Wedding Woes

Bean dip is your friend.

Dear Prudence,

I have started being more mindful of my alcohol consumption. It helps to have periods where I don’t drink at all. I still like to go out, but when I say I am not drinking, my co-workers and friends often want to have an extended conversation about it. They ask me why I’m not drinking or tell me long, involved stories about times they quit drinking or drunken revels they’ve had. I find these conversations uncomfortable. What’s a good way to defuse them? Why is it so uncomfortable to talk about alcohol consumption?

—Taciturn Teetotaler

Re: Bean dip is your friend.

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I don’t understand why or how people get so involved with other people’s drinking. If it’s a really close friend they’ll usually have already told me they’re doing a “cleanse” or are pregnant or whatever. And if they don’t want to share, it’s not my business, I’m not going to pressure them, and I’m not going to be a dick about it. 


    image
    charlotte989875short+sassy

  • That will change the conversation away from drinking pretty quickly. But yeah, people suck and ask questions they aren’t entitled to know the answers. 
    This.  Also, I think people pry when you make it a thing.  So you can stop the questions by not making it a thing.  Order your coke or club soda and chat it up.  Furthermore, no answer is an answer.  I think people forget this far too often. 
    charlotte989875STARMOON44Casadenashort+sassy
  • If you’re spending this much time and energy managing your drinking and discussing it with others, maybe re-examine if you really have this under control. 
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    "I'm not drinking today/tonight. So, how about this weather we're having?"

  • mrsconn23 said:

    That will change the conversation away from drinking pretty quickly. But yeah, people suck and ask questions they aren’t entitled to know the answers. 
    This.  Also, I think people pry when you make it a thing.  So you can stop the questions by not making it a thing.  Order your coke or club soda and chat it up.  Furthermore, no answer is an answer.  I think people forget this far too often. 
    I agree with this.  Just order what you want and don't make a big deal about "guys, i'm not drinking tonight".  
    short+sassy
  • "I don't feel like it tonight."

    That said, people are curious and some note habits.   If my FIL said that he stopped drinking beer I'd probably say, "Is everything OK?"  If MIL said she was swearing off chocolate I'd ask if she was feeling alright.   LW is going to need to come up with some ways to switch the conversation or do what I did when I was pregnant and buy a bottle of beer in a brown bottle and fill it with water in the bathroom. 
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • I don't understand why people push for more when people say they're not drinking. Unless the person says "Oh I don't drink anymore", there's never a need to ask why. Even then, if they mention they don't drink anymore I don't ask any follow ups unless I know them well. "Oh, any particular reason?" - idgaf if you say "just a personal choice", you don't owe me a big answer or any answer.
    short+sassy
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    "I'm on antibiotics for a raging yeast infection." 

    MissKittyDangerMNNEBridekerbohl
  • banana468 said:
    "I don't feel like it tonight."

    That said, people are curious and some note habits.   If my FIL said that he stopped drinking beer I'd probably say, "Is everything OK?"  If MIL said she was swearing off chocolate I'd ask if she was feeling alright.   LW is going to need to come up with some ways to switch the conversation or do what I did when I was pregnant and buy a bottle of beer in a brown bottle and fill it with water in the bathroom. 
    For a good/close friend, whose habits someone was familiar with, I don't see anything wrong with ONE question about why.  But, yeah, whatever the answer is...even if it is a non-answer...then it gets classified under "none of my business" and drop it.

    But you sometimes hear stories like what the LW is describing and I don't get it.  More often than not, I don't really pay attention to what my friends are drinking.  And, when I do, I don't comment on it unless they point it out.  Maybe because I'm like that?  I like and drink all forms of alcohol.  But it's also not unusual for me to "not be in the mood" and stick to Diet Coke or iced tea.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • banana468 said:
    "I don't feel like it tonight."

    That said, people are curious and some note habits.   If my FIL said that he stopped drinking beer I'd probably say, "Is everything OK?"  If MIL said she was swearing off chocolate I'd ask if she was feeling alright.   LW is going to need to come up with some ways to switch the conversation or do what I did when I was pregnant and buy a bottle of beer in a brown bottle and fill it with water in the bathroom. 
    For a good/close friend, whose habits someone was familiar with, I don't see anything wrong with ONE question about why.  But, yeah, whatever the answer is...even if it is a non-answer...then it gets classified under "none of my business" and drop it.

    But you sometimes hear stories like what the LW is describing and I don't get it.  More often than not, I don't really pay attention to what my friends are drinking.  And, when I do, I don't comment on it unless they point it out.  Maybe because I'm like that?  I like and drink all forms of alcohol.  But it's also not unusual for me to "not be in the mood" and stick to Diet Coke or iced tea.
    Yeah - I think I'm more thinking of this as someone who was very keenly observed not drinking when I was pregnant.   So the social call out was done, smiled about and moved on. 
    charlotte989875
  • I like to drink, but I don't when I have migraines.  I don't think anyone has ever, ever pressed me when they offer my favourite alcohol and I decline.
    Meanwhile, my husband made a choice as a teenager never to drink, and he's gotten a lot of pushback about it over the years.  People seem to assume he is missing out, and some used to try to spike his drinks.  People can be ridiculous.

    MesmrEweMissKittyDanger
  • kerbohl said:
    I like to drink, but I don't when I have migraines.  I don't think anyone has ever, ever pressed me when they offer my favourite alcohol and I decline.
    Meanwhile, my husband made a choice as a teenager never to drink, and he's gotten a lot of pushback about it over the years.  People seem to assume he is missing out, and some used to try to spike his drinks.  People can be ridiculous.
    That would be me - I was in a neck brace for 6mo because of a drunk driver (.248) at 14yo rear ending my brother's vehicle at 65mph...  And yes - the stories of people before they caught on that I was happy to be the official designated driver at any time (spun it into a "someone had their backs at all times")..  

    LW - order a Mocktail right away along with a glass of ice water for the other hand and make sure the ice water stays topped off (and tip well!)!  
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    MissKittyDanger
  • I quit/ dramatically cut back on my drinking for a long  period of time in my mid 20s, there was quite a lot of pushback. Best thing is to order a Sprite with a lime and people won't notice so much. After they have had a couple, they don't notice at all.
    charlotte989875
  • I completely forgot. SFIL doesn't drink at all {he's gotten drunk 3x in his entire life - he's 54 now I believe}

    He use to tell people it's because he just doesn't like drinking, but now he's on pretty serious meds for health issues so he says that.

    Idk how it came up, but I asked if people often press into why he didn't drink before and he said only in his university years because of the status of drinking while in college/university, but afterwards adults rarely press.
  • I joke about being a high functioning alcoholic a lot, b/c I probably have a drink a couple of times a week.  Unfortunately, my social scene is centered around queer bars, but I limit myself to the 1-2 drinks each time.  I have also gone through no drink periods where I still went and just had soda.  Usually I just tell people, "I'm taking a break."  I'd say most people understand, but I do get some pushback.  Those people are usually assholes anyone, so I let it slide off my back.  I don't owe people explanations for anything unless they're helping me pay my bills or are dating me.
    mrsconn23short+sassy
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