Yes, it's true. I don't drink. This very fact raises so much confusion from so many types of people. First and foremost reaction is always 'the look'. I can see the cogs turning behind their eyes as they process what I've just told them. Then, I am met by an expected multitude of questions. 'Did you have a bad experience?' 'Is it a religious thing?' 'Do you just do drugs instead?' When I answer a resounding 'No' to all of their curiosities they seem even more perplexed. These questions predominantly come from people within the nightlife industry where I work where 95% of them, customers and staff included, are drinking and an obscenely large amount taking cocaine. However, even in my smaller circles, or waiters in restaurants at least come out with a, 'Really?' when I tell them I don't drink.
One factor I've found very interesting and which has been explained to me on several occasions is that, if you don't know me in the slightest, I may come across as somewhat of a Wild Child (if only they knew). I have so many tattoos that I stopped counting. It's definitely over twenty let's say that. Some of which are on my hands and arms. I have LOVE tattooed across my left knuckles in red surrounded by black henna patterns on every finger. The right hand sports the same henna dot formation around my fingernails and a black dragon wrapped around my thumb. I also have 30 plus piercings, yet choose not to wear any of them. One thing that cannot be avoided is the stretch in my ear. What used to be 22 millimetres wide now has shrunk down to 12 millimetres, so I embrace it rather than leaving this dangling bit of skin resembling an animal's arse hole next to my face. Most of these where done 10 years ago. When people say to me, 'But how do you have so many tattoos and not drink?' This question in itself is so idiotic I often struggle to answer. Like the two go hand in hand. These people must be the embodiment of Angels who have visions of tattoo parlours being full of intoxicated brutes that only leave the strip clubs on their motorbikes to get inked, and maybe commit some crimes along the way with bottles of rum in their hands.
The real reason ladies and gentlemen is simple. It is my personal choice not to drink. I like to be in control of my mind. I always have done. It's my most prized posession and I am taking good care of it. I like to know that every choice made is not one of clouded judgement. The thought of not remembering a part of my day absolutely terrifies me. The thought of myself changing character, like so many I see, is also the stuff of my nightmares. Some people say that a few drinks gives them confidence. I've learned to do this without anything mind altering, which personally I think is much healthier. I'm not a sociable person. Quite the opposite in fact. I have about 6 close friends that actually know me well and the everyone else I'd rather hide under a rock than make polite conversation with due to my awkwardness. Even in primary school my teacher called in my parents stating, 'Ann hasn't spoken to anyone in 6 months. She just reads in the corner'. But seen as I can't carry a rock around with me at all times as society says it might look strange, I've learned to make my own 'false' confidence in these situations. Be chatty and bubbly when needed without having to rely on booze. I have never felt peer pressured into it either. In my opinion, you get more respect by just saying the truth rather than caving to what some moron might try and force up your nose and down your throat. Just as well really because of all the types of drunk out there, (dancers, aggressive, loud, sleepy etc.) I reckon i'd be a 'horny crier' and nobody has time for that.
Drugs are another level of idiocy. If I could film some of the people I encounter on my evenings working and play it back to them the next day they would be absolutely mortified. They literally try and have a coherent conversation with me with slow blinks, eyes that can't quite find where your face is and a jaw like Vicki Pattison's. To them, this is an awesome night out. I would rather cut out my eyes with spoons, eat them, throw them up, then eat them again, than take drugs. Interestingly and unintentionally, out of my small close knit group of friends, many of them are T-total like me. It's not that uncommon.
Ending thought. I've saved a small fortune, can drive myself everywhere, I remember everything, have no embarrassing regrets, I have no idea what a hangover is, feel fresh as fuck every morning, have never been sick unnecessarily, never lost a phone/bag/purse/nasal septum, never wasted police or ambulance's time and never gurned the face of a stranger.
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