritical, but I think alcohol is responsible for lots of damaged things, people, reputations, etc. (especially on college campuses). By not drinking, I can absolve myself from being a part of any irresponsible things that I could do when intoxicated. Both my parents drink. My older sister drinks, and my little sister got suspended from school for drinking something that some kid brought it. It's really just me.

2. I have bad social skills. My foot lives in my mouth already, I don't trust myself not to do or say something irreparable.

3. If you are sober among drunks, drunks are just awful. Drinking games are like the lames games you play in summer camp with 8 year olds in a circle, plus every so often, someone has to take a sip of their drink. Oh, and beer pong: so unsanitary!

4. Alcohol smells really gross. I hate being next to people who have drinks or have drunk stuff. I have a keen sense of smell, and I hate perfumes, etc too. Furthermore, I don't like the taste of beer. My dad was of the impression that babies like beer and gave me a sip of his when I was about 2. It was the nastiest thing I ever tasted.

5. I weigh less than 110 pounds. I am a hypochondriac about nausea, lack of sleep, lack of food and I hate feeling out of sorts. When I feel funny, I want nothing more than to go home. Throwing up/nausea are at the top of my list of things I can't stand/deal with. My life is at its peak when I am awake, alert and happy, and no feeling can replace that.

6. I am too cheap to pay for alcohol. I hate paying for a restaurant/takeout and $4 a gallon for milk is awful. Bars? Fine wines? Not paying for it.

7. I have an addictive personality. I have no self control with things like the internet (and spending too much time on it). Senior year of High school I gave up spider solitaire cold turkey. It was the only thing that worked. I also have a pathological desire to finish any food on my plate and have the tendency to overeat (thank goodness for my high metabolism). I thrive off of procrastination and narrowly getting things done. I have known this since I was 11, and my personality has not changed since. It's only through a knowledge of my abilities and stamina that I can get what I need to in life done. My grandfather was an alcoholic with a history of driving drunk. My mother cut off contact with him 25 years before his death.

8. When I was 13 I decided soda was pointless. So in 2000, I made a new year's resolution to stop drinking it. I accidently had carbonated punch, and a carbonated ice drink once, but that was it. I don't drink coffee either. Why bother with alcohol then?

9. Parties aren't my scene. Nor or clubs. Maybe alcohol could change that. I really hate crowds. Meanwhile, my scene= movies, board games, one on one interaction. Coolest event I ever went to: OSC lecture at a bookstore.

10. I don't trust my friends. While they brought me to the psychologist in the first place, since then things have been cold. One said that she is "not responsible for my mental health". Fine, I can see that, but I wish they wouldn't be fair weather friends. They make only a moderate effort to include me in stuff, and they tend to leave places without me, or not mention plans. But now I'm left out a lot as it is.

Most of my reasons come out of a moral stance or fear of being irresponsible. I think that my fear is strong enough to make me be responsible and I'm sure I could be. But why bother when zero works so well?

My friends are pretty responsible. They never did the drinking thing until they were 21, they sleep over when they party. They're ex do crafts on Saturday night folks. Aside from being a little annoying they aren't destructive and don't do anything that I have a problem with. Really. Still, I'm looking forward to the day when alcohol is something that you pull out of the grown-ups' cooler at a cookout and drink to enjoy, and not an event where the conversation consists of how buzzed you are.

I've given people a version of 1-9 and it never seems to work the way I want it to come out. Yes, I do think alcohol is gross, and I look down upon it. It's a bad option for me. Emphasis on the "for me". I don't care whether someone who is over 21 drinks (so long as they don't drive), gets drunk or just has one. I don't like alcohol so I don't drink. But people seem perplexed because I'm not religious/Morman, and don't realize that my moral sphere does not extend beyond me. You don't hear about all the responsible people, but they're there. Yes, I'm sure the fruity drinks don't taste like alcohol and a mudslide would be yummy, but that's not the point. I'm not looking to convert or be converted. I'm looking to be included, yet given the respect one would give a vegetarian. I just don't know how to do this and I need help.

My antidepressants aren't going to be around forever (because this citalopram stuff works), and like I said earlier, I already forgot I was on them once. But when I say I don't drink, I get questioned, often at length.

How do I end the conversation without making a point of contention? Is there a good answer to give? Am I crazy?

Please help. I am going to Grad School in the fall, and want to start off on the right foot. Right now I'm visiting places, and don't want to be awkward at bars (again, no soda). Thanks!

Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
maui babe
Member
Member # 1894

 - posted      Profile for maui babe   Email maui babe         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There are so many reasons people may choose not to drink alcohol. It's amazing to me that anyone would still feel the need to pressure someone else to drink.

