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I Don't Drink Booze So Tell Me Everything You Drink. And Why.

I'm heading to a funeral this morning. My aunt passed away. So posting will be light today.

But I just wanted to ask this one question that has nothing to do with the fact that I'm heading to a funeral. I'm heading to softball games a few times a week for the girls and tee ball for the wee one.

These games are different than basketball and volleyball because very very little actually happens on the field. Lots of walks. So softball becomes social season for parents. And oh, how we all chit and chat. We separate into groups even. The sideline starts looking like a junior high school dance with all the boys over here and all those stinky girls over there.

But here's a funny thing. I don't drink anymore simply because I find abstaining easier than moderation. But inevitably the men on the sideline will start enjoying talking and start wondering if we could all continue this grand ol' time at the local pub. Everytime I tell one of the men I don't drink alcohol anymore they feel the need to tell me exactly how much and how often they drink and explain to me why they don't believe that's a problem. And why their wife does.

What the heck is that about?

*subhead*Abstinence and moderation.*subhead*

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36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Alcohol is the most abused drug in American society. Many people are addicted and they know it, yet they won't admit it. After the physical act of putting the first drink in their body they are seized with a compulsion to have another. Deep down some people question their ability to drink in moderation. Reviewing how much they drink with others gives them a comparative sense of well being. Justification and rationalization keep many people away from ever confronting their reliance on alcohol, even if this reliance never rises to a full blown addiction.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

Yep. That sounds to me like justification and rationalization. It's very defensive as if by saying you don't drink you've implied that anyone who drinks is in danger of being a drunk. They are trying to prove to themselves they don't need to quit.

Kelli said...

I think the above posters are right, but I also think that, at least here in the Bible Belt, it is a hotly debated topic, especially among certain Protestant groups. It might just be their attempt at beating you to the punch that they think is coming. Most people I know who don't drink at all, think its like REALLY bad to drink anything, and think Jesus turned water into grape juice and not wine, so I can see where its coming from.

Jp Wicki said...

Is it too outrageous to suppose that they invited you to the pub to continue a conversation? Why did you feel the need to tell them you don't drink?

Kim Luisi said...

What is it about? They probably have a problem with alcohol and are in denial about it.

Anonymous said...

Yep! I gave up alcohol for lent and it was so easy - yet after having one drink it's hard not to have another one. we as a society don't realize how much pain we are in...physically and emotionally...and how alcohol takes that pain away for a little bit (the after effects...well that is a different story)

Dirtdartwife said...

I see it as bragging rights. Just like in college. How much can you drink without passing out? What's your tolerance level? Heck, I remember "training" myself to get to being able to have six beers without being full blown drunk. Didn't take long for this 120lb lightweight (was 120 then, not now, and given the chance, having six beers is just getting started now).

I like your line of abstaining is easier than moderation. I might have to start living by that line.

Av8er said...

Yes I have experienced what Kelli is talking about. Giving up coffee for lent was the hardest thing I've given up.

Proteios1 said...

I have no idea. Why do we offer explanations for anything?
But here's a way us scientists use to find out information. We ask the subject to explain their answer. Try this in response to the drink tally...
"Why are you telling me this?"
Then you will get your answer. Pretty neat, eh?

Ellen said...

I live in the Bible Belt and am the only abstainer in my Catholic family. I don't think alcohol is bad and I cook with it all the time, but long ago I chose not to drink for several reasons. I don't like the taste, and I don't like how too many people act when they've been drinking.

Also, I can't for the life of me figure out why so many people think they can't have fun unless alcohol is involved. I've asked a lot of people and no one can give me a straight answer.

Lynda said...

Condolences on the death of your aunt. May she rest in peace.

Foxfier said...

Several possibilities-- such as the automatic assumption that if you do drink, at all, you have a problem. (I see it as an extension of the inability of popular culture to draw valid distinctions in other fields, as well.)

