Sober Without a Cause: The Perils of Remaining Social, Sans Booze

“Hi.”

“Hi.”

“Are you enjoying the party?”

“Oh, yes.  Thanks for inviting me.”

“Sure.  I can see your glass is almost empty, do you want me to refill it for you?”

“Yeah, sure.  Thanks.”

“Cool.  What would you like?  Beer?  Wine?  Maybe some gin, if you’re feeling spirited?”

“[Laughs] No thanks.  Just some more ginger ale would be fine.”

“Ginger ale?  Are you sure?  We’ve got plenty of great wine to go around.”

“Well, the thing is, I don’t drink.”

“Really?”

“Yup.”

“Wow, don’t drink, huh?  To be honest, I’ve never been in this situation before.”

“Well, it’s not much of a situation.  It’s no big deal, really.”

“Is it like a religious thing?  Are you a Mormon, or something?”

“Um…I actually don’t…”

“Not that there is anything wrong with being Mormon, of course.”

“No, of course not.  But…”

“I’m completely respectful of all people, from all backgrounds, and I want you to feel welcome in my home to express yourself and your beliefs.”

“No, I’m sure you are.  I feel very welcome to express myself, but I’m not…”

“Great.  Now, I’ll go get your ginger ale, while you mingle with the other guest.  And don’t you let them banter you for your beliefs.”

“Yeah, that shouldn’t be a problem.”

 

“Hi there, haven’t met you yet.  How you doing?  Great party, right?”

“Yeah, absolutely.”

“I see you don’t have a drink.  What happened?  The other guest clear the bar already?  [Laughs]”

“Funny, but actually, I don’t drink.”

“Ah, I see, say no more.  I myself have been down that road, the important thing is that you are taking the steps to recovery, and that’s something to be proud of.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”

“Look, I know being a recovering alcoholic is hard.  But it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

“You’ve gotta be kidding me.”

“No, don’t you worry a thing about it.  In fact, you’re better of for it.  You have tasted the highs and lows that come along with booze, and now that you’ve had your fill, you can happily move on to a life of sobriety.  And, hey, at least you’re not like one of those freaks who has never enjoyed the nectar of a good brandy, right?  Can you imagine how boring those guys end up?”

“I think I have a pretty good idea.”

“My friend, what we got is experience in the real world.  Tell me, what good do you think a life is free of feeling oneself hitting rock bottom, several times over.  It’s like never knowing what it’s like falling off your bike.  Or being picked on by the other kids.  Or…”

“Getting repeatedly drawn into awkward conversations.”

“Yeah, exactly.”

“Where people, who don’t know you, keep making unfounded generalizations about you, based on the one trivial piece of information that you passingly mentioned.  All because it might be something irrelevantly dissimilar to what they have come to expect.  I mean, why bother asking for clarification when you can just fill in the blanks on a whim.  Heck, let’s forgo conversation entirely, because what anybody really wants is a sounding board to echo back all of their preconceived notions about people.  Right?”

“Yeah, I guess.  To be honest, I’m kind of buzzed here.”

 

“There you are.  I got your ginger ale for you.”

“Thank you.”

“I wasn’t sure if there is any sort of special way, or ritual, you need your drink prepared.”

“Well, aren’t you considerate of other people’s thoughts.”

“Thanks.  Now, you’re also welcome to say a prayer if you like.  I promise not to judge.”

“Thanks, and thanks for the ale, but how about you just go fuck yourself now.  Bye.”

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