I find it works best to just politely decline an offer of a drink. Or, if someone asks what I'd like, request a coke or ginger ale.

You really have no obligation to explain yourself and anyone who pushes is just being arrogant and immature.

Posts: 2069 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MidnightBlue
Member
Member # 6146

 - posted      Profile for MidnightBlue   Email MidnightBlue         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It sounds like your friends suck. (No offense to you.) They leave you out of things and try to pressure you into doing things you don't want to? Those are not friends.
Posts: 1547 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah. I'd say, "I don't drink." If they can't leave it at that, get new friends. (I know, easier said than done. But possibly necessary.)

MOST groups of young people who like to get drunk now and then are HAPPY to have a built-in designated driver! If you're willing to hang out even if drinking is involved and don't criticize their individual choice to drink, why would they care? It saves them cab fare!

Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, senior year has been sucking, so I'm hanging out with other people, but there aren't the connections I used to have. For better or worse, I still live with people, and they're in my classes (we're all astrophysicists/physicists together). Last year, they all sat around me at lunch and asked why I didn't want the mint jullips at the Kentucky Derby party the week prior. It was like a group intervention. It was weird.


But it's not just them: it's my older sister, a high school acquaintance whose offer to go clubbing I declined, that random engineer at the party. How long into people's 20s does it take for them to grow out of it?

Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mackillian
Member
Member # 586

 - posted      Profile for mackillian   Email mackillian         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What they (maui babe and midnightblue) said. Real friends don't pressure you to drink. When you tell them you don't drink, real friends let it go (though some may ask, out of curiosity, why not). They offer a drink, ask for water. Another thing to try (if you want to remain friends with these folks) is to be the designated driver. As I'm unable to drink (I can't metabolize alcohol, so I go from imbibe to sick and skip the apparent 'fun' part) I'm always the designated driver for my group of friends.
Posts: 14745 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SenojRetep
Member
Member # 8614

 - posted      Profile for SenojRetep   Email SenojRetep         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've never run into a problem in grad school telling people I don't drink. Of course, I have the easy religious out.

I'd just decline the drink, and if people ask why say you don't drink, and that the reasons are personal. If they push you, just repeat that you don't have a problem with others drinking, but you choose not to for personal reasons.

Posts: 2923 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd tried the designated driver thing, but it doesn't work. They just sleep over.

People mostly ask me out of curiosity, and then get defensive. That's where my problem really lies.

My smaller group of friends don't really ask me to drink anymore, but there's still this huge awkwardness.

Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mackillian
Member
Member # 586

 - posted      Profile for mackillian   Email mackillian         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
People mostly ask me out of curiosity, and then get defensive. That's where my problem really lies.
How do you explain to them why you don't drink? I mean, what do you tell them right before they get defensive? There might be another way to word your explanation that doesn't make folks defensive of their own choices.
Posts: 14745 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dood, I seldom drink myself.
You don't have to justify not wanting to drink to anyone. If they have a problem with it, it's their problem, not yours.
Not everyone likes that turpentine... That kerosene in the first place. When i was in college I'd taste stuff and think, that's all? It's not all that.
Sometimes I go to a wine tasting or a beer tasting. I stop when I feel to lagurchedy and bad. I drank some reisling for new years, but other than that, I don't drink a lot at all and I'm allergic to beer. It gives me violent stomach aches and I hav asian flush syndrome.

Posts: 9938 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mackillian:
quote:
People mostly ask me out of curiosity, and then get defensive. That's where my problem really lies.
How do you explain to them why you don't drink? I mean, what do you tell them right before they get defensive? There might be another way to word your explanation that doesn't make folks defensive of their own choices.
I don't remember exactly what I say, but I try to explain some of the reasons in 1-9. I try to fall back on the smell one, because it has nothing to do with morality, illness or responsibility. It never works the way I want it too. People just recommend different alcohol. I'm not aggressive about it, as far as I know. I can be dorky and uptight and letter of the lawish, so people want to see me loosen up. I have the tendency to go on and on, because I don't think I've made a good case.

But that's why I started this thread and explained why I don't drink at length. I want to know the best way to give a good an honest answer about why I don't drink without offending someone. Maybe someone here doesn't drink for the same reasons as me and knows what works. I usually have to satisfy their curiosity, but I'm really not looking for a discussion, but to close the subject.

I'm almost tempted to lie after I go off the antidepressants and say I can't drink, even though I could again.

Meanwhile, what can a bar serve a non-drinker instead or alcohol (or soda)?

Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MidnightBlue
Member
Member # 6146

 - posted      Profile for MidnightBlue   Email MidnightBlue         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Less detail is better than more, I think. If you say you don't like the smell/taste, it can be seen as an invitation to show you that some alcohol is better than other. I would just say you don't want to and have more fun watching the drinking than participating, or something.
Posts: 1547 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
theamazeeaz
Member
Member # 6970

 - posted      Profile for theamazeeaz   Email theamazeeaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like the watching idea. I don't really like watching, so much, but it's something I'll have to try.
Posts: 1757 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Launchywiggin
Member
Member # 9116

 - posted      Profile for Launchywiggin   Email Launchywiggin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It sounds like a tough situation--you shouldn't be alienated for the decision to not drink. However, the amount of awkwardness you feel around the drinking scene (at bars or parties) is entirely up to you. You can not drink and still be part of the group--and the group "energy". I think, while it's possible that your friends are jerks, they're probably just responding to you not contributing to the group "energy". That's a little vague, but do you see what I'm getting at? If you seem like the victim, it makes them feel like victimizers.

There are many nights that I drink water all night instead of beer--and usually nobody gives me crap about it because I'm already having lots of fun and getting the "contact buzz"--(contributing to the group energy). If some insecure guy gives me crap about not drinking, I just kind of ignore it and laugh it off. I don't give reasons or excuses, which is a much cooler move than going on the defensive. Most people let it go pretty quick if you're cool about it--and if they don't, you just point out how insecure they are.

Posts: 1314 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Erasmus
Member
Member # 11496

 - posted      Profile for Erasmus           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
well if anyone asks just tell them you're the Designated Driver.

That always works for me when I don't feel like drinking anything, people usually feel awkward if they pressure after that because everyone knows you SHOULDN'T drink and drive so they don't want to look like an irresponsible jerk.

Posts: 15 | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Carrie
Member
Member # 394

 - posted      Profile for Carrie   Email Carrie         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
Meanwhile, what can a bar serve a non-drinker instead or alcohol (or soda)?

Juice. Most bars are well-stocked with the common mixers (cranberry, orange, even pineapple), so you can definitely sip on something that's not water. [Smile]

Obviously the only remedy is to get cool friends like us. [Big Grin] Kidding aside, I use the "I just don't feel up to it" excuse when I don't want to drink (though that's a pretty rare occurrence). I know that's not much of a help, though.

And don't worry - grad school is a lot better about "drinking to get drunk," at least in my experience. I've found it is a bit heavier on the binge drinking (if only because failing exams means a bit more...), but the FACs are just about going to have a drink (note the singular!) and get some food before going home to do work. Yeah, happy Friday nights to us. [Wink]

Posts: 3932 | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Speed
Member
Member # 5162

 - posted      Profile for Speed   Email Speed         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
First, I know bars will usually have some non-alcoholic beverages. You can get a cranberry juice and soda or a virgin margarita. Maybe if you get something like that looks like booze, people will stop questioning you. There's very little difference between the appearance of a gin and tonic and a glass of plain tonic or Sprite.

I often find in situations such as this that a simple lie is better than a complex truth. Find something you can say that won't leave them anything to argue about. Try telling them that you're in AA. Or that if your girlfriend/boyfriend/parents find out you've been drinking again, they're going to throw you out. Tell them that last time you drank you woke up in jail for assault with a deadly weapon, and see if they keep pushing you. Tell them that you're on Flagyl, and combining it with alcohol can be deadly. Or that alcohol always gives you wicked migraines. It might help you change the subject if you tell them that you're trying to emulate of Frank Zappa or Penn & Teller, other atheist non-drinkers.

For any but the last excuse, say it in a way that makes it clear that you're way more pissed than they are that you can't drink. It's hard for someone to badger you if you're already on their side.

Those are just a few off the top of my head. As someone who grew up sober with lots of drinking and drug-using friends, I can sympathize with you. Fortunately for me, though, most of my friends tended to be much cooler about it than yours seem to be. I hope they lighten up someday.

And for what it's worth, although I have no moral problem with someone having the occastional drink, I think all the reasons you listed for not drinking are perfectly sensible. There isn't a reason in the world that someone should drink if they don't feel like it, and if your friends looked at the situation objectively any one of those reasons is good enough to justify abstention.

Good luck. [Smile]

[ March 01, 2008, 02:44 PM: Message edited by: Speed ]

Posts: 2804 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
xtownaga
Member
Member # 7187

 - posted      Profile for xtownaga   Email xtownaga         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'll start off by saying I'm a college student who does drink more or less in the fashion you describe your friends doing. I also have a number of friends who don't (or rarely) drink, and I hang out with them a lot, but I generally don't invite them to come hang out with me and my other friends when we're going to be drinking, not because I'd feel judged or something, but because I think they'd be bored out of their minds. As you say, when your sober, drinking games are BORING, once you start to get somewhat inebriated, they get oddly fun. You admit you don't particularly like watching the drunks, and you're not going to drink, so I would say that your friends are pretty justified in not inviting you out to things or including you in things that they know you won't enjoy. I am assuming here that most of the time when you're left out of things it's things where they will be getting rather boozy, if they're leaving you out of other things too then I don't really have a case.

