I’ve never had an alcoholic drink in my life.

Okay, I’ve had a couple of sips accidentally. But never an entire drink, and never on purpose. And yet:

  • I can dance my butt off at weddings.
  • I can sing karaoke, despite the fact that I stink at it.
  • I can go to bars with friends.
  • I can enjoy a nice Italian meal.
  • I can talk to members of the opposite sex.
  • I can go camping.
  • I can hang out with my in-laws (who are actually very cool).

These are all things people have told me they can’t do without drinking.

Know what else I can do for fun?

  • Play on playgrounds
  • Practice my ukulele
  • Grab a random book from a shelf at my local library
  • Take walks around my neighborhood
  • Volunteer
  • Write
  • Play Boggle (which I usually win), Scrabble (which I always lose), and Bananagrams (50/50) with my husband.
  • Go contradancing.
  • Climb on the giant rocks in and around the Rocky River

Aside from being some of my favorite activities, what do these have in common? They’re better without booze.

For some reason, people find the fact that I don’t drink alcohol stranger than the fact that I don’t eat any meat, eggs, or dairy. I’ve never understood this. It’s not like I need to take B12 supplements to make up for my lack of beer. Vegan is strange, but also trendy, in a hippie sort of way. Dry is just not on the list of hot lifestyle choices.

I love how much less money I spend at restaurants. I love how, when I’m feeling socially awkward at a party, I just leave. Because I can, you know, drive. I love being able to feel proud of the new things I try, knowing that it was my own courage, and not dulled judgment that allowed them to happen. I love being able to trust myself, whether I’m feeling spontaneous or responsible.

Being a teetotaller gives me more choices, not fewer. I don’t expect the whole world to follow me, but I would  like the world to know that when you feel disgruntled about drinking around me when I’m sober, it’s not my sobriety that’s the problem. I’m having a great time on the dance floor, and I know how I’m getting home tonight.

You might give it a try sometime. I’ll be here with my board games when you’re ready to have a go.

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