Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Unhip to be square?


The Mr and I were talking the other night after a workout about how lucky we are to have found each other so young.  We also were thankful that we share the same views when it comes to things like drinking, drugs and tobacco and how we're treated by 99% of people we encounter because of those views, particularly the fact that we don't drink.

*Allowing people to process that since it seems to be akin to revealing you have a third talking boob*

That's right.  The Mr and I don't imbibe and people have no problem having all kinds of negative reactions to that.  We've heard it all...

"What, you think you're better than me?"

"Why the hell not?"  (accompanied by major grimace of disapproval and reasons why we should)

"Here, I'm going to order you a drink."  (It's your $8 pal while it sits on the table watering down)

Or some people will flat out walk away.  That's right.  We've been deemed so completely uncool because we don't have a drink in our hand that we're no longer fit enough to breathe the same air space.  Screw you dude/lady.

The one that always cracks me up is this one..."Well I don't drink all the time either.  It's not like I'm a drunk or some alcoholic or something.  I mean, I just drink socially, you know how it is."

I do not need you to justify to me why you drink.  I don't care.  But let's also not tell me all the time that you don't drink when half of your Facebook feed is full of the alcoholic beverage in your hand at the moment and looks like you work in a brewery.  I get those a lot.

When I was a kid, I went through the normal phases where you try to "be cool" to fit in.  I pretended to smoke so the rebel guy would like me in middle school when the fact is, I never inhaled a single time and could probably count on two hands how many times I "smoked" a cigarette.  I've probably smoked a total of two full ones in my whole life.  Most of the time I just flicked it to give the appearance of smoking.  It didn't work and the guy is probably in jail anyway...he was a real hood in every sense of the word.  Puppy love.  Misguided, blinders on puppy "love."

*rolling eyes*

I hung around so many concerts, rock bands and friends that smoked pot that I probably got a contact buzz or two back in the day.  But the smell of pot makes me want to puke and makes the person smoking it smell like an armpit.  So yeah, not sexy to me.  I always stood my ground when I was a teen about not smoking it and people never tried to force it on me so I'm grateful I never caved into that.

As far as alcohol, I've had family members drink from when I was a kid to adulthood and I hate the way people act when they're sloshed.  Dudes tend to get a little stupid or "handsy" and women act a fool.  The Mr had similar issues and even had a family member ruin several weddings because he was so drunk.  You can imagine it was no surprise we had a "dry" wedding which was noted in the actual invite..."non-smoking, non-alcoholic reception to follow."  That way people knew not to expect to come to our reception and get free booze.  You got water, tea and punch...period.  You know what?  To this day we still get people saying it was the best reception they ever attended.  The dance floor was overflowing and people were dancing between tables.  It proved we made the right decision and stayed true to our beliefs.  The people who just couldn't take it left early and that was one couple and they weren't missed.

We still marvel how after all these years, we still get so much shit for not drinking.  His co-workers look at him like he's a cyclops and I've told my former co-workers to let me know when they get together for dinner in a place that's not a bar like the first big gathering.  Oddly enough, when another one was attempted to be arranged at a regular restaurant, it was cancelled due to lack of response.  Curious.

Personally, alcohol gives me an instant headache, like a migraine unless it's cut with something like soda and even then it's a crap shoot.  Not worth it to me.  The only time I haven't experienced that was a few months ago when I cut some spiced wine with ginger ale.  Ring a ding.

Even though I've told people about the migraines, they still give a look like I'm making an excuse.  The Mr's co-workers try to make him feel like he's somehow not a "real man" because he doesn't come home and crack open a cold one or go out with the guys after work to watch them all drink.  It would seriously be easier for us to tell people we're recovering alcoholics than to just say we don't like to drink.  That's sad.  I don't get the obsession or why people have such a strong opinion as to why we don't drink or make fun of us because we don't.  There's no real point to this, just an observation and I didn't know if we were the only people on Earth who don't imbibe.

