By Olivia Pan
I just disclosed in this article’s title that I do not drink alcohol. I have not recently left rehab nor do I come from a traumatic childhood with a history of addiction, though my mother, who is a yoga health nut, would rather sever a limb than give up wine or champagne. So, no I don’t have prohibition parents either. Rather, I don’t feel the need or desire right now to drink.
Obviously there are binge drinkers, moderate drinkers, and people like myself who simply abstain. However, at times, when I tell new college acquaintance that I do not drink, the air temperature drops more than a few degrees. It is akin to a scene from “The Exorcist” when the possessed kid’s breath is visible. Typically, I get a “that’s cool” from some people and then lack of eye contact all together. Suddenly I have become uncool, not fun, and not social enough.
Although I feel that others often make assumptions and judgments about non-drinkers, especially in college, I am fairly neutral about those who choose to partake in drinking. Ok, let me qualify that just a bit. For the girls I bumped into who were puking up an organ last week splayed out on the bathroom floor incoherently rambling, you might want to dial back that alcohol consumption just a touch or at least pace yourselves.
First, do you have any idea how filthy that floor is? That fact alone would keep me from going on a binge drinking bender. Lying on a fecal and urine stained floor holds little appeal to me or anyone else. However like sheep to the slaughter some people feel they must drink copious amounts of alcohol and end their evening on the sad, dirty floor over the dirtier bowl.
Let’s talk about that toilet bowl. When the evening started you were likely perfumed, freshly showered, and maybe even laying toilet paper on that bowl to protect you from its germy, unhygienic cooties. I know girls must be doing this, because the floor is always covered in toilet paper. Either that or no one can actually get the toilet paper in the toilet bowl due to some mental or physical challenge. A few hours later, after some “socializing,” you are hugging that dirty bowl like it is Harry Styles or Bradley Cooper… to each her own, just offering choices.
It is odd to me that my choice not to drink can make some people feel uncomfortable around me. This is not high school; we all have to acknowledge that everyone has different perspectives and habits. Thus, if I can step over you and the person holding your hair in the bathroom and be cool, you should be able to deal with my decision to stay sober. To all those who drink, be happy us non-drinkers exist. We will make sure you get home with your wallet, crossbody bag, new Sephora lipstick, and more importantly, your reputation intact. Yes, I said it.
It is not victim blaming to take steps to protect yourself or others from becoming a victim; it is self-imposed common sense. If being sober is not an option for you, binge drinking is not the only option left. It simply puts you at risk whether you are male or female. So, next time someone tells you they don’t drink, don’t jump to the conclusion they are uncool and not fun. Maybe they did overcome a problem with addiction. Maybe they are the funniest person in the room with no booze in their system at all. Maybe they have a health issue or take medication that prohibits them from drinking. They might even have the confidence to walk into a huge rave sober. Granted, they don’t call it liquid courage for nothing!