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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Alcohol
me
rho
phoenixdreaming wrote about her relationship with alcohol and I feel compelled to do the same. I was going to comment, at first, but then I figured I'd rather be long and rambly, and talk about my own experiences rather than comment on that entry, so it's going into entry form instead.

I don't drink alcohol at all. In fact, I very rarely drink anything other than water, and when I do (maybe once a year or so), it's almost invariably hot chocolate. People often tend to assume that I drink water because it's healthy, but really, that has very little to do with it. I drink water:

1. Because it's cheap. Duh.
2. Because it's easy. Very little is easier than turning on a tap.
3. Because I don't like the taste of most drinks.

This third one is the main reason, really. I suspect that I am a supertaster, and I'm quite certainly a picky eater. When I was growing up my mum quickly learned not to put even the slightest amount of a ingredient that I didn't like into foods I was expected to eat, because I would invariably notice they were there and refuse to eat the food.

To be honest, I very much suspect that I could find some other drink that I'd like if I tried; I just feel absolutely no inclination to do so. I'm perfectly content drinking nothing but water, and the prospect of sampling a whole slew of drinks I'd likely find vile to find something that I liked just doesn't seem worth it.

The same goes double for alcohol. My lifetime consumption of alcoholic beverages comprises approximately two small mouthfuls of not-particularly-good lager, at the age of 16. From this experience, I learned two things:

1. Bad lager is vile and I wanted nothing to do with it.
2. Peer pressure is a mug's game, and I wanted nothing to do with that either.

Both lessons have served me well over the years since.

Notice, though, that I say that I don't like bad lager and not that I don't like alcohol. I don't know if I'd like alcohol in general, because I don't have a large enough sample size to go on. Possibly I would do. Possibly if I got into it, I'd take great pleasure from knocking back neat whiskey as if it was a character from a poorly-written western. I doubt it, but it's possible.

The thing is, I don't care. There are lots and lots of things that I've never done which I might enjoy. Water-skiing, streaking major public events, painting with my toes, and basket weaving, to name just a few. Maybe I'll try some of them some day, or maybe I won't. Maybe I'll try alcohol some day, or maybe I won't. I've just never really felt compelled to do so.

And really, honestly, why would I want to? Here are some of the reasons why I'm more inclined not to try it than to try it:

1. I don't like things that taste bitter, and also don't like fruity drinks, so the oddsof finding something I'd like are fairly low.
2. My brain chemistry is messed up enough as it is without adding more neuroactive chemicals, particularly depressants, into the mix.
3. It costs a fortune. Especially when compared with water. I'd rather spend that money on other things.
4. I'm perfectly capable of behaving like an idiot and making a fool of myself when sober, and don't really need further encouragement.
5. I have a family history of problems with alcohol.

With all of those in mind, it just feels completely unappealing.

Oddly, I've had very few problems with other people trying to insist that I ought to drink. Possibly this is just because I don't go out much, possibly it's because I have awesome friends who know that being pushy is both stupid and annoying, or possibly it's just that I give off such a "fuck off" vibe when people ask why I don't drink that nobody bothers pressing any further. Any which way, I am grateful for it.

(I should also add, that I don't have any problem with other people drinking alcohol. If I'm honest, I think it's kinda dumb, but lots of people do lots of things that I think are dumb, and it would be a boring world if it were otherwise. Some of my friends even play World of Warcraft, and I still respect them! I'm all for people doing whatever makes them happy. (Though people who use being drunk as an excuse for being obnoxious can fuck right off. And people who come to me when hungover and expect sympathy can expect to get laughed at. Other than that, knock yourselves out!))

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I drink. I don't drink often, but I do enjoy the taste of several different alcoholic drinks, although it's true that many are awful and finding ones you like can be tricky. I've never been particularly drunk. Probably the closest I came was at a Bat Mitzvah that didn't serve anything else I would drink (I'm a picky drinker and a picky eater, I know) and so I was drinking wine out of pure thirst (bad, I know, but...) I stopped when I realized I was getting dizzy. They offered coffee during the dessert course and I was so pleased to pounce on that.

At this point in my life, alcohol is the safest recreational drug I know. Caffeine is very dangerous for me and I have to monitor my usage carefully. An accident with a single cup of coffee that turns out not to be decaf can make me ill all week, longer if I haven't been keeping my tolerance up through deliberate small doses of caffeine.

I can't really get drunk on alcohol, because I can't drink anything strong enough to do so for long enough to do so. My tongue is weird and very sensitive, acids can be a real problem for it. I've had issues with salads I was really enjoying if I start reacting to the vinegar in the dressing. I've mostly given up orange juice and grapefruits because it hurts. I have to drink weak alcohol, and since the main effect alcohol tends to have on me is to make me sleepy, if I drink too much I'm just likely to go to bed. But I do like the taste of some of it and do like to drink it now and then.

When I had to give up all drugs for a couple months because of the medication I was on, caffeine was harder to give up than alcohol, but that was back when caffeine still had positive effects on me. Now, it'd probably be easy except for the psychological reaction, which is while I'll often go a few months without any alcohol, as soon as I am told I can't have any it's hard not to think of all the tasty alcohol I might enjoy.

As far as I can see, there's no reason for me not to have some now and then. It doesn't harm my health, there's no history of addiction in my family (and both my parents are extremely rare drinkers despite opportunity), and I don't overuse it. Besides, some of the liquors are really tasty on ice cream and as I hate chocolate, it's hard to find tasty ice cream toppers. A bit of liquor can also be a great flavoring to add to french toast.

I'm trying to get my parents to drink more alcohol, actually. At their age and health status, wine more often would likely be good for their overall health. My father agrees, and yet they rarely drink a glass of wine with dinner. They have wines they like. They just don't have the habit or think of it often.

Anyhow, I see nothing wrong with not drinking. I just also see nothing wrong with drinking unless you're being stupid about it. It's probably a healthier indulgence for me than buying candy. Oh, and it's very convenient at Sedar. I hate grape juice. I have always hated grape juice. My options are limited and wine is a lot better than grape juice. And I didn't have to try to argue for letting me do four cups of tea.

Although currently the alcohols I am willing to drink is very limited based on what I know to be vegetarian.

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