The Downside of Not Drinking 5

The downside of not drinking is that I can never blame liquor for any stupid mistakes or judgements I’ve made or crazy situations into which I’ve gotten myself.

The downside of not drinking is that I actually have to meditate to relax. (I almost typed medicate but I don’t take medicine or other drugs either.  I had a tension headache a few weeks ago and all the aspirin and ibuprofen in the house had expired. So I did deep breathing and took a nap and the headache was gone when I woke up.)

The downside of not drinking is that the only way my view can soften is if I take off my glasses.  Then everything softens and gets fuzzily out-of-focus which can be kind of nice when you don’t want to see clearly. 

I don’t need a glass or two before I get out on the dance floor.  I’m just a dancing fool all on my own.

The downside of not drinking is that I am not part of the clan of drinkers who go on and on about the latest martini.

I don’t have dozens of places dedicated to having me and my friends come and hang out and drink old and new concoctions.  There’s no real place or need for juice drinkers to hang out.  The few juice bars that exist don’t have atmosphere or the gathering vibe of bars, pubs and other night spots.

I have been a teetotaler all of my life, with a few exceptions.  I got drunk once when I drank a bunch of one of those sweet confections that tastes so good you don’t realize it’s packing a wallop. It was my Saturday to stay at home with my and my roommate’s children or perhaps I didn’t have a social life at the time, I don’t remember. After a glass or two, I couldn’t move and weakly called out orders while the children ran amuck in the house.  Had a massive hangover the next day. 

Actually, I got drunk another time after my now husband (then significant other) and I bought our house.  We were given several bottles of expensive champagne by friends in celebration. Then significant other (now husband) plied me with mimosas one wintry Saturday.  I started giggling half-way through the first glass and was no more good for the rest of the day.  I stayed on the third floor watching movies and laughing at him who was having a ball laughing at me.  I don’t think I said an intelligible sentence that day.  I’m not a drinker and that’s clearly a good thing because I can’t handle it.

There was no liquor in my parents’ house.  The only time I saw liquor was when I went to my Aunt’s house because her husband drank.  Never saw my mother drink anything until I was grown. It was a bit traumatizing the first time I saw her drink because it was out-of-character.  We like our parents, especailly our mothers, to stay them and not change.  We also don’t always want to know about the woman in the mother.  Our church frowned on drinking and I guess the adults complied (or were sneaky as hell).

I used to order a glass of wine when I went out to dinner with friends who extolled the virtues of this or that vintage or type.  Then I realized that I just didn’t like it and was paying a lot of money for vino that I never finished.  Liquor is expensive.  I tend to like to spend my money on things I can keep touching.

Under the influence or tutelage of my husband, I have found that I do like a sip of port wine (from his glass).  I found out that Godiva liqueur tastes good – like an alcohol-kissed glass of chocolate milk.  Other drinks just taste bitter and “blech” (is that a word?) to me.  I can’t bring myself to taste beer, the smell of it nauseates me.  When I was ten, one “ainty” said that beer tasted like horse-piss and that ended me ever wanting to taste it.  (I wonder how she knew how horse-piss tasted, but even in those precocious days, I knew better than to ask that question.)

I can think of a few upsides to not drinking, like not getting drunk and never running the risk of being arrested on a DUI. But that’s about it.  I can’t even say it’s healthier not to drink what with all the reports on the health benefits of wine.  But, like Popeye, I yam what I yam – a teetotaler who has her fun but doesn’t, ever, come undone.


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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