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Pro-Choice: Why I Don’t Drink

I’m a shy person. I’ve gotten a little better over the years, but the thought of speaking to a roomful of people or even just one new person still terrifies me. And parties…the thought of going to a party is basically like hell on earth.

So in a way, it’s natural that I don’t drink. Drinking is something that’s confined almost exclusively to social occasions, and since I avoid social occasions like the plague, I don’t have any reason to drink. I’m not interested, and I just don’t care to do something that might make me look stupid or blur my judgment. So why do so many people treat me like an alien because of that choice?

When I tell people I don’t drink, their eyes grow wide and their mouths drop wide open. “Why?” is the most common response. Call me crazy, but why not? Vegetarians don’t get interrogated nearly as often or as harshly about their choice not to eat meat. People who elect to study biology or music instead of English aren’t demanded to explain the in-depth mechanics of their choice.

To be honest, it kind of bothers me that my choice not to drink is treated as a personal attack by some people. Don’t get me wrong—most people are very cool with it, and treat me just the same as everybody else. But others seem to think that I believe I’m better than everyone because I’ve never been drunk, or that it’s their civic duty to make me try alcohol, because obviously I’m going to love it and get wasted every weekend.

Yo! I want to tell those people. Just leave me alone! I don’t judge anybody for drinking, and I think it’s a perfectly acceptable choice—it’s just not for me. Alcohol and drunk people make me uncomfortable, and it’s that simple. So please, if you meet people like me who just want to curl up with a good book instead of going out to a bar, don’t judge.

We’re not Martians—we’re just making a choice.

Carly - GrinnellCOLLEGECANDY Writer
I just quit my job to become a freelance writer and go to baking school. Pretty awesome, right? Yeah, that's right, you have to wake up early to go to work/class and I don't.