Monday, December 14, 2009
Party time of year
"The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power. "
It's a partying time of year. The problem is that most of the parties are inundated with alcohol. It seems that socializing has to include alcohol as the main way of celebrating. I have no problem going to these, having a beer, and then stopping. But for my wife, the parties aren't appealing. I have to admit that once people start becoming sloppy, I cease to enjoy the party and take my leave.
She avoided the annual laboratory Christmas party this year because there is a lot of drinking and a lot of pressure from those who she used to drink with. She doesn't want to answer questions about why she isn't drinking. A good friend of mine who is a recovering alcoholic has a great response when asked to have a drink. He simply says: "I've had enough". And in his day, I suppose that was the truth!
We did go to a wine and cheese party on Friday night and took along some non-alcoholic sparkling cider. The couple who hosted know that C. doesn't drink. But I remember the first time that we went to a party there at Halloween and one of them said, "Oh that's right, you don't drink." Unfortunately, that kind of comment generally comes out being insensitive even though it isn't meant to be. I'm thankful though that no one was pushing alcohol which can happen. I know that at one time, I just didn't get it either. I would actually say to someone, "Oh come on, have just a little wine." What an idiot I was!
So on Friday when the conversation inevitably turned to the excitement of drinking and people were starting to get bleary eyed, we said our polite good byes. C. said that she doesn't feel the need to drink but that she no longer wants to be around people who are drunk. We both enjoy socializing and have no desire to isolate. I'm glad that we can have fun during the holidays but can also make a decision that once the socializing becomes an excuse to get drunk, neither of us want to hang around for that.