Friday, May 14, 2010

No, I Don't Drink, and It's Not Because I'm Pregnant

When I was 17 and about to head to Wellesley College, I went to see my pediatrician who had a talk with me and my mom about the ills of going away on my own. He talked about drugs, sex and drinking, and it seemed as though it was a formulaic script he followed with all the college-bound kids in his practice. I vividly remember him telling us that it would be a good idea to test my tolerance safely in the confines of our home with a pack of wine coolers. I don't remember my mom's reaction, but I looked at him as though he was nuts. I explained, "But I don't drink!" He countered, "But you will." All I thought was, "Wow! He really doesn't know who he's talking to."

When I was in high school I witnessed the effects of underage drinking with my friends, and I definitely didn't like what I saw. I'm a very Type A person, and the thought of ingesting something that could make me lose control scared me. Also, I didn't grow up around alcohol either. I'm non-denominational Christian and was raised that way, but came to my own understanding and belief about what a Christian should and shouldn't do and drinking was one of those things. Now, I've researched and the Bible does not command "Thou shalt not drink" and neither does it say " Thou shalt not do drugs" but it does warn against drunkenness and we are commanded to treat our bodies as temples of God. I've had friends say, "Oh you can drink without getting drunk," but after the stupidity I've witnessed I say, "Why tempt the devil?!" and besides, I'd rather get my calories from chocolate, cheese and bread. YUM!!!

People who drink around me often feel embarrassed or that I'm judging them. I've gone out with coworkers who'd announce "Oh, Quiana doesn't drink," in a snarky tone when the waiter came around the table. I don't judge people who drink - that's their choice. I just know I won't.

At our wedding we had an open bar, and I knew I'd face some pushback from my family about this, but because Uka and I funded our wedding completely on our own it really didn't matter what anyone had to say because all the decisions were up to us. Money talks. We knew food and alcohol would be our largest expenses, but we knew that those two things are usually the highlights of the wedding reception. We fretted over having a platinum bar vs. a silver bar vs. a gold bar and in the end we chose what was most affodable for us and our guests really enjoyed themselves. No one went crazy and there was no drunken debauchery. We all just had fun!

Sometimes people ask how I have fun if I don't drink, and I think it's sad to think that you have to drink to have fun. Perhaps I don't know what I'm missing and frankly, I don't care to find out. I'm having enough fun as it is!

And don't get me started on people who say, "But a glass of wine a day is healthy." So is exercising everyday, but I don't see those people doing that. 

I'm perfectly happy to eat a well-balanced diet, exercise and remain healthy the way I have been for the past nearly 30 years. I've mentioned it in another post before, but I can count on my fingers the number of times I've had to call out sick or was bed ridden and I've been thankful for that so I think I'm doing a pretty good job at the health thing. 

So the next time someone asks, "What would you like to drink?" I'll keep sticking to my Shirley Temples cause yes, I'm really a kid at heart.