Why I Don’t Drink

Recently a comment was posted where someone asked why I don’t drink. I do seem to mention it in a number of posts, mostly those where I’m complaining how hard it is to find a girl who also doesn’t drink, but I suppose I’ve never explained why. I also don’t do drugs, smoke, or take medicine.

I’ve never had a drink in my life. I went to a private school in Andover, Massachusetts for middle school and I don’t think anyone there drank. Maybe they did and I was blissfully ignorant. I remember one kid got caught for smoking and it was a huge controversy.

After middle school my family moved to Austin, Texas and I went to a public high school. My first day there I got lost and happened to have wandered behind the building. to my surprise there was a huge mass of kids smoking cigarettes and pot. One such kid, a Junior, picked me up and put me in a trash can.

Nowadays I guess most people start drinking early, in middle school. I missed that phase and all of a sudden EVERYONE was drinking.

In high school none of my friends drank. I consider meeting those friends to be one of the best things that ever happened to me for a number of reasons.

At the end of my senior year in high school, not one of my good friends was a drinker. I had made friends with the biggest druggie in school, and other people who drank or did drugs, but none of them were part of my core group of close friends.

Then I met Julie. I wrote about her in the story of how I became a pick up artist. She and I went to a party that her friends (who all drank) were throwing. When I walked in I was happy to see my friend Sumaya. But she wasn’t acting like she usually did. She came up to me and started pawing at my stomach while talking. It was odd.

Then I looked around and realized that there were bottles of alcohol. She was drunk – for the first time, as it turns out. Aware that I was uncomfortable Julie pulled me into the bathroom with her while
she made a phone call – and that’s when I kissed her for the first time.

Over that summer and during the next year as freshmen in college, my friends began to drink and smoke pot. It made me furious. I was so proud to be the group of people who were too cool to drink. We were happy and had more fun than anyone, and we didn’t need alcohol.

To me, alcohol is a crutch. So is a great deal of modern medicine. Both cure symptoms rather than problems. People drink, and it’s usually for a reason : lonliness, depression, insecurity, stress, or the worst of all : boredom. I’ve rarely seen people drink for reasons other than those. Some people drink because it goes well with food, and that isn’t bothersome to me.

As my friends began to drink and I saw them, I saw them act like idiots. They were transformed from the people I knew and loved into boring idiots. They would laugh at things that weren’t funny, stumble around, and generally make fools of themselves. Some of them would say things that they’d surely regret. Often times they’d get too close to people’s faces and talk about things that person didn’t care about. I was that person sometimes.

When I saw the effect alcohol had on my friends, I was even less interested in trying it.

I did try it, though.

I don’t know if it’s out of insecurity, a desire to improve my life, or because of the challenge, but it’s very common for people to try to get me to drink.

Julie called me one night before she was going to come visit. Over the past couple weeks she had been pleading for me to try wine. Knowing I never would, I told her that I might. She asked if she could bring a bottle of wine over. I said no.

She did anyway. She also brought a corkscrew and two glasses in a bag. She had bought the bottle on the way, and I thought that was adorable. I agreed to try a sip. After all, she had earlier quit drinking for three months to get me to like her.

I was worried I would like the wine and become a drinker. Maybe I would become one of those bumbling idiots who can’t hold company with sober people.

She poured the Reisling into the glass and showed me how to swirl it. I felt like an aristocrat. I sniffed the wine as she did. She took a small sip and showed me how to “chew” it to extract the most flavor.

I took a sip and chewed it. All of my worries were immediately banished – this stuff was disgusting. I was shocked, actually. I really thought that I would like it and would have to then force myself not to drink.

But it tasted like rotten fruit and gasoline all mixed together. She was also surprised that I didn’t like it, and urged me to try another sip. I wouldn’t.

Another time I went to visit my friend Lindsay. She had a friend over who was sitting on the porch in front, drinking a red icy drink. I introduced myself and she offered me a sip.

“Oh, no thanks. I don’t drink.”

She laughed, “It’s not alcoholic.”

I knew it was. But then again, why would some girl I just met possibly try to trick me into drinking? It made no sense at all, so I took a sip. It wasn’t as offensive as the wine, but was certainly alcoholic.

Later I accidentally drank a sip of mimosa because I thought it was orange juice : gross.

A vodka or something clear on the rocks that I thought was water : gross.

Katya was drinking a red wine that she claimed was fantastic. She’d made a strong effort not to drink so I figured I’d indulge and try it. Gross.

I honestly don’t understand how people become drinkers. Alcohol is so incredibly foul that it baffles me that people bother to aquire the taste. I ate a bite of a 100 year old egg, a Chinese delicacy which consists of a egg which is buried in the ground until it rots and ferments and turns black and green.

It was better than any alcoholic beverage I’ve ever tried.

And then there’s the issue of control. I like being in control of my life. I make some sweet decisions.

Alcohol takes away control.

I don’t need or want the things it offers. I’m already secure, inhibition-free, happy, unstressed, and have enough great friends to prevent me from being lonely or bored. What could I possibly gain?

What if I did like it? Would I become one of those pathetic drunks that no one wants to talk to who annoys everyone? Maybe. Nearly every interaction I’ve ever had with someone who was drunk was awful.

Those that were bearable would have been far better if they weren’t drinking. Oh god – and the “man, we were so wasted…” stories. There is no good story that begins that way.

I’m constantly thinking about my future, and how actions I take now will affect me. Why give drinking a chance to develop into a habit that I might struggle with for years?

Think about this : is there anyone who you have ever respected MORE because they drank? Is there anyone who you’ve respected more because they DIDN’T drink?

And how about the health benefits? Sure a glass of wine a day is supposedly good for you. So is grape juice and a million other things. Also, the health benefits are miniscule compared to hundreds of other easier health tips that could be taken to heart.

I’m not trying to convert anyone here. If you drink and you’re happy about it, then that’s great for you. I recognize that there are benefits to drinking as well. For example, the best bite of your steak is the first bite because steak coats your toungue in a film that inhibits taste. Red wine dissolves that film.

If you drink, though, I hope this gives you some perspective into why I chose not to drink, and at least gets you to consider why you drink (feel free to answer that in the comments – I’d love to hear it).

Personally, I’ll never drink or do drugs. There’s just too much liability for too few benefits. I also like being one of the few who was strong enough to never give in and try it. Cheers!

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