I have never been drunk. Not only that, but I've never been buzzed or had more than a sip of an alcoholic beverage. Does that make me a loser? A serious fart? A difficult person to understand? I guess it makes me a little bit of all those things.
Choosing the sober route in life isn't easy—let me rephrase that...it's easy not to drink, it's just not easy to convince other people that it's easy not to. I don't go around touting the fact that I don't drink but when people find out, they look at me like I just told them I don't need to BREATHE, and they follow up with a game of 20 questions: "Wait...you don't drink? Ever? You're telling me you've never been drunk? Ever? Why? What is wrong with you!?"
It would be easy if I just had a good excuse, but I don't. I just don't want to. My Mom blames D.A.R.E. (gosh darn those programs when they actually work on a kid), but I think I'm just an old soul and I have no desire to whatsoever. That explanation is not acceptable to most people. "Okay, so you must be religious? You're Mormon? You're in AA? Your parents will kill you?" No, no, no, and no. The other person goes silent. I hear crickets chirping. Then, suddenly their eyes light up and I become the ultimate challenge: "Oh, man, I am going to get you SO wasted!" My friends laugh: "Good luck," they say, "we've been trying for years."
It took me years to convince my friends that I wasn't going to drink and that I was still going to be "cool." At first I was not. I was upset that my friends needed to drink to have a good time, and they were upset their friend had become Queen Killjoy. But as time went on I learned tolerance; I learned how to have fun with people while they drank; I learned patience; I even learned how to lose inhibition while being sober (this last one is like performing a magic trick...the only negative is I have no excuses for the things I've done). Honestly, it took me years to strike a good Libraic balance between being an overachieving goody-two-shoes and an accepting and fun person to still be around. While the serious side of me still outweighs the carefree side that I'm sure a tall glass of wine would help bring out, I like not drinking; it makes me different.
There are people who get angry with me at bars, people who don't trust me at parties, and others who just don't accept me...but I understand. Since "everybody" drinks, I had to learn tolerance a lot earlier and faster than others had to learn how to tolerate the lone sober girl. But I have to say, for every person who hates me for sipping a Sprite on the rocks, there is another who finds it intriguing, admirable or cool that I can be independent. While staying sober does inhibit me from enjoying five straight hours of karaoke (sorry, Eva), it does not stop me from finding the situations I get in to be interesting, enlightening and entertaining. On my great sober quest I've had a blast with friends, I've had adventures with my crazy sister, met a lot of characters and smooched a lot of strangers (all stories for another time).
My mission was/is not to convert people to soberism (I know I'll die with 20 more stress-related ulcers than people who do drink), but I do try to show that a loser who doesn't drink can still be social and funny, can still go off her rocker, can still be cute and outgoing, and that it's not such a bad deal...after all, you never have to share your beer and you can always get a ride home.