Also, don't misunderstand, I'm not trying to play this off like it's all your fault that you're not getting along as well with your friends because you don't drink. You and your friends have, it seems, started to branch away from you in terms of what they do for fun, which means you need to find new friends.

I will also say a bit about how to get people to stop offering you drinks. Don't say anything along the lines of "I don't like the taste/smell/etc of alcohol." That implies that you would drink if only you could find something that you liked the taste/smell/etc of, which prompts people with some knowledge of drinks to try to find you a drink that you will like, because it comes across like you're looking for one. Were I in your situation, I would probably go with something along the lines of "I don't drink" and when asked why not "It's just never appealed to me." I've had more or less that conversation with people before (on the other end that you would) and that's always been enough for me. If you find someone who keeps at you and you want something to shut them up without lying to them, something along the lines of "I have a family history of alcohol causing problems / alcoholism and so I decided not to drink."

One other thing you could try, and note that I am not trying to pressure you into doing this in any means, just suggesting that it may help things between you and your friends is to try drinking once. Assuming you don't like it (as you seem to expect that you won't) you can then legitimately just tell people that you don't enjoy drinking. It's pretty hard to come up with a reason for someone to do something to relax that they don't enjoy.

Posts: 187 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClaudiaTherese
Member
Member # 923

 - posted      Profile for ClaudiaTherese           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by MidnightBlue:
Less detail is better than more, I think. If you say you don't like the smell/taste, it can be seen as an invitation to show you that some alcohol is better than other. I would just say you don't want to and have more fun watching the drinking than participating, or something.

Less detail is much, much better in general. Reasons can be argued with, and you don't owe reasons (or an argument) to anyone.

The trick is to brush it off ("No thanks, I'll just have a Coke," or "I'll just have water") in the same natural tone as you would say "It's raining outside." ANd then change the subject.

When you are pressured, sometimes it helps to just say something like "it's so boring to talk about me and my life all the time. What's up with you?" as you grab a glass of water (or what have you) and put your most fascinated face on. [Smile]

Good luck. Downplay it, don't defend it. When you get defensive, other people will get defensive. When you stay mildly uninterested, generally other people will, too.

Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Itsame
Member
Member # 9712

 - posted      Profile for Itsame           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I do "No thanks, I just don't like the feeling."


I did find something that nobody can argue with me about concerning being a vegetarian: environmental vegetarian. Nobody knows what the heck that is, so they can't argue against it.

Posts: 2705 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sean Monahan
Member
Member # 9334

 - posted      Profile for Sean Monahan   Email Sean Monahan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by MidnightBlue:
Less detail is better than more, I think. If you say you don't like the smell/taste, it can be seen as an invitation to show you that some alcohol is better than other. I would just say you don't want to and have more fun watching the drinking than participating, or something.

This is what I do. (Although I used to drink, I don't anymore. I can't, I'm kind of like mckillian, I go straight from imbibe to sick.) If someone is so presumptious as to ask me why I'm not drinking, I just say, "I don't like it," or, "I don't want to," not in an unfriendly way, but in a way that shows that I have no more to say about it. Any more questions will just invoke the response, "I just don't like it," or, "I just don't want to." Beyond that, if they still have a problem with it, as far as I'm concerned, it's their problem, not mine.

Only once, has this ever caused a problem. When I was in my early 20's, I had a group of friends who liked to go out drinking and get drunk, me among them. But there was one in our group for whom I realized this was something different. I suspected that maybe she was an alcoholic. I never asked her about it, never preached to her about it, just one day, internally, I decided I was not going to drink in front of her anymore. Once, I was home from school for a holiday weekend, and it so happened, her birthday was that weekend. We all went out to eat. Everyone else ordered alcohol and I ordered an iced tea. She looked at me funny and asked me why I wasn't drinking. I said I just don't want to. She was livid. She insisted on being angry, and arguing about it, and demanded an explanation. I refused to get angry about it, and didn't give any reason other than, "I just don't want to," and, in fact, just proceeded with our night out as though I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary. Her response was, "I don't understand why you even bothered to come home and come out for my birthday if you don't even want to have fun." My response was, "Which one of us isn't having fun?" But I stuck to my guns, never explained myself to her, never mentioned alcoholism to her, and never drank in front of her again. About a year later, she acknowledged that she was an alcoholic, and apologized for that night. She has been clean and sober for almost 15 years now.