The guys probably tell you that because it is really freaking awkward to invite someone to an event and then find out they've got an objection to it! Like when I found out that my new neighbors can't do caffeine, and I suddenly was doing a mental tally of the goodie box I'd brought over to see if there was anything with more kick than chocolate, and trying to remember if chocolate is allowed or not.

Kind of like if your kid has a serious food allergy, if you mention it you'll suddenly get the medical history of half their family.

Anonymous said...

There is way too much drinking and driving. Way to much.

Helene said...

I partake of the Precious Blood at Mass every day, but that is just about my only alcohol consumption. I might have a glass of wine once a year, but I otherwise abstain because it is expensive and I don't see how alcohol "enhances" the dining experience. I've only had a taste of beer twice in my life (and I'm 54). Yes, I'm a cheap date.

Siobhan said...

Your statement that you don't partake is interpreted that you have a drinking problem, and so the rush to tell you that they don't, even though their wives think they do. People with drinking problems will defend it to the death, until the day when they realize how much better life without alcohol is for those who can't imbibe moderately. It's a scary thought if you're not there yet, though, thus the reflexive defense.

Congrats on making a good decision for yourself and your family, and my condolences on the loss of your aunt. God bless you!

Amy Giglio said...

I will pray for your aunt.

Maybe they are telling you their rationalizations as a way to test it out on their wives, or to get another guy to back them up that their problem isn't that bad.

What I'm really wondering is why wouldn't you go with them? You could just drink soda and be everyone's DD. Matt = hero.

Jp Wicki said...

Good beer is wonderful when enjoyed in moderation. A half decent porter, beats a Starbucks Latte any day of the week.
http://badgercatholic.blogspot.com/2012/02/ratzinger-is-drinking-beer.html?m=1
I side with Pope Emeritus Benedict on this one.

KCKim said...

I really hate discussions about drinking alcoholic beverages. People tend to line up into two camps -- kinda like those junior high sock hops mentioned. Let's face it: some people like their booze; some people don't; some people feel the need to justify what and when they drink; some don't; some people feel the need to comment on those who drink; some don't; some people feel the need to comment on those who dare comment; some don't.


What all this points out to me is that no matter how old we get, we never quite get over a childish fascination with alcohol. Can you imagine having a conversation like this about green beans?


I imagine that the most mature people regarding alcohol are the ones who enjoy the flavor of their selected beverage, drink in moderation - both in one sitting and over time -- and don't consider alcohol any more of a topic of discussion than what vegetable they might be serving with their steak or salmon filet.

Anonymous said...

Earl Grey, hot.

priest's wife said...

I agree with Sioban

if going to pubs is a 'thing' that your friends do for guy time, you should go too (in moderation- you are a busy family man)- have a coffee or soda

Anonymous said...

Oh, wait, you weren't commanding ME to tell YOU ... doh! I live in Utah and whenever the subject of alcoholic beverages comes up, there is one of two responses: (1) the stony uncomfortable silence of those who KNOW that letting such a wicked evil substance past their lips will damn them to hell forever or (2) frat-boy excitement. A certain slice of the observant Mormons who don't drink are still VERY curious about it and try to draw me into a conversation on that oh so very boring topic. Funny.

Chloe said...

Alcohol is so stinkin' contentious- for good reason.

My husband won't have a drop unless I'm driving, because he's in law enforcement and we live in a zero tolerance state where if you get in an unrelated accident (someone could run into YOU at a stoplight), you could get a DUI even without showing any signs of impairment. That said, when his friends want to go out drinking, he just offers to drive and gets some wings and a water. They're supposed to give designated driver's free soda, but he rarely drinks soda so I've never heard it tested.

Alllso, it depends on the pub. Our local pub hardly counts as a bar setting- they have awesome food and we often go there for food only. I'd guess only 45% of people in the bar section are drinking anything containing alcohol.

If they get rowdy though, that isn't fun. Some people have a drink, and some people have a drink or 5.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the psychology behind this kind of response either, (and I'm well used to it). Before my marriage, my husband's grandmother, a 'wise' old nonna, was once reported as telling the family that I wasn't to be trusted because I didn't drink!

