Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Enough is enough

In one of the papers today, four teetotallers explain how awkward it can be when they're surrounded by drinkers all happily chucking booze down their throats.

Inevitably when they refuse any alcohol, those who enjoy it keep asking why they abstain. Wouldn't they have more fun if they had a glass or two? Is it a religious principle? Are they recovering alcoholics?

The idea that they simply don't like the taste of alcohol, or they don't like hangovers, or they enjoy themselves fine when they're sober, seems to mystify people. How can you not want to ingest as much of the stuff as possible?

I'm subject to this sort of questioning sometimes, as I drink very little and find two glasses are more than enough to blur my brain and senses in a way I find embarrassing and annoying. My tolerance for alcohol is very limited, and it does nothing at all for my sociability or my intelligence.

But there's still the general assumption that I should be drinking more, that I can't really enjoy myself without at least a bottle of wine inside me. There's even an attitude that if I don't wake up the next morning with a colossal hangover, my evening out must obviously have been a washout.

Well, sorry, but I like my alcohol in moderation, too much of it does nothing for me whatever. If others genuinely relish non-stop quantities of it, good luck to them, though when I see people lurching out of pubs, vomiting profusely and having to be taken home by others for their own safety, I do have my doubts.

Can this really be pleasure? And am I really just a miserable killjoy?

The Belgian city of Ghent now has a weekly vegetarian day, to counter the impact of livestock on the environment. Nice one!


  1. Well I straddle both sides of the fence, Nick, having been one of those obnoxious drunks and then having 23 years of sobriety.
    Last night when I got here one of my pals dropped in and talked about his 2 sisters who were so drunk after a party last week that one of them knocked down the other and broke her ankle in 8 places. she has pins in and can't move. what will shock you is that they are in their SIXTIES.
    Fun? Oh yeah.
    The worst days of my sobriety are way way better than the best days of my drinking.
    I have more far fun sober and live to tell the tales. Ha! I'm with you!
    LOL: WV was: errings.

  2. www - In their sixties? Ankle broken in 8 places? That's just incredible. Are they completely bonkers?

    Indeed, can't we have just as much fun sober as drunk? What you really need surely is not alcohol but a sense of humour, imagination and intelligence. Ditto in our companions of course.

  3. Nick, I drank vast quantities of alcohol every day for five decades. I am part of a heavy drinking family, circle of friends and member of some clubs where all the action takes place in the bar. I was famous as the man with the car with the car. For some very valid reasons, I stopped ten years ago and have not had a drop since then. All my family and friends have been after me all these years to re start and I simply do not find any reason to. I am happy without it and while others may not like the idea, I like the idea, and that is what really matters.

  4. Sorry, car with the bar.

  5. Rummuser - That must be really difficult, being teetotal in a family full of drinkers. To keep pressing you to drink again for ten years is ridiculous. Can't they understand you're quite happy with your choice?

  6. My parents are tea totalers but - we - the kids would drink a brewery dry - never the twain shall meet.
    I respect their stance but they in general are aghast at mine - oh well - diversity is good I guess !

  7. Quicky - Indeed, each to their own, as they say. Talking of breweries, I just discovered the NY tradition of keggers - parties with a keg of beer. Ye Gods!

  8. I think we all know when we've had enough to be ok and to go further would be silly, I certainly do. There is nothing more horrible than drinking to the point when you feel out of control and ill, yuck! Everyone has different tolerance levels and to expect others to comply is unthinkingly wrong.

    (oops, a bit of a rant!)

  9. I'm usually the designated driver, so my boozing is limited to a couple of ales at home of a couple of pints once a month with a friend of mine. No over indulgence for me typically.

  10. I enjoy a drink! ONE drink. I play with it for most of the evening providing I am not driving.

    Nowadays when I offer drink to guests, they are handed the bottle to pour their own measure. That way they know how much they are drinking.

  11. Suburbia - I'm not sure we do all know that though, how many times do people say "I had no idea I'd had so much"? And yes, there are loads of heavy drinkers who seem to think everyone has the same ability to soak it up.

    Grow Up - Glad to know you don't mix drink and driving, there are still plenty who do.

  12. Grannymar - Giving the bottle to the guests is a great idea, must try that. The times I've been repeatedly "topped up" against my wishes....

  13. My body stops me from drinking too much as I quickly get a headache/feel nauseous. I hate that feeling and it spoils the evening. I remember the pressure to enjoys my hen night 10 years ago, but I just had no interest in the booze, I was too nervous and reflective.

  14. Nick I love my chardy as you know but pace myself. The younglings have a problem with sobriety but people my age generally 50% of them are driving so half the 'party' are always sober with no pressure to imbibe. Putting pressure on someone to do anything they don't want to do is a pain in the neck. You're not a wowser at all.

  15. Hulla - Absolutely, how can you enjoy yourself if you're starting to feel nauseous and headachy?

    Baino - The "Don't drink and drive" message does seem to be gradually sinking in. But "pacing yourself" seems to be an unknown concept to some. Glad to know I'm not a wowser!

  16. I don't drink at all not liking the taste. Sometimes I wish I did though because it is hard being the only one in a group who isn't laughing hystericallty at a pathetic joke.

  17. Liz - You'll know exactly what I'm talking about then! As you say, laughing hysterically at pathetic jokes. Personally, I'd rather not be in such a brainless state, I prefer to keep my intelligence intact.

  18. I don't drink either. I dislike the taste of liquor and am also allergic to it. Plus, I simply have never understood the pleasure of getting wasted, acting like an ass and then suffering a hangover. My late ex-husband, who was an alcoholic, often told me that it was "an acquired taste," to which I responded, "Why would I develop a taste for something that isn't even good for me?"

    There are probably more of us than we realize, but compared to the raging drunks, we keep a low profile.

  19. Heart: You and me both - why degenerate into a simpleton? Good point about it being an acquired taste. Leading to acquired illness? And yes, I suspect there are a surprising number of closet light drinkers.