Posts: 1080 | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
El JT de Spang
Member
Member # 7742

 - posted      Profile for El JT de Spang   Email El JT de Spang         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One of my close friends didn't drink at all until he was 28 or 29. He didn't do the bar scene much, but he still got tons of questions (from acquaintances, mostly) about why he didn't drink. He always just shrugged and said he just didn't. Rarely did anyone pursue it past that.

He also has more friends than anyone I know, and I don't know of a single one who cared one iota that he didn't drink. People would even occasionally ask me, "Why doesn't [friend] drink?"

I always answered, "He just doesn't."

You don't need to give reasons, and don't take any crap about it. But you have to own it -- don't get bent out of shape if you're questioned. Just say, "I just don't" and keep on talking about whatever you were talking about before.

Posts: 5462 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
quote:
Originally posted by mackillian:
quote:
People mostly ask me out of curiosity, and then get defensive. That's where my problem really lies.
How do you explain to them why you don't drink? I mean, what do you tell them right before they get defensive? There might be another way to word your explanation that doesn't make folks defensive of their own choices.
I don't remember exactly what I say, but I try to explain some of the reasons in 1-9. I try to fall back on the smell one, because it has nothing to do with morality, illness or responsibility. It never works the way I want it too. People just recommend different alcohol. I'm not aggressive about it, as far as I know. I can be dorky and uptight and letter of the lawish, so people want to see me loosen up. I have the tendency to go on and on, because I don't think I've made a good case.

But that's why I started this thread and explained why I don't drink at length. I want to know the best way to give a good an honest answer about why I don't drink without offending someone. Maybe someone here doesn't drink for the same reasons as me and knows what works. I usually have to satisfy their curiosity, but I'm really not looking for a discussion, but to close the subject.

I'm almost tempted to lie after I go off the antidepressants and say I can't drink, even though I could again.

Meanwhile, what can a bar serve a non-drinker instead or alcohol (or soda)?

There are tons of non-alcoholic tasty beverages that a bar can serve you if you want an alternative, but, if price is still an issue for you, you won't feel much better about it, because they are just as expensive.

I sort of know how you feel. I'm not a drinker either. I have a beer once in a great while. That never used to be the case, but I finally found a beer that I can stand after two or three years of searching (I generally hate the taste of most alcohol, beer especially). I just don't like 99% of alcohol, and I think it is WAY too expensive. I'm not cheap, I'm just far too frugal to waste any decent sized sum of money on alcohol. The difference is, my friends are about ten kinds of awesome, and never, ever bother me about it. They just saddle me with DD duties, which I'm more than happy to do, and it's all good. For the most part they aren't really big drinkers either, but they like to go out and party every now and then.

Personally I prefer home gatherings, as I think we have a lot more fun, but I don't mind going out for a game of pool once and awhile. I say just be straight up with them and say you don't want to, you've explained yourself even though you don't have to, and you'd rather they not bother you about it, just accept it. And offer to be their designated driver. [Smile]

If that doesn't work, then I agree with MidnightBlue that your friends might just suck a little bit (sorry!). That's something they shouldn't give you a hard time about, not when you've made it clear what your preference is.

quote:
Really. Still, I'm looking forward to the day when alcohol is something that you pull out of the grown-ups' cooler at a cookout and drink to enjoy, and not an event where the conversation consists of how buzzed you are.
Have you tried throwing a cookout? Maybe you could try throwing a light social gathering, or maybe a dry party? See how it goes?
Posts: 21897 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MightyCow
Member
Member # 9253

 - posted      Profile for MightyCow           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There's no need to justify not drinking. Just say you don't drink and leave it at that.

Edit: I wouldn't encourage anyone with a possible family history of alcoholism to drink if they don't want to, but I will point out that having a drink isn't the same thing as being an alcoholic, and it doesn't force you to act like an idiot.

I felt the same way you did when I was in college, but I later found a cool group of friends who could all drink in reasonable amounts and act like adults while doing so, and it was fun, instead of being stupid and annoying.

[ March 01, 2008, 06:04 PM: Message edited by: MightyCow ]

Posts: 3950 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Elmer's Glue
Member
Member # 9313

 - posted      Profile for Elmer's Glue   Email Elmer's Glue         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What is wrong with soda?
Posts: 1287 | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Elmer's Glue:
What is wrong with soda?

High Fructose Corn Syrup?
Painful fizz?

Posts: 9938 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Elmer's Glue
Member
Member # 9313

 - posted      Profile for Elmer's Glue   Email Elmer's Glue         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I drink Diet.
It isn't painful.

Posts: 1287 | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It is to me.
And diet soda is just YEEKY. It's too sweet in a fake way. Bleck. I like soda somewhat flat or root beer.

