How to Survive Parties when You Don't Drink Alcohol
I love Halloween! I love dressing up, I love how creative people get and I love how some costumes conjure up fun memories like your favorite movies as a kid (Ace Ventura Pet Detective!). This year Halloween falls on a Tuesday so last night (Saturday) was the night to costume-party our hearts out. I was so excited that my friend hosted a Day of the Dead Rock Star Halloween Party. We dressed up like dead rock stars and called each other by our rock star names.
I was Selena Quintanilla Perez (RIP 1995) and Zack was Freddie Mercury (RIP 1991) if we called each other by our real names, we had to drink. Except, I don't drink.
Then I thought there are probably people who also don't drink but still enjoy Halloween or socializing that skip parties because they feel pressured to drink.
When you're at a party and you're not holding a beer it kind of feels like a vulnerable situation. Like ahh what do I do, can't have my phone in my hands because then I'm being rude. But I'm not drinking so everyone thinks I'm a weirdo for not drinking (which totally not true, its just how you feel). I've had a lot of conversations at parties that go like this:
-Hey, where's your drink?
-I don't drink.
Obviously at that point there's all of this wonder from the other person. Like, what's the reason you're not drinking? Are you pregnant? Are you a recovering alcoholic? And it's not like you can play the "I'm driving" card because Uber & Lyft have pretty much made that impossible.
You're left with the real reasons your likely not drinking 1. because alcohol tastes like ass, but that can sound offending, or 2. because its nice to feel human in the morning. Again, that might offend someone which leaves the conversation at an weird, possibly judge-y halt. So yeah, not drinking at a party can be weird if you let yourself feel that way. And after many many years I have learn to not give a ____ what anyone thinks about me not drinking alcohol.
The funny thing is, I grew up with wine as part of the dinner table. My nonino makes wine in Sicily and my dad made wine all throughout my childhood. Alcohol was definitely not "taboo" in my house. So it didn't really have any appeal to me until it was paired with typical teenage shenanigans.
My party days started around 14 and ended at 16. They came at an early age and they stopped at an early age. I just got over it. I didn't enjoy being feeling drunk or feeling sick because I went too far. I really didn't care for the whole black out /what the f happend last night / why am I naked in a bathtub in a locked bathroom feeling.... #sorrymom
Friends in high school definitely lost interest in my presence on the weekends, unless they needed a driver. That was fine. I really didn't and still don't mind being the sober one. I stopped drinking my junior year of high school. I never drank in college and now this is just my norm.
Alcohol is still a popularly accepted social lubricant and obviously my friends and fiance drink. It doesn't affect my night though. When I'm at a party, I drink water or if I'm feeling fancy and it's BYO, I'll bring sparkling water. A cup is in my hand and so usually it goes unnoticed. Really only until someone actually sees you fill up your glass with water will they make a comment. Which is totally what happend to me last night, haha.
I was filling up my glass with water from the fridge and someone said "Are you drinking water?" like it was a sad, unfortunate occurrence. I was just like "Yea, I'm thirsty". I used to feel like I had to justify why I'm drinking water and assure the person that I'm fine and I'm happily choosing to drink water...I don't really have that feeling anymore. I get over it because I don't care that you're not drinking water. Imagine if every time I saw someone drink a beer I questioned their actions? That would make me such such a party-pooper!
The point is I don't care that people drink alcohol around me when I'm not drinking alcohol. I know the pressure is there but I just don't let it get to me. This way, I still always have a great time at a party if I'm playing pool or just just having a conversation. I might toke a little but that's also not the norm for me and I cough like a little baby.
Water is the best nutrient in the world in my opinion and it's also how I survive parties without drinking any alcohol because:
Water keeps me awake.
Water keeps me hydrated so I'm feeling fresh.
Bathroom breaks give me a moment to not be surrounded by people.
The morning will be way more pleasant (assuming I went to bed at a decent hour).
Another one, unrelated to parties but definitely related to drinking, is going out to dinner is so affordable! haha! Zack and I talk about how much more money we would have spent going out to eat all these years if I ordered 1-2 drinks every time. It adds up.
So cheap date is a 5th reason I chose to not drink alcohol.
To me, those are enough "good" reasons that keep me motivated to not to drink alcohol at holiday parties or any parties. There is a mix of internal and external motivations that overtime put me into the habit of not drinking alcohol. I discuss a lot about motivations and goal setting with my clients when they want to start a new, or modify a current habit. Not drinking alcohol to me is just a habit at this point.
Since Halloween kicks off the holiday season in my world, lots of parties are ahead so this is just a little tip from my experience on how to survive parties without drinking alcohol!
If you're a sober sally like me at parties, how do you navigate the social pressures to drink? Share in the comments :)!