So, there’s something I must confess to my readers. I am a teetotaler. Let me give you a moment to:
1). Click and look up the word, if you don’t know the meaning, and
2). Get over your initial shock
The other night’s festivities (St. Patrick’s Day), my birthday aside, left me questioning whether or not I should start partaking in the “spirits.” (Ironic, isn’t it, considering I was born on the day with perhaps the heaviest alcohol consumption in the U.S. – something my friends have always lamented because I’ve avoided bars on my birthday). While I haven’t disclosed my age (I won’t, but assume I’m “legal”), not a single person who does know my age hasn’t been absolutely floored when I tell them I’ve never had a drop of alcohol. Reactions have ranged from quizzically puzzled to outright disbelief and momentary disability.
Here are some typical first responses:
1. “Is it due to medical reasons?”
2. “Is it due to religious beliefs?”
3. “Are you against drinking?”
4. “But, you’re such a foodie!!”
5. Simply, “How?” (my favorite)
Here have been my answers (in brief):
2. “No. Well, sort of – but not really.”
3. “No. I object only if it is willfully abused.”
4. “I know. But, on the upside, I do save a lot of money.” (to which my inquisitor registers some admiration and personal regret)
5. “Easy, my parents never drank, so I never was tempted. Also, I saw a lot of alcohol abuse among my peers and was, quite frankly, turned off by it. In fact, my distaste for the activity of drinking grew as I entered into the college days where binge drinking was very prevalent.”
There you have it – the whys and wherefores of the Ulterior Epicure’s abstinence.
So, I’ve been seriously contemplating on starting to consume alcohol – principally wines. Really, #4 above has haunted me… it is true – I think that my gustatory pleasures would be greatly enhanced by wine. Intimidation aside, cost is a prohibitive factor.
However, for all the reasons I have not consumed alcohol, none remain that constrain me – other than the novelty of being able to claim I don’t drink at all. And, really, that’s all that it comes down to… virgin pride…