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No Bourbon, No Scotch, No Beer

A simple article about why I don't drink alcohol.

I’ve been meaning to address this issue a while back but I just hadn’t found the right way to go about it. I didn’t want to come off as preachy, holier-than-thou, or as a complete and utter loser instead of the semi-loser I am. However, after hearing someone ask me about it for the 60th time, I’ve decided to finally address it in a list of sorts.

This being why I don’t drink.

Yes folks, such folks as us do exist. Don’t try to capture me and sell me off to science because of it. I’m not a unicorn or a pot of gold, just someone who doesn’t drink alcohol. I have many reasons why, and I thought I’d list them off for you folks.

Now keep in mind that just because I don’t drink doesn’t mean I can’t stand people who do. Just don’t try to be pushy about it (honestly, the next person who keeps badgering me after I turn down a drink may end up getting a punch in the face) and we’re cool.

  • I have what some people call an addictive personality. With an addictive personality, the word moderation does not exist. In fact, I think my brain thinks the word moderation is some kind of a automotive term. I know this because, despite the fact that I said I don’t drink, I have gotten drunk before. When these cases happened, one drink easily turned into seven. And god forbid if I somehow make a habit of it. I'd end up an absolute mess. So, to save myself from even potentially putting myself in danger of getting into this habit, I abstain completely.
  • I have better vices: Video games, Coca Cola, and the internet. Alcohol does not mix well with any of these... Well, maybe rum can go with Coca Cola, but I'm not 100 percent sure. Playing video games while inebriated may appeal to some people, but not for me.  And the Internet could lead to some drunken emails, drunken IMs, or drunken tweets saying things that you will regret.
  • Another reason is because of self-control. I need to be in control of myself at all times. I don't like doing something I can't do anything about. I need some free will in order to deal.  With the inhibition loosening that alcohol does, this does not mesh well with my personality.
  • I really don’t like hangovers. Feeling like you just got hit by a train isn't something I like to deal with the next day no matter how much fun I may have had. Plus, I was also scarred by a hangover when I got drunk the first time at the tender age of 3. No, that is not a typo. I really was 3. There was a wine fountain at my godmother’s wedding that I mistook for apple juice (though I sometimes like to joke that I as drowning my sorrows because I couldn’t be the flower girl because I was “too little” and my sister got to be instead). After a few cups, well I was pretty far gone and I got yelled at by a few people. The next day, I think I threw up a few times and had the hangover from hell that has kept me off alcohol until I turned 21. (I only have drank three to four times since then but not since 2007.)
  • I don’t like bars, for the most part. Usually they are dark, noisy, full of symphonies of obnoxious and drunken yelling, skeevy, and smell like a combination of beer and desperation. Though, you could get me to go if it was a karaoke night and there were at least one to two other sober folks with me. I’m a sucker for karaoke after all. No karaoke means no way, I don’t care how good the Buffalo wings may be.
  • I can't stand the taste of alcohol. Almost all the alcohol I have tasted have that same bitter sharp bite to it. I can’t quite describe it, but most alcohol has that sort of taste that may come in some different varieties but they all have that same kinda taste. I think this is part of why I tend to pound it down when I did drink.
  • I like to drive when I'm out with friends. This usually leads to me being the one driving almost all the time. So any trip to the bar will result in me being designated driver. And being the designated driver, while it is an honorable position to take, it can also be the most aggravating. Being surrounded by loud obnoxious drunks trying to sing along to Journey gives me a headache just thinking about it.
  • And the final and probably biggest reason why I don’t drink is because I really don’t need it. I’m not saying this in a holier-than-thou manner. I’m saying it in, to quote a teacher who once said this to me in 10th grade, “Mel, you’re weird enough already. Don’t make it worse.” I am an oddball who has a tendency to be within the vicinity of every strange event (seriously, I have no idea why). I also come up with some of the most bizarre things and have the train of thought so off the rails, that I’m pretty sure some people would seriously think that I am on something. Besides, I think that I’m much more fun sober anyway.

So there you have it, some of the reasons that I don’t drink. Of course, as I said before, I got nothing against those who do and it doesn’t mean that I think alcohol is the root of all evil. Beer is mostly harmless unless you’re a lightweight, and wine has been shown to be good for you in small doses. I just personally don’t do so.

Don’t think of me as some sort of prude or role model. I’m just a girl who doesn’t drink, no matter the reasons.

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Cheryl Butler June 06, 2011 at 01:23 PM
Great column, Mel! :)
Mel Turnquist June 06, 2011 at 07:37 PM
Thanks. I sure hope I don't sound preachy or anything like that. I mean it's a personal choice, not a statement on temperance.
Joyce Campbell June 07, 2011 at 01:08 PM
Mel...you are not alone! I , like you have my reasons for not sipping on the adult beverages! But unlike you I feel like a unicorn (love how you said that!) People think it is odd to not drink, that I must not be able to enjoy life. They are wrong! I thank you for a great read!

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