Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Teetotaler Takes Heat from Coworkers

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: About six months ago I moved to a new city for my job. It’s a start-up tech company made up of twenty-somethings like me.

My coworkers like to drink hard, especially on the weekends. I have gone out with them a few times, but don’t enjoy it very much because they rag on me about not drinking and think I’m a whuss.

Back home and in college, all my friends knew I don’t drink, mostly because of a family history of alcoholism, including both my parents and my older sister.

I don’t want to tell my coworkers about my family, because I don’t think they would understand. But I am running out of excuses and feel bad about always putting them off, especially since these guys are the only people I know here.

Do I tell them why I don’t drink, or just keep finding excuses not to join them? --- NON-DRINKER IN A DRINKING WORLD

DEAR NON-DRINKER: You have an excellent reason ─ not just an excuse ─ to take a pass on drinking, and I see no reason for your not sharing it with your coworkers. Even if they don’t fully understand, you would no longer have to dodge them outside the office.

Another thing you should consider is widening your social circle in your new city. Pursue some of your own interests and you might just make some new friends who are into the same things you are.

Need advice? Please send your questions to Someone Else’s Mom at