Edit:  To clarify, the people who say something to us are not our friends.  (Some of our friends may feel the need to justify why they drink but our real friends don't care that we don't drink.  These are strangers or co-workers of ours or friends of friends type situations.  I wouldn't hang out with people who were that idiotic to constantly question our choice.)

Anyone else out there not drink?  If so, do you find yourself being treated differently because of it?

**Please note, I'm NOT judging people who drink.  If you drink, I don't care and don't feel like you have to justify it in the comments or email me.  I'm just curious if anyone else doesn't because we truly feel like we're the only ones who don't!**

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51 comments:

  1. My husband and I don't drink either. We both went through our crazy young adult phase and now its not even missed by either of us. I don't want the extra cost of buying alcohol. Its expensive and unless your buying top shelf, the associated pain the next day isn't worth it. What I don't get is the backlash your getting for not drinking. Maybe you need a different group of friends, because we have not had one person question our not drinking the way yours are. And I live in Wisconsin where beer is king. LOL But good for you for sticking to your guns, avoiding the peer pressure and not caring what others think about your choice.

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    1. The cost of alcohol is INSANE. I hate the taste of it anyway so paying for a drink just to make others happy isn't on my to do it.

      Oh, these aren't our friends. Our friends don't say anything to us (though the FB feed one is a friend but they are all about justifying why they NOW drink to fit in with others when they used to be just like us. It's like school all over again. *rolling eyes*) No, these are strangers or co-workers who find out for the first time or they'll forget then invite us out again and get all judge-y.

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  2. I get judged and poked fun at at work because I no longer drink.
    I have in the past and I realized that it was pointless and a waste of money.
    I didn't really like how most of it tasted anyway and I hate the way people get when drinking.
    It's slightly frustrating being poked at since I don't drink and I'm 24 yo. But I dated a guy 6 years my senior who has NEVER had alcohol. So he got the ribbing less than I did.

    It's especially awkward because my coworkers are part of the reason I stopped drinking so I hate when I'm asked why I don't drink anymore

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    1. I'm with you, I don't like the way it tastes. I can barely tolerate a wine cooler. I'm pretty lightweight. It can definitely be difficult especially at your age but standing your ground feels much better than doing it just to do it. So good for you!

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  3. I do drink, and most of the people in my life drink.... HOWEVER I've mostly stopped drinking the past year because it makes me gain weight (I will drink on special occasions still, but it's now less than once a month as opposed to the 2-3 times a week it was). So when I get together with friends (still 2-3 times a week) and I pop open a seltzer instead of a beer.... No one cares! No one even comments or asks about it. I've found as long as people get to live how they want, they don't care much how I live! (I think I also have a very awesome set of friends... All very kind, compassionate and warm).

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    1. I think sometimes people forget that drinks have calories...lots of 'em. I won't drink my calories with soda anymore so I definitely won't with alcohol. I wish more people cared about how they live their lives and don't look at us like lepers for the way we live ours!

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  4. I'm just wondering where you live that your choice of what to consume is such a big freaking deal. I drink currently (that sounds like I'm a lush! LOL), but I have gone through long (multi year) phases of not drinking and it's never been a big deal. No one has ever asked "do you drink", no one has ever tried to force me to have a drink, no one has ever bought me one against my wishes, no one has ever mocked me for it.

    I'm constantly surprised when I hear people say things like this (about anything - eating, drinking, what to wear, etc). I'm not doubting you that they happen but I honestly have NEVER had anyone question or comment on my decision of what I choose to eat or drink. I do have to wonder if it's in how some people present it that they get clobbered with the judgement hammer.

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    1. We're in a town where craft beer culture and home brewers are a big deal. It's assumed everyone drinks but we encounter that wherever we go, not just our hometown.

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  5. I don't drink, but I also don't not drink. If I want to have a drink I will, but I just never seem to want a drink anymore so I don't. If tonight I decide I want a beer, I'll have one - but I don't see it happening.

