Wednesday, August 21, 2013

{on being the girl who doesn't drink}

^^this was not my birthday, but it does show my drink of choice.

On my 21st birthday, I ordered a Coke.

I'll get back to that in a minute.

While I was getting a pedicure the other day, I picked up a recent issue of Seventeen magazine. I haven't read this particular magazine in a couple of years, but since all of the Vogues, Peoples, & Vanity Fairs were taken, I decided to give it a read. The fashion & stars highlighted in the issue were a bit younger than what peak my interest nowadays, but one particular article stuck out to me. It was in the "real life" section & it was about a girl who felt continually pressured to party & drink in college because of her friends. Even after saying she wanted to go home, her friends would convince her to stay & throw back a few more. She relented because she didn't want to be the "one" without a drink at the party, even if she didn't want one to begin with. Once she blacked out & woke up in the hospital to get her stomach pumped did she realize that partying was more important to her friends than she was.  It was only after that did she finally stand up for herself.

I don't drink alcohol.

I've never had a beer. I've never had a full glass of wine. I've never finished a flute of champagne. I've never ordered a drink from a happy hour menu. When my friends & I go out for Mexican, I skip the sangria. And bottomless margaritas? I've never even gotten close to the bottom.

I'm not widely known as "The Girl Who Doesn't Drink"...but that's who I am. I'm not trying to make a statement by not drinking. I don't think I'm superior over someone who does. It's simply a choice I've made. A personal one, at that. I have my reasons for not consuming alcohol, none of which I'm going to go in to here, but it's a decision I've made & one I am proud of. I'm 100% okay with being the girl who orders a ginger ale at a bar. & I'm not ashamed to admit that I'd rather toast with sparkling apple cider than champagne on New Years Eve because the taste is so. much. better.

I'm bringing this up here because I know I'm not the only person who chooses not to drink at my age. I don't personally know many of those people, but I know they're out there. So I'm writing this for those people & the people who are afraid to say no. The people like the girl in Seventeen. The people who don't want to decline a beer because they don't want to be seen of as "lame".  Or the ones embarassed to order a Sprite, even though that's all they want.


I've been that girl. I've had my fair share of stares & "What do you mean you don't drink?" questions. I've had to say the, "Yes, I AM 21, but no, I'm fine with just water, thanks" speech many many times.  I've been heckled & made fun of. I've even been given a drink in spite of my saying no. But you know what? I don't owe an explanation to anybody. Do I ask people why they drink? No. So why do I need to explain to them why I don't?

Is it fun to be the only sober girl at the party? Not all the time. Am I totally fine with being the automatic designated driver?  No way. {Even though being responsible & safe is at the utmost importance, just because you've made the choice to stay sober, while your friends choose to drink, doesn't mean people can take advantage of you. You do not have to drive them every time. They can find their way home.} Can it get a bit awkward when everyone orders a mimosa at brunch except you? Yes.

But so what?!

This quote says it all: "The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and LIVE as only you can." - Neil Gaiman

I know it's hard being the black sheep on the farm. Especially when that farm is college & there's drinks a flowin' & parties every weekend & dates to be attended to. I wasn't in a sorority, so I was never obligated to go to any events or get-togethers where alcohol was served & flowing like water. But I still went to college. It was there. I was a black sheep.

I'm not saying I'll never drink alcohol. I haven't made a pact to not drink for the next 10/20/30 years. But for right now, this is where I am in my life. I'm completely sure of myself & confident in the choices I make. A few years ago I used to stress about how to say "no". Was it weird of me to not drink? Should I just suck it up & accept the glass of wine? But it's not & I didn't. & I am so proud of that. You should feel the same.

So yes. On my 21st birthday, I ordered a Coke. & even though the waiter made a joke & tried to convince me to order champagne, I stuck with my soda.

& it was delicious.


  1. I was that person for the longest time. Stand your ground. ;)

  2. Liz was a great blog! It was nice meeting you at BlogShop. Happy B-lated Bday!