(I have tried alcohol, in my late teens, but due to an inhereted 'inborn error of metabolism' linked to a liver enzyme, it is one of the substances that I'm not able to process very well - it literally poisons me. (But then again, I consider even paracetamol and ibuprofen to be dangerous drugs!). Just as well, as it is such utterly revolting stuff: I much prefer tea.

The only thing that makes me temper my ferocious opposition to alcohol (and lets me know that the way I feel must be unjust), is the fact that Our Lord chose the transformation of water into wine as the object of His first public miracle, and that he chose for His priests to receive His Precious Blood, (Himself, whole and entire), under the form of wine, as well as bread. (Clearly the two (like so many other events recorded in Sacred Scripture) are linked, and we could spend a whole lifetime exploring the depth and the richness of the underlying theology). Why the laity feel that they must receive Him 'under both kinds', is a question that is even further beyond me! If the Doctrine of Concommitance was better known or reflected upon, I think that many Catholics would simply receive the Sacred Host alone as a precious act of faith. (And we wouldn't need legions of unnecessary (and illegal) extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, or have to witness so many acts of sacrilige).

My condolences on the death of your aunt. Please be assured of my prayers for her soul, and your family.

Anonymous said...

BTW - Apologies for my spelling of 'inherited' and 'Concomitance', if anyone actually reads these. (I am often so engaged in thinking about the absolute probity of what I write, that I often seem to get a bit tardy about how I write it down.

Ranting Catholic Mom said...

I like wine, a lot. So I don't drink wine that contains alcohol anymore. If I'm out with and drinking is happening, I have a non-alcoholic beer (very available) or wine (hard to find at restaurants and parties). At home I buy the alcohol removed chardonnay (Fre is the brand).

I can't drink in moderation so I don't drink, like you. My husband still likes his wine and Guinness. I can even buy it for friends if we are hosting. I will not be the obnoxious tea-toter.

Bob the Ape said...

Why say anything at all? My (unsolicited) advice would be to go to the pub with the guys, order Coke or club soda or whatever, and continue the conversation. Odds are (a) nobody will notice, (b) if someone does, he won't care, and (c) if he does care, he won't bring it up.

Anonymous said...

@Ranting Catholic mom.
Each to his or her own though, I suggest. One good thing about obnoxious types, is that they don't tend to care what anyone on earth thinks of them, and so are free to wish the very best to all.

If you had been called into Resus to see your 19 year old son on a ventilator with a GCS of 3, and told to say your goodbyes to him, just because he wouldn't take his mothers advice that alcohol was strictly prohibited in all but the tiniest moderation, then you'd probably be an obnoxious tee-totaller too!

Anononymous Part III

Pablo the Mexican said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pablo the Mexican said...

Abstaining from drinking is like not marrying a woman and having as many babies as God allows because it may be an occasion to sin.

As a Mexican Catholic man, I have double responsibility to have a drink.

Do any of you know there is a Catholic blessing for beer?

Many men suffer from terminal skirt burn and make up all sorts of excuses to not be manly.

Then women complain that men are more girly than women.

Sit back, have a beer and some tobacco, and watch your wife cook and do the dishes.

It will be a small step towards regaining your manhood.

By the way, who says you have to drink at the pub?

Do you have to swim just because you are at the beach?

Paul Zummo said...

As a Mexican Catholic man, I have double responsibility to have a drink.

Based on your comment, I would have to guess that you've carried out your responsibilities this evening.

RobJ said...

Since you didn't ask, I like to have a 40 oz Colt 45 every presidential election. It's smooth, and Billy Dee Williams is one smooth customer.

Unknown said...

Maybe they do it as a defense mechanism or simply to rile you up. Tea totalers are so often obnoxious that it is fun making them mad.

Foxfier said...

*points at majority of "because they are drunks" type comments*
Getting an idea why they might consider you mentioning that you don't drink as a shadowed accusation?

Dymphna said...

You just called the dads at your kids softball game drunks. I'm guessing that if any of them read your blog you are going to be real popular....or not.

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