    Like your other posters I can't imagine adults acting that way. So you don't drink. So what? You go out with them and you order an iced tea or bubbly water or just plain water and they order a drink. Who cares? I just don't get people.

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    1. The Mr and I have joked we WISH we could drink after some irritating events because everyone seems to act like "hey, everything is better after a drink!" I can't imagine adults acting a lot of ways but I see a goodly amount of tomfoolery that makes me want to move to an atoll.

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  6. Oh - meant to add this - last night I made your maple peanut butter chicken recipe you posted a picture of yesterday. I played fast and loose with the recipe since I didn't have pineapple sauce or maple peanut butter (pineapple juice and sugar free pancake syrup instead) but it came out great. Even hubby and the boy liked it. I'll totally be making it again.

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    1. YAY! So glad you guys liked it! The sauce is so easy and not one you have to babysit which is good by me! :-)

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  7. I have a family member who is basically an alcoholic and it's almost as if he's offended that I don't drink, yet he is very much one of the reasons why I don't. I watched him nearly die from alcohol poisoning when I was 11 and he was 16 and that wasn't enough for him but it was a big learning experience for me.

    I should say that there are also plenty of people who do support us but it is just odd that we run into so many people who cannot understand why we don't imbibe and almost get offended by us for not doing so. The Mrs. is right saying that it would almost be easier to say that we are recovering alcoholics as that might somehow be more acceptable to some of the people.

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    1. Yep, I have several in the family too which also served as a model of what not to do. Obviously we wouldn't ever go to the extremes they did/do but we're also not going to do something we don't like just for the sake of doing it no matter what the situation. Luckily we have a few close friends that don't give a crap one way or the other.

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  8. I drink but I still love you if you don't drink. I feel like society is kind of shaped that 'everybody' drinks. It's more normal to drink (probably to excess most of the time) so to hear someone say they just don't like it so they don't is more rare. My family are not drinkers so I didn't grow up with it. My parents don't really drink, my dad will have a beer from time to time. My sister and brother-in-law don't drink. My first job, my first boss out of college he didn't like to drink so he didn't. His wife does and he hosts tailgates for football games but never drinks himself. It's a personal choice and I think the people getting defensive are the ones that probably have a potential issue with their drinking.

    So for me you weren't the first people I knew who just didn't like to drink so I guess in my world it isn't as rare as it might be in the general population. It's definitely an interesting observation I never really thought of before.

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    1. "I feel like society is kind of shaped that 'everybody' drinks." That has definitely been our experience. It's like I don't want to drink myself but as long as someone keeps it to a few drinks and doesn't start acting weird, I'm good with it. We had the Mr's milestone bday party at a park because alcohol isn't permitted and didn't want the day spoiled by it because some people were coming who could put it away if given the opportunity. When it's about us (ie- birthdays, wedding) we'll always choose no alcohol at the party (or tell people BYOB) because it's "our" day but when it's about entertaining others (ie- football game, party, etc) we'll ask the people we know drink what their preferences are for drinks.

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  9. Very strange. I can't imagine why anyone would care if someone else isn't drinking. I have a drink or two when I'm out, usually one beer or wine with dinner or a drink or two at a bar where I'm singing karaoke or listening to live music--the only reasons I go to one. But I don't even notice when someone else isn't drinking and would never dream of judging them for it. Why? What's the point? I only notice when someone's drunk, which I don't care for. That's not something I do...mature people know their limits.

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    1. I can't either but it seems to be like people think we're making some kind of snobby statement. Uh no...I'm cheap, I don't like the taste and I'm not going to drink my calories. Yeah, I'd like to think most people wouldn't judge someone else for not drinking but it's become such a social thing that it apparently gives the illusion we're anti-social or something.