Posts: 9938 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
prolixshore
Member
Member # 4496

 - posted      Profile for prolixshore           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't drink. I never have and I never will. I do this for several reasons, but that isn't really the question here.

When I was in college and people would ask me if I wanted a drink, I just said "I don't drink, but thanks" and most of the time it would be left at that. A few times folks would press the issue to find out why, and I developed a crafted response over the years that seems to work for me. I tell people that I don't like anything that messes with your mind (which is true), so I don't drink for the same reason I don't do drugs or take medication that will whack me out (unless it is absolutely necessary, but most of the time you can't even convince me to take an asprin).

This seems to be something that people can respect, since I've never had anyone argue with me about it. Usually they just say "Oh" and look thoughtful for a moment, then go back to their own drink of choice.

Prior to developing this answer, I would get into arguments with people. This is because I actually think drinking is incredibly stupid and get mad at my friends when they are drinking. Of course, this receives exactly the reaction you would expect, with defensive, angry posturing all around. Not a good time, especially when the people involved are already drunk. If I want to have a conversation about why I don't like drinking, I make sure I do it when both parties are sober and I know the other person well enough that it won't jeopardize our friendship.

This probably isn't particularly helpful except to say that I agree with everyone else here. Just tell people you don't drink and most will leave it at that. Don't leave any loopholes open that indicate you could start drinking, and it won't be worth their time to convince you. If you need to explain it to them, find a way to make your reason seem sound and unassailable.

Good luck to you, and just remember that drinking is not the only way to have fun.

--ApostleRadio

Posts: 1612 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Elmer's Glue:
I drink Diet.
It isn't painful.

Diet is just as bad as regular, but in different ways. You're trading one problem for another.
Posts: 21897 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Launchywiggin
Member
Member # 9116

 - posted      Profile for Launchywiggin   Email Launchywiggin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
See, I've looked into phenylalanine scare in diet drinks--and see no problems unless you're phenylketonuric and lack the enzyme needed to break it down. Though it's obviously not good to ingest large quantities (of anything), quantities found in diet drinks aren't anywhere near dangerous.

There are claims currently being researched that suggest:

Phenylalanine may help improve memory and learning ability, enhance mood and alertness, and help treat some types of depression.

It has been used to help treat schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease.

Phenylalanine tends to decrease appetite and has been used in treating obesity.

It is claimed to improve pain tolerance associated with pre-menstrual syndrome and migraine headaches.

Link

I've been drinking Crystal Lite (with phenylalanine) as part of my diet since last fall--and became very disheartened when I heard that "diet drinks are WORSE" line. So far, I'm not convinced.

Edit: I don't drink drinks with saccharine, aspartame, or sucralose (that covers most other diet drinks) because there HAVE been studies showing possible side effects. Still--if the FDA says it's ok, how can I argue? I don't know how to reconcile my distrust of government standards without ignoring that they're professionals.

Posts: 1314 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm so glad to see that you did the research, launchy. [Smile] So many people find some cockamaimie site that says that phenylalanine will KILL you! And you could have PKU and not know it! [Roll Eyes] PKU has been screened for in this country since the 70s, most effectively since the 80s. It's very rare to find an adult with untreated PKU. Most people with untreated, undetected PKU die in early childhood. Those who DO survive are severely mentally handicapped and have a distinctive gait. People who can read about phenylalanine on the internet do NOT have untreated PKU.

Sorry, that's one of my things...

Now, about it making you hungrier, that's more up for debate. Personally I find when I'm drinking any soda, diet or regular, I drink less water, and my water consumption is directly correlated to my weight loss/gain. But that's a very individual thing, I think.

Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(Oh, and aspartame=phenylalanine. Pretty much.)
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Launchywiggin
Member
Member # 9116

 - posted      Profile for Launchywiggin   Email Launchywiggin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
oh wow. Aspartame has phenylalanine in addition to other stuff. Maybe Crystal Lite is better because it only has phenylalanine.

I asked my dad about it once, and he says that the supposed "dangers" associated with the popular sweeteners are extremely overhyped. The study that showed saccharine was carcinogenic came to that conclusion after feeding rats enormous amounts of pure saccharine for a 3-week period. After 3 weeks of giving a living organism enormous amounts of any unnatural substance, I'd be impressed if something weren't going wrong with the body.

My appetite has never been a problem. My problem has been eating regularly, healthy, and balanced. There were some days I would hardly ingest 200 calories and others where I'd hit 3500 easy. It was never a compulsion or addiction, just something I did out of necessity or leisure.

Crystal Lite has luckily increased my water consumption to the doctor-recommended 8 glasses a day.

