I hate that phrase and I generally try to avoid saying it, but it is sort of the truth. We’ll go out to a nice restaurant and the server will hand us the wine list and we’ll hand it back and order a soda and an iced tea. Or, when with a larger group of people who are ordering drinks, the server will just forget to take our drink order at all because we said no to the bar. Then we get the side eye. The same thing happens if we hang out with a new group of people and we’re the only ones not drinking. People think it’s weird.
Here’s the thing…I’m not against drinking. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with drinking socially and in moderation. I don’t even think there’s anything wrong with drinking a bit more heavily, on occasion. I don’t refuse alcohol because I am trying to be self-righteous or for moral or religious reasons. Here’s why I refuse alcohol: 1) it’s expensive and I’m cheap, and 2) I don’t like the way it tastes. It’s really as simple as that. Why would I spend $10 on a glass of wine that will most likely give me a headache? So my friends, family, and strangers at a restaurant won’t give me weird looks?
Now here’s the thing. I was raised in a family of wine drinkers who all but shun me for not liking wine. I don’t know how I became the odd one out, but that’s how it happened. And it’s not that I don’t like ANY wines – there are some sweeter and lighter wines that are okay, and I do like sparkling wines. But if you ask my family, those aren’t “real” wines, so I can’t win with them. (Sorry guys, but it’s true!) However, I still can’t stomach the sickeningly super sweet wines and even as a non-wine-drinker, I turn my nose up at them. As for beer, well…again, I’m just not a fan of the taste. There are a couple of (light colored) beers that I will drink, but it is not my first choice.
The drinks I do like are champagne, sangria, and margaritas. I love all of those and I will drink them, but those tend to be occasion/cuisine-specific drinks – not as ubiquitous as a glass of wine.
Here’s the funny thing. I wish I liked wine and beer, I really do. And it’s for the same reason that I wish I liked potatoes. It’s so normal. Everyone likes wine and/or beer (and potatoes!). The whole “relaxing with a glass of wine” or “drinking wine with girlfriends” is talked about all the time and it just never applies to me. Same with touring a winery. It sounds like so much fun, except for the wine part! And you know what else I’d love to do? Sit on my back deck with some friends on a summer evening and have a few beers. I don’t know why that image makes repeat appearances in my mind. Again, it seems comfortingly normal to me. But maybe it doesn’t matter what we’re drinking. Maybe I just want to invite my friends over more often – they’re not really big beer drinkers anyway 🙂