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  10. We drink, but 8 out of 10 times, I am the designated driver. My husband cares more about to than I do. In our group of manly men, construction workers and race car drivers, it is pretty much a given there is gong to be drinking but there are lots of people who don't and that's fine. In my family, we have drinkers and non drinkers, recovering acoholics and those who should NEVER drink again but there is no judgement about it. It is rare that hubs and I drink at home. My daughter bartends so Friday nights we will go see her and have one. Again, I'm the DD. Sometimes being the sober one is a drag because you are really just waiting for them to be done. You are not on that same level and it can be annoying.

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    1. Good for you for being the DD. I know it can be a bummer but it is so important there is one so everyone gets home safe.

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  11. I'll have a drink occasionally, but I know plenty of people who never drink. We just always make sure to have lots of drink options (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) on hand when guests come over so that they can take their pick. It's no big deal to us, but I've definitely seen the type of people/behavior you're talking about.

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    1. Okay, I was beginning to wonder if we were now the only people who saw this kind of behavior! LOL Any friends that come over, I'll ask if they want me to pick something up and they always say no but I tell them if they want something specific, feel free to pick up their own alcohol if they change their mind. I think only once has someone actually done it.

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  12. Screw 'em! If they're friends, it shouldn't matter, and if they're strangers, they don't need to be friends! You are who you are, and that's good enough. By the way, nearly did a spit take on the "smell like an armpit." I know that smell... too many college friends were stoners... I know it all too well...

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    1. Word up sistah! LOL...yeah the armpit thing is just the stench I always remember when people smoked that stuff. I'd have friends in bands and go over and be like "how much pot did you smoke!?!" and they'd act like they hadn't and I'd laugh and say "you smell like a walking armpit, don't insult me!"

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  13. I rarely if ever drank until after I had my third daughter...yep...that was the tipping point. Mommy drinks because you cry is one of my favorite things to laugh about. I'm in no way blaming her, just an uncanny coincidence??? hahahahaha :)

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    1. ROFL! You're so bad! Hey, I think 3 kids especially if they're very young could make any mama want to tip one back on occasion. ;-) Hats off to the moms, yo!

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  14. I don't drink either...not that I don't have an occasional drink - I just really don't care about it for the most part. And now that I'm trying to lose weight, I never want to waste the calories. But I had my fair share of drinking to the point of puking back in the day and I think that's what did it for me - I don't like not feeling in control of myself, so drinking is usually out. :-)

    But hey - you know they have a name for not drinking or doing drugs, right? It's called Straight Edge! See, you're actually so cool you have a nifty title!!! :-)

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    1. Exactly. I'm not down with drinking my calories in any form. (I so rarely drink pop but when I do I think "is 140 calories of crap that's going to make me belch really worth it?"

      Straight edge? Ooh, it makes me sound dangerous and mysterious! I'll take it!

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  15. I'm in my early 30's & I've never been a drinker either! I just wasn't into the partying thing in college & now I just don't really care anything about the taste of alcohol or how much it costs. I don't mind that people do drink (as long as they're not nuts with it) & I'll occasionally taste someone's drink, but I could care less if I ever have alcohol again. I know I was the big nerd in high school/college for not drinking, but it doesn't seem to be to big of a deal now.

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    1. Me either. I always felt like an outsider in high school for sure because I didn't do any of that stuff but if I had to do all of it to "fit in" those weren't the people I wanted to hang out with anyway. So..."nerds" unite! ;-)

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  16. I am not a drinker either. I grew up with my father drinking every night. I can remember being a child on our way home from grandma's house and making myself stay awake so that I could be sure we made it home ok.
    I didn't drink at all during school. I drank one night after the place I work at suddenly was shut down while we were all there. We went out that night and I drank a whole bottle of this screwdriver stuff. I got so sick from that! I was 19. I haven't liked the taste of alcohol since. I will go to wine tastings. I have had a slushy fruity drink on vacation, but thats about it. My husband will drink on occasion, but a 12 pack of Bud Light will last over a year in our house.
    I am very pleased that my kids have grown up knowing you don't need to drink to have a good time. I can't stand drunk people.