Posts: 1314 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I try to use aspartame, processed sugar, raw sugar, honey, and other sweeteners in moderation, all of them. [Smile] I don't use Splenda or saccharine at all-- but that's 'cause they taste nasty to me. Splenda tastes like burnt rubber and saccharine very bitter, like the pith of a citrus fruit. Interestingly, my dad tastes them both the same way I do.
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(Personally, I like the taste of aspartame, which is sweeter than sugar with a slightly bitter undertone to me. My dad doesn't like that, either.

And did they change the formulation on Crystal Light? Last time I drank it-- which admittedly was 2 years ago-- it was sweetened with aspartame.)

Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Kraft website is saying that Crystal Light is sweetened with aspartame and also acesulfame potassium. It also contains maltodextrin, but I'm not sure how much sweetening that does in this case.
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Launchywiggin
Member
Member # 9116

 - posted      Profile for Launchywiggin   Email Launchywiggin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I feel bad for making you go to all that trouble when I should have been looking closer [Smile]

What I saw was the big warning that says "Contains phenylalanine".

Posts: 1314 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No trouble, really. Googling "crystal light ingredients" isn't hard. [Wink]
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, man, some of the stuff on aspartame is FUNNY. I just googled for kicks to find some of those crazy websites and get a laugh out of them. They crack me up.

I also found a great website for refuting them next time I see a thread somewhere about how dangerous aspartic acid, aspartame, and/or phenylalanine are. It has some cool facts such as "a serving of non-fat milk contains 6 times as much phenylalanine and 13 times as much aspartic acid as an equivalent serving of diet soda sweetened only with aspartame." Coolness.

Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Evie3217
Member
Member # 5426

 - posted      Profile for Evie3217   Email Evie3217         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, here's what I think. I think that your friends get defensive when you say that you don't drink because they feel like you're attacking their way of life. Of course that's not what you think, but that's what they feel. I've gotten this a lot with smoking pot. My ex-flatmate used to pressure me all the time to smoke pot and when I said I didn't smoke, he got really defensive and tried to convince me to loosen up and have a new experience. When I started to defend myself for the reason why I don't smoke, he just got angry and just pressured me more. Now, I know that drinking and smoking aren't the same thing, but the principle is the same. When I started just saying "No thanks" instead of "I don't smoke" I got a better reaction.

I do agree that less is more. If you give lots of reasons, people will find some way to argue with you. Just say "No thanks. I'm not in the mood" or come up with some way to change the subject. But trying to defend your point will only make people want to defend THEIR point, and that will just get messy.

As for the whole drinking atmosphere, I think people just don't want you to be uncomfortable. They feel like you're not having fun when they drink and you don't, and so they don't invite you. But as long as you are okay with the situation, they should be fine. But if you act strange or uncomfortable when they're drunk, they feel like you're judging them by staying sober, and that you're not having fun. For me, when I want to be sober, I can still have fun with my friends by getting the "contact high". And drinking games, as stupid as they sound, are actually a lot of fun. There's just something about them.

I think you just need to be comfortable with other people drinking. As long as you're enjoying yourself and not judging people, then people are going to accept the fact that you don't drink. As long as you don't make it a judgment call, they won't either. And relax when your friends are drinking. Have fun, enjoy watching drunk people. They are incredibly funny. That's one of my favorite things when I'm sober, watching all my drunk friends being silly.

Posts: 1789 | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lem
Member
Member # 6914

 - posted      Profile for lem           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I have lots of reasons for not drinking. They aren't good enough on their own, but combined, I respect my decision.
I think any reason is good enough on it's own.

The thing about personal choices is that they need to be respected, regardless the reason...particularly if they are non-destructive.

Growing up some of my best friends were pot users, drinkers, and smokers. I have still never used an illegal drug, tho as an adult I have tried alcohol.

Like Speed I was offered but not pressured. I think my one friend liked having a designated driver.

I wouldn't lie. I do like the idea of ordering virgin drinks. I find them much yummier then the real thing. I like this exchange:

"Here, have a drink."
"I'm good."
"Why not?"
"It's not my thing."
"Why not?"
"Does it matter?"

My personal favorite is the broken record. People just can't maintain focus/energy on a broken record.

"Have a drink."
"I'm good."
C'mon, have a long island ice tea. It's so good and you can't taste the alcohol."
"It's not my thing."
"Why not?"
"It's not my thing."
"What, are you religious?
"It's not my thing."
"Just a beer. It's good with wings."
"It's not my thing."
"What, your not even going to taste it?"
"It's not my thing."

*repeat as needed.

Don't lie. Have virgin drinks. Less details. Broken record. That's my 2 cents for what it's worth.

