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A Dry Year


So, 2016 is a dry year for me.

Unlike a lot of people who have said, "WHAT?" when I mentioned this fact to them, this isn't a difficult goal for me for one very simple reason: I can't stand the taste of alcohol.

I have never liked the taste of alcohol. I have managed to find wines that I could tolerate, beers I could choke down, and whiskeys so smooth I could forgive the actual taste since I could down them without shuddering, but the actual enjoyment of the alcohol was never part of the consumption experience.

Ask me to give up chocolate, and I cringe (hello, Lent). Ask me to give up sugar, and I'll tell you to go to hell. Ask me to give up alcohol, and I'll shrug, sure, whatever.

I come by this honestly: my dad is the same way. Last time I saw him drinking alcohol was about 25 years ago, give or take. He drank alcohol for the same reasons I had been: socially acceptable thing to do. Mostly, both of us would buy the drinks and let them sit.

Late last year, I decided I was done. I declared 2016 a dry year. With that declaration, I was free from the mental strain of deciding if I should have alcohol, how would I get home, do I need to be careful about what I say, what would I inadvertently blab, am I being an ornery drunk (because, really, I am a belligerent drunk, and those moments are not my finest).

A bit ago, I thought maybe I would have some alcohol. My coworkers had bought me a Rochefort Trappist Ale 8, which is pretty much the only beer I will willingly drink (see, found a beer I would drink!), and I thought, yeah, I'll try this.

I mentioned this to Jonathan. His response was, "Be safe."

I mentioned this to Kris. His response was, "Sweet! I'll join you!"

I mentioned this to Moazam. His response was, "No."

I didn't mention the beer to anyone else.

The responses fascinated me. They still do, months later.

Jonathan respected my choices and wanted me to be safe. Yes, have the alcohol, but do it in a place where you trust the people and will arrive home safely. Kris respected the change in choice and was enthusiastic about my drinking the beer. He enjoys beer, and wanted me to experience the fun he was having. This, despite knowing that I don't really like beer or alcohol. And Mo, he understood that my goal of a dry year was more important than my momentary weakness. I'm projecting that perhaps he knew that I didn't really want the beer, I wanted to escape whatever I thought I needed to escape with that beer, and that, no, I didn't really want the beer itself. With his no, he told me to work through the issue instead of just avoiding it.

I didn't have the beer. I'm glad I hadn't had the beer. It's not like I would have enjoyed it.

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