Home for the Holidays?

I was somewhat surprised to learn this year that the night before Thanksgiving is the biggest drunk-driving holiday in the U.S., beating out both New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s day. There’s even a term for it: Blackout Wednesday. The winter drinking doesn’t stop there, though. I’m super lucky and have two more holidays to grapple with this week, Hanukkah and Christmas. Hanukkah will be a mostly home-centered affair, and I’ve stocked up on some good old Welch’s grape juice (who knew that was kosher?) to drink over blessings. Christmas, on the other hand, will be an extended family affair, and it’s one that I’m not well-known for staying sober during.

Like many of us I have a difficult relationship with a lot of my extended family. It’s something I’ve spent the past few years attempting to restore, but I wouldn’t say that I’m a hundred percent there, emotionally. So when my counselor asked yesterday what my plan was, for dealing with the upcoming get-togethers I stared at her much like a deer caught upin the headlights on a dark country road.

Plan? “Well, I considered coming down with the flu,” I half-joked.

She laughed. “Look, I don’t usually condone lying,” she said. “But I will say that as far as reasons not to drink go people seem not to argue with someone who’s abstaining because they’re taking some medication that may interact poorly. I don’t know why. I don’t know why saying, ‘look, I’m trying to cut down or quit for my health,” doesn’t go over when, ‘oh I’m taking antibiotics,’ does.” She shrugged. “But people don’t seem to argue with that one.”

“Especially strange since I know exactly no one who’s ever passed up a drink because they actually were taking antibiotics,” I said. “But maybe that’s just the circles I hang around in.”

So that got me thinking about other “excuses” one could give, for not drinking, if being pestered by nosy family or friends. Here’s the list of ten excuses for not drinking that I came up with. What did I miss?

  1. Can’t, I’m driving. Sweet and simple, and no one can really argue it without looking like a massive tool.
  2. I’m trying to lose a few pounds. Who isn’t, right? Most people can commiserate with the idea of abstaining from calories.
  3. I’ve got an early morning tomorrow and need to be on my A game. May not work with holiday schedules.
  4. I’m pregnant. Bonus points if you’re a dude.
  5. Gave it up for Lent. You’re Jewish? Great, they won’t know that it’s not the right time of year.
  6. I lost a bet. Bet was that you couldn’t not drink, right?
  7. I gave it up this month for charity. Wanna sponsor me? Watch them grab their wallets and run.
  8. No thanks, I’ve moved on to harder drugs. DARE was right about that gateway thing!
  9. Dude, I’m still drunk from last night, I need to re-hydrate first. Hey, it’s been true, right?
  10. Look, I’m thinking about converting to Mormonism. Let me tell you the good news…

(Read on Medium.com)

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