Posts: 2445 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sylvrdragon
Member
Member # 3332

 - posted      Profile for sylvrdragon   Email sylvrdragon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To the OP, you're description matches me almost completely. The only differences are weight, metabolism, and family history. Even the Soda thing matches, although I quit around 18-19 (6-7 years ago). Even the part about accidentally drinking something carbonated (I ordered something at KFC and thought it was juice, but it ended up being red soda).

I don't worry nearly as much about people getting defensive though. With certain people, my response is "Because I think drinking makes you look and act like a moron." with a pointed glance. Most of the time though, it's usually the same as most people have already suggested: Just make the statement that you don't, and leave it at that.

Things I've used (some have already been mentioned):

I never started, and I see no point in it now
People are always saying how much they regret starting, and so I learned from their example.
I don't want to do anything that alters my state of mind.
Of all the stupid things that I've seen people do during my life, alcohol has been at the root of a vast majority of them. I don't much like being stupid.
My life is based around avoiding pointless regret. Alcohol is counter-productive to that end.
I like my Liver.
For the same reason I don't [insert Darwin Award article here].

Luckily, none of my closest friends really drink very heavily, and none of them ever PLAN to attend activities where alcohol is the main source of entertainment, so that aspect doesn't effect me really. I do find myself at "Drinking events" occasionally though, and I generally find them boring and almost always end up looking at my watch for the majority of the time I'm there (unless I happen to find another similarly sober person with which to converse).

My best advice is to make the situation fun! Come with funny answers to that question. Create a conspiracy theory. Make up a story about the LAST time you drank ("...so I woke up naked behind Denny's...). Tell them that you read that alcohol plays a major part in Spontaneous Human Combustion, and that your greatest fear is dying in a fire. Tell them that you had a vision of a future in which Alcohol will save the world, and that you're contributing to saving Humanity by conserving what you can now by not drinking it. Be creative!

Posts: 636 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
My personal favorite is the broken record. People just can't maintain focus/energy on a broken record.

"Have a drink."
"I'm good."
C'mon, have a long island ice tea. It's so good and you can't taste the alcohol."
"It's not my thing."
"Why not?"
"It's not my thing."
"What, are you religious?
"It's not my thing."
"Just a beer. It's good with wings."
"It's not my thing."
"What, your not even going to taste it?"
"It's not my thing."

  • First, what kind of bizarro universe has long islands that are too weak for you to taste the alcohol?
  • Second, people who do this are bad friends and idiots.
  • like seriously

Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bella Bee
Member
Member # 7027

 - posted      Profile for Bella Bee   Email Bella Bee         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For about a year and a half while I was at uni, I had medical reasons why I absolutely couldn't drink.
And yeah, I hate that when you say medical reasons, people always want to ask 'what's wrong with you?'.
Even if it's no big deal, it's not some stranger's buisness and I'd tell them so.

Even then, it was hard - especially since it's so culturally ingrained here that you can't have fun without getting 'pissed'.

But after I stopped taking medication, I found that even close friends who knew my situation still just assumed that I wouldn't drink, simply because I didn't.
So you usually only have to have the 'I don't drink' conversation once or twice, if people are reasonable.

I do drink alcohol now, but still always in moderation.
These days, people get more upset when I tell them I don't drink tea.

Posts: 1528 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lem
Member
Member # 6914

 - posted      Profile for lem           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
* First, what kind of bizarro universe has long islands that are too weak for you to taste the alcohol?
* Second, people who do this are bad friends and idiots.
* like seriously

Best Long Island I ever had was so smooth I could not taste ANY alcohol. I drank it down like I would a diet coke, but the moment I stood up I realized it's strength. Most other long islands I had after that tasted like gasoline.

No, friends who don't respect your choices are bad friends. Anyone else who is pestering you can be cut off that way without giving any personal info to be debated.

Seriously.

Posts: 2445 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Xavier
Member
Member # 405

 - posted      Profile for Xavier   Email Xavier         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
First, what kind of bizarro universe has long islands that are too weak for you to taste the alcohol?
When made right, the alcohol is barely noticeable (to taste, not effect), even when the textbook 5 shots are used. It's a mystery to me how that works.

Strangely enough, it's usually the weaker long islands that taste awful. The worst long islands I've ever had have been by bartenders putting too much coke in. The coke is just for color, and too much really ruins the flavor of the drink.

Posts: 5656 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Morbo
Member
Member # 5309

 - posted      Profile for Morbo   Email Morbo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree with lem and Xavier: for some unfathomable reason, the blend of flavors in a L.I. mask most or all of the taste of the alcohol.
Posts: 6316 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Carrie
Member
Member # 394

 - posted      Profile for Carrie   Email Carrie         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I also concur with the idea that Long Islands don't taste a whole lot like the alcohol in them.
Posts: 3932 | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
.... the drink is like 6/7ths spirits. I am at a loss to believe that some people could not taste this.
Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2