"You don't drink? Not at all? Oh God, there's no chance at all you're going to sleep with me now, is there?"
Okay so they aren't always as forthright as the gentleman to my left at this particular shindig but it's a fairly standard response to most opening conversations during wedding season.
I love being sober, I had no idea it would be like this, but I do. Life is incomparable to the way it used to be as an alcoholic on every level. But even I - the eternal optimist - was worried how I'd tackle a sober wedding. That it would be boring. Long, dreary, that I'd stick out like a sore thumb. Because weddings and drinking are so synonymous aren't they? It's one of the first objections to sobriety that comes up "but surely a glass of champagne at a wedding is fine," like you can send a memo to the cells of your body "it's ok lads this is a wedding so we'll just sip this one glass and be done-honest"
A wedding can be many things depending on whereabouts you are on the sliding scale of alcohol abuse-to-alcoholism. If you're abusing it to the point people haven't really picked up on yet, then it's a great excuse to drink in a dysfunctional way with people who don't have alcohol problems. Normal folk. A different crowd from your regular drinking buddies. If you're at the stage where you suspect you have a problem and everyone around you shares that suspicion, then its stressful. A day of deceit. Trying desperately to make it look like you're drinking at the same pace as everyone else. Trying to disguise how hammered you are. Dreading the inevitable as your behaviour takes a turn for the worse. Thankful at least the black outs will kick in soon so at least you won't be able to recall the awful things you are about to do.
I feel for those who aren't safe and comfortable in their sobriety during wedding season. How it must be to get sat next to that person, the one who seemingly cannot relax unless everyone around them is drinking, (where does that come from? Why do we do it?) people do get really offended at weddings if you don't drink.
It's a f*cking dangerous attitude.
Alcohol abusers don't have "just a glass of champagne" at a wedding - they've never had "just a glass" of anything in their lives. They'll still be drinking at seven the next morning and you'll be mystified as to why they won't just "turn it off" and go to bed. Use that switch everyone else has but they cannot seem to find.
Wedding are lovely sober. I can't get over them actually. I can pick a pretty outfit and spend good money on it knowing it will still look the same way at the end of the day as it did when I bought it. Not torn, not covered in drinks and blood. That I actually care abut what the food tastes like. Enjoy the people I'm sat with. Not keeping one anxious eye on the wine in case it runs out too quickly. Wondering if by the time the dancing starts I will be able to still stand.
I was never really present for weddings as a drunk girl. They actually were quite boring, a solitary occasion, just me and my drink. Using the people around me as props in a bid to look normal. Now a wedding day is so colourful, exciting, varied. I'm finally able to turn up and stay present. I never knew it could be like this. Truly I didn't.
So no, I'm not going to sleep with you. Sorry. I won't steal your drinks, insult you or stumble my way through the day either so that's always a bonus. And I'm not offended if you need to fill my champagne glass up to make yourself feel better. And I will lift it during the toast, But I'll be keeping it far away from my lips. Because I worked too f*cking hard to get here to this lovely place to let "just a glass" of champagne be how it all falls apart.