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    1. I had family members who would drive me home after babysitting their kids and feeling like I would kiss the ground if I made it home alive. That along with how stupid people act and the things they said were enough to make me run the other way. It takes good kids to stand up to that kind of peer pressure (and trust me, there likely is even if they don't say it) so good on ya for raising kids that can make their own decisions on that!

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  17. I don't drink often, when I'm at events were most people are drinking alcohol I nearly always have diet pop. I drink so rarely that sometimes I get comments when I do have a drink. I never drink to fit in, or to belong. I never feel pressured to drink by peers, either.

    I do attend work parties and events where alcohol is served, my business is built on relationships, and relationship building happens outside of the office. THBS, it doesn't mean I drink when I attend events.

    I have never gotten a raised eyebrow or an eye roll or a comment when I have ordered a diet Coke, it's hard for me to understand that you've gotten enough negative feedback from not drinking to write an entire blog post on it.

    I live in area with many little breweries and brew pubs, and this is the age of the craft cocktail. I attend many parties with alcohol, and I never get comments.

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    1. I'm glad to hear you haven't had the same experiences we have. Some people just don't know when to keep their opinions to themselves. But you know what they say about opinions and everyone having one. ;-)

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  18. My hubby doesn't drink but I do. None of our friends our heavy drinkers so it's not really an issue for him. He just knows he's the DD if I drink while we are out. I can see where dealing with over-imbibers is a problem, though. I wonder how many of the people giving you the most push-back are the ones with the biggest problem. In my small group of moderate drinkers, it's not an issue.

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    1. That's good that he's the DD so you can have a few if you feel like it. I wonder the same things about the people being the pushiest. I jokingly said one time "the first step is admitting you have a problem" and the look on their face was rather priceless given all the tude I'd just gotten from them.

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  19. Neither my husband or I drink. My husband used to quite a bit, and I went thru a period when I turned 21 where I did for about 6mths. My father died from scerosis of the liver from drinking when he was 46. So when I met my husband, he pretty much stopped drinking because he knew that it wasn't something that I would get myself into since I had seen it firsthand growing up, what it can do to you. I also have never smoked or done drugs. My husband does do dip, but as that doesn't affect the rest of us, I'm fine with it. My husband gets flack for not drinking, but I never have.

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    1. So sorry to hear about your dad. Things like the can certainly influence us as we go through our own lives.

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  20. I used to occasionally have a glass of wine or a fruity drink but I can't anymore. When I drink my IBS is soooo bad I'm miserable! Fortunately I have great friends who could care less if I drink. I find that people that "have" to drink to have fun aren't really all that fun.

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    1. I completely agree. I usually say "would you want to see this personality on alcohol? I think not!" It can be a good buffer.

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  21. I used to drink but haven't in several years. My hubs is an alcoholic and has had a very long and hard road of recovery, which is literally one day at a time. He may choose to drink again or he may not; either way it's his choice to make and not mine to judge. We have family members who've lost their lives to alcohol and I have deeply personal feelings about it. Spending so much time in Al-Anon taught me so much about alcoholism that most people would never consider. I have friends who will have some drinks when we go out and when I don't drink they assume it's because of my husband. Actually, it's nothing to do with him at all...it's my choice. I was going down a rough road and by the grace of God chose to not continue. I'm very comfortable with my choices and don't blink an eye to others' choices and I don't feel the need to over explain myself. And it amazes me how much it's like that with food as well. People will make those very same comments you listed when it comes to sweets, snacks and other food! What tends to shut them up rather quickly is when I say, "I don't want to take that first compulsive bite, so I'm good for now, thanks." Most people don't understand "compulsion" (how very similar to alcohol and that "first compulsive sip") so they have no idea how to respond. Then they slink away like they might catch this compulsion thing like it's the chicken pox! It cracks me up every time! When people getting pushy like that, it's a good way to make them back off. I'm just astounded at how many people out there are so judgmental of others' choices. There's no need to give back story, but people don't seem to understand that. No means no, plain and simple.

