Greetings Sober Blog Citizens! It is I, your resident church lady, come to judge your beverages choices.
So we’re at the beach this weekend. Even though I had yesterday off (Veterans Day) we were a bit late in leaving town due to an UNFORTUNATE CAT SITUATION. Whereby one of my cats had gotten himself a gash (possibly another cat, however our squirrels are quite militant, so one never knows) and had to be patched up at the vet, an all day gig.
So we arrive in downtown Florence at about 7, in plenty of time to listen to the Piano Lady at one of our favorite restaurants, playing the sweet sounds of the 70s and 80s in a way that really makes you want to sing along. I didn’t. I wanted to, but in deference to other guests dining I held back.
Aaaand we’re finishing up our delightful meal of crab-stuffed mushrooms, fish and chips (trio of halibut, cod and salmon), and brulee cheesecake and then we get the bill. Guess what?? It’s tiny because we don’t buy booze. BOTTOM LINE. No hooch. Small check. End of story. So of course I’ve been watching the other diners swill their various beverages and I’m here to tell you THERE WERE MANY ALCOHOLIC ONES. So I’m gloating over our microscopic check and I said (to Mr. Betty):
Me: “If we had been drinking booze this tab would be double.”
Mr. Betty:” Yep.”
Me: “Cuz look at all these people who have had at LEAST 2 drinks each- see that lady, right there, two cocktails and her husband had a glass of wine and NOW he’s having an Irish coffee. And see there??? A BOTTLE of champagne and beers aaaand, yep, an Irish coffee.”
As I’m adding it up in my head, Mr. Betty says:
“Thank you, Alcohol Monitor.”
And just like that, I turned into the Church Lady. Isn’t that special???
Also there was couple next to us who were having a lovely time (at least one Irish coffee, check!), and asked us to take their picture and text to them (they left their phones in the hotel, not sure how you do that when phones are OBVIOUSLY ADHERED TO ONE’S HAND….) and I heard the husband tell the bus girl who was refilling his water glass that he was driving. As if he had to explain why he was sober and not swilling like everyone else. And- I don’t know this so I’m just making shit up- one can imagine that he may possibly felt he wasn’t having as good of a time since he was relegated to H20-only (I happen to know that this place has several nice NA options but who would think to ask when they consider themselves punished??) “Ooohh noooo, that’s okaaayyyy, I’ll just suck on a dishrag, thanks…” For two dollars, you can get totally jacked up on bottomless Coke (including/but not limited to cherry coke, ala “Roy Rogers”). Maybe he did not know that.
So apparently I’m ever-so-slightly judgmental… And I’m certainly not advocating judgy-ness (um, well, maybe just an itty bit..) But don’t you think it’s odd that Mr. Betty and I are odd humans out because we don’t drink? Don’t you find it a bit puzzling that non-drinkers are questioned and, in some cases, ridiculed for their choices? And more importantly don’t you AGREE that the fish and chips trio (tres pescados!) is the way to go as opposed to the hazelnut encrusted halibut??
I understand that quitting drinking when it’s entrenched in your lifestyle and social circle can be very tricky. Here are some common concerns and my response to them:
“Our friends that we used to drink with are coming over– what will they say if we’re not drinking too??” I’m guessing they’ll say MORE FOR ME, that’s what I would have said when I was drinking.
“My friend has an important birthday/anniversary party, will I ruin it by not drinking?” No, you will ruin the party by getting too drunk on, say, whiskey and Guinness, and puking in the homeowner’s only bathroom (ask me how I know this!)
“I don’t want them to feel bad that I’m not drinking with them.” By all means, let us set set ourselves alight such that others may TOAST A FUCKING MARSHMALLOW.
So I’ll continue watching what others consume – silently totting up their bar tab and estimating their impending hangovers on the IHO (International Hangover) scale of One to KILL ME WITH A ROCK–partly because I’m sober and alert, largely because I’m a bit of an asshole. Meanwhile I’ll sip my (non-Irish) coffee and wallow in my gratitude that I will never have to drink alcohol again. Nevahhhh! Isn’t that special??