Editor’s notice: This piece was written in 2019, after we might safely do enjoyable issues like attend weddings. The message continues to be as vital and legitimate as ever.
This weekend I went to a marriage at a good friend’s home. As we chatted with fellow visitors, my companion and I stood in line on the bar.
“What can I get you?” the bartender smiled. “We now have all the things!”
“Nice!” I cheered. I used to be thirsty. “One thing non-alcoholic please.”
The bartender’s cheery demeanor instantly turned to certainly one of perplexity. He wasn’t anticipating this, apparently. Befuddled by my request, he informed me there was juice and water bottles within the cooler across the nook. So… the children cooler.
Yeah, I do know the drill. I’ve been sober nearly two years and I do know all concerning the children cooler. And but I am going into each social gathering, each marriage ceremony, each restaurant with nearly a Pollyanna hope. Possibly the sober curious motion is making a ripple within the meals and beverage business. Possibly this time they’ll have the non-alcoholic (NA) beer they mentioned was out of inventory final time. Possibly they’ve lastly up to date their menu to have NA choices which can be enjoyable and flirty and celebratory.
However we nonetheless have an extended methods to go, don’t we? And at each social gathering, I nonetheless ask for my drink in a wine glass or a glass. And I ask for a lime wedge as a result of, sure… it’s extra enjoyable. And sure… it makes it look much less like a child’s juice field and extra like a grown up drink.
And sure, I don’t drink however that doesn’t imply my style buds died. I nonetheless like festive drinks in enjoyable glasses with fairly colours.
But as a rule, I wind up digging by means of the ice of a children cooler, in search of one thing NA in addition to apple juice and Capri Solar.
You stand out in the event you’re not consuming. You get questioned in the event you’re not consuming (“are you pregnant?”). You feel and look misplaced, particularly in the event you’re new in your sobriety. Typically… you even get ridiculed or pressured to have one.
Being sober in a world that idolizes booze appears like a goal on our again. A goal I by no means requested to be there. A goal I by no means anticipated.
Quitting consuming was arduous. However navigating on this boozy tradition as the one non-drinker at nearly each occasion, networking social gathering, each marriage ceremony? That’s tougher.
Somewhat inclusivity would go a good distance. Providing NA choices at your social gathering. Throwing out non-alcoholic options whenever you supply to purchase somebody a drink? It’s a simple, inclusive idea that may make an enormous distinction for somebody newly sober and struggling.
Time to alter the narrative. Somebody’s motive for not consuming is none of our enterprise. Let’s supply extra NA choices and fewer sideways glances. It will go a good distance.
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