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    1. I'm astounded as well. It's like "hello, live your own life please and keep your judgment outta mine!"

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  22. I've never had anything alcoholic, but I live in Utah, where the LDS(Mormon) religion is so dominant that not drinking is not unusual at all. I am LDS, but even if I wasn't, I don't think I would drink. I'm uber picky with food and even more so with drinks! Beer smells simply terrible! I can't handle carbonation well, so I rarely have soda, and I don't like fruit juices either. Although I also don't like drinking my calories (except milk, I LOVE milk), my not drinking isn't a religious or health reason ... it's I just don't think I'd like the taste at all!

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    1. Beer smells like rump. I don't know how people drink it but it seems to be popular. Anything that makes my forehead furrow isn't something I want to drink and that describes about every alcoholic drink I've ever had. LOL

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  23. During nice weather, a lot of my neighbors will congregate in the street for drinks. I usually partake, but on the instances that I choose not to drink, I definitely feel pressured to change my mind. They ask me why I'm not drinking, suggest I have one drink, etc. It does make me feel uncomfortable because I feel that I can still hold a good conversation and be a fun person even if I'm the only one not drinking. It is so strange to see this type of peer pressure among adults.

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    1. It is very strange to see this kind of peer pressure from adults. I thought I graduated high school a while back but apparently not.

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  24. I don't drink- simply because I don't like the taste! When I was newly married (and had just come back from my honeymoon on a "party" cruise ship) I was sitting in the jury box when they were making selections on a drunk driving case. We were asked if any of us did NOT drink. I raised my hand. The judge asked me the last time I drank. I couldn't remember, and told him that I'd just come back from my honeymoon. I was excused first by the defense!

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    1. I'm with ya, it tastes gross. Wow, I wouldn't have thought it would make a difference on a jury! That's kind of insane!

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  25. Sounds familiar. My husband and I do not drink--he has never ever tasted it and I tried it in the teen years and hated it. I don't understand why people feel I need to join in either. When I visited my sis, she tried her darndest to find a drink I would like. They all sat untouched until she finally made me a "virgin" drink in a wine glass so I would look like I was drinking and "fit in" with everyone else. It was mighty tasty but I would have been fine drinking it from a plastic cup with a big "NON-ALCOHOLIC" label as well. Don't get it...

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  26. The only time my husband or I have any type of alcoholic beverage is when we go on a cruise. We like fruity drinks. I will normally have one per day just because they taste good. I hate anything strong. This past year, I got all virgin drinks since I am pregnant, but they were way too sweet. I found myself wondering if the fruity drinks are normally that sweet with the alcohol in them. I don't know. For our wedding all we had was tea, punch, and water. There were a couple of people who asked about alcohol, but we didn't want to have people drinking and driving. If you want to drink and drive, you have to be the one responsible, not me. I just hate that. I have never been one who really liked alcohol, and I am glad that it's not something that I have to do. I am also glad that my husband doesn't like to drink either. No beer, wine coolers, wine, or all of that other stuff for us. We normally drink water and sometimes orange and apple juice.
    It's a little annoying when people ask, "What, you don't drink?" I always say, "Not unless I want to."

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  27. I don't drink either. Well, that's not totally true--I maybe drink 3 or 4 times a year. I just can't get over the taste. If I were to drink, it would be kind of the way you drink prescription cough syrup--it doesn't taste good, so you just choke it down because you know you'll feel better afterwards. And it doesn't really seem particularly healthy to drink something I don't like the taste of just so I can feel relaxed or get drunk, you know? I do love me some mimosas and Sprine (AKA wine mixed with Sprite, which is kind of my signature trashy drink) though.

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