No drink, no problem

Staff reporter Charlyn Corum shares her opinon on social drinking.

Charlyn Corum

Assuming I am a judgmental bore for not drinking at a party is like me assuming everyone who wears cowboy boots wrangle cattle.

People tend to think that those who don’t choose to drink had either strict parents, don’t know how to have fun or have not learned what they are missing out on.

I cannot speak for everyone who chooses not to drink, but I can say my parents were not strict, I do know how to have fun and I have tasted what you think I am missing out on.

Before I go on let me make this clear – I do enjoy drinking beer around a campfire, I do sometimes drink wine while eating a nice dinner and occasionally I do drink a beer with my pizza (sorry, mom).

I just do not enjoy drinking and then driving no matter the amount, which is a statement that pretty much omits me from drinking at most events.

I have noticed on multiple occasions that the decision to not drink has caused people to be annoyed with me and tends to make people not invite me to events.

I have never said anything to anyone that implies I do not approve of them drinking, so my only guess is that me not drinking makes people feel uncomfortable.

But here is the simple truth – I don’t care if you drink, I don’t care if you are acting like a goof or doing body shots. I and anyone else who chooses not to drink are there to have fun and are perfectly okay with everyone around them drinking.

Something I notice about people who get upset that someone is not drinking with them is that they feel like they are being judged for drinking.

The reason this mindset is ridiculous is because why would a person who doesn’t drink come to a bar or a club if they disagreed with drinking?

I have noticed that people who choose not to drink typically have a reason and, like them, I have a lot of reasons. After quite a few life events I made the choice to not drink socially and then drive. I could taste wine and I would be scared shitless to drive home (pathetic, I know).

I have been told that I don’t have a filter so for the next two paragraphs my fingers are going to lose their filter and I am going to be super honest. Here is a run by of the reasons I have chosen to have fun at parties without an alcoholic beverage.

First, let me start with the stories I was told as a child that greatly impacted me as an adult. As a young child, my parents told me that their parents were alcoholics who mentally and physically abused them.

When my mom was 18, her older sister’s “baby daddy,” Roger, showed up drunk to my grandma’s house and put a gun to my mom’s head and ordered them to hand over his child who was asleep in the other room. They were able to escape into another room and call the police. When they arrived Roger shot himself in their house before the SWAT team got to him.

When my dad was 21, he drank and drove and totaled his car; honestly, this accident should have killed him.

Now, on to firsthand experiences that I have had with alcohol. When I was a teenager I lost my cousin due to alcohol.

I watched someone dear to me never have money because he spent it all on booze to escape reality.

At this point in my life I had never tasted alcohol. By the age of 18, I drank a shit ton of alcohol because I was angry at my ex-boyfriend who was flirting with other girls on the beach (and no I could give a rat’s ass about this today).

I do not remember a single thing about that day except that I peed in the ocean, a lot, holding onto a girl I barely knew.

After that experience I stopped drinking for a while and at around 20 I started drinking socially.

A year ago someone who was my hero was out drinking. This person ended up wrecking and in the ICU.

A year later this person was arrested and I watched a family that I was a part of struggle for over a year.

Maybe to most people this stuff does not seem like good reason to not have fun, but for me it impacted me enough to learn how to wiggle and jiggle my body on the dance floor without the need of alcohol.

The point I am making is when someone says they don’t want to drink that does not mean they are stuck up prudes, it could just mean they have experienced some tragic events and personally they do not need alcohol to have a good time.