N.B I apologise that this post is more rant than post!
My best friend got married a few weeks ago. Both my parents and I attended, but during the evening, a conversation took place that made me thoroughly irritated.
We were talking with parents of an old schoolfriend. Their family moved away when we were young and we were never close enough to stay in touch with.
Her father was talking about how she can drink a pint. As if it was a big deal. As if it was something he was proud of and wanted to boast about.
Then, he asked me if I drank. I told the truth: very rarely.
He looked at my parents, lowered his voice, stepped closer and asked again.
To which I repeated the answer, backed up by my mother who had heard it all.
Only afterwards, I realised how much it had annoyed me. I’m twenty-five years old: my answer wouldn’t change just because my parents were there. I am an adult and capable of making my own choices.
But it is my choice that I rarely drink. I’ve suffered from migraines for years, so have no desire to drink too much and trigger a headache myself. But it is for a far simpler reason: I don’t like the taste. There are very few alcoholic drinks that I like, so where is the pleasure in drinking something I don’t even like?
It wasn’t only the fact he clearly didn’t believe me at first. I went to uni, therefore I should be getting drunk on a regular basis?
What really annoyed me is that I had to defend my decision to a stranger that I didn’t know. No one judges you for not smoking, no one presumes that you do drugs. Yet when it comes to alcohol, our society places you on the outside if you don’t enjoy a drink or two.
Why? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you enjoy a drink – good for you. If you get drunk on a regular basis – it’s your choice and I hope you stay safe. But if you would rather sit down with a cup of tea, you’re the one in the “wrong”, the one who is odd?
Even my own brother mocks me for not drinking. But then again, he is my big brother and mocks me for most things in life because that is what he is there for. At least I know I have reached the point where my parents won’t press me. They will invite me to join them, offer their wine if they are having some, but respect that I am going to say no; they are just being polite asking.
From other posts that I have read, I know I’m not the only one that has had to deal with this. But next time you’re at a party with a glass of wine in your hand, don’t judge the person drinking the lemonade, ask them if they want another!
No one should have to defend their own choices.