DEAR ABBY: I am a non-drinker. I don't like the taste of alcohol, and I prefer to remain sober.
Why is such a big deal made about alcohol and who's drinking? I attended a friend's birthday luncheon, and she apologized to the group for NOT drinking, saying she'd had enough partying the night before. Another time I went to a bar with a boyfriend to see a band perform. His friends -- all of them "buzzed," by the way -- asked me repeatedly why I wasn't drinking. This isn't the only time my choice to abstain has been questioned and scrutinized.
To me it makes no difference whether it's vodka or water in a glass. In a restaurant that served meat, you wouldn't question the food choices of a vegetarian, would you? Drinkers should mind their own (beverage) business. Their concern ought only to be whether I am social, not whether I'm imbibing or not. Thanks, Abby, for letting me vent. -- SOBER IN SCOTTSDALE
DEAR SOBER: When a non-drinker turns down alcohol, I suspect it makes the drinkers either curious or slightly uncomfortable because they imagine, in their "relaxed" state, that they are being examined -- and possibly judged -- by someone who is stone cold sober. As to the birthday girl who felt she had to offer an apology or explanation for not drinking, she may have done it out of concern that turning down the alcohol might make the guests feel less inclined to order it themselves.
Readers, there's usually a good reason why a person doesn't drink. It can range from being on a medication where it's contraindicated, a problem metabolizing it or an addiction. So don't question non-drinkers about their choice, and don't push the person to have "just one." You've heard of BYOB? Well, MYOB.