If you’re not a drinker, then like me, you’ve probably been there. Oh you know, the house party, the watermelon eating, joke cracking backyard barbecue or a local hangout with an awesome band playing anything from Adele to Bob Marley. Did I mention that we’re in The Bahamas where sun, sand and sea is accessorize with gin and coconut water, locally known as Sky Juice. I know…Sky Juice, the name kind of sums it up. So, everyone orders his or her drink of choice because you just can’t hangout or have fun without alcohol (note my sarcasm here). The host or bartender serves up the alcohol infused concoction which can range anywhere from a glass of wine, to gin and tonic, or a mixologist special that will pave the way for jet fuel to get on the beverage menu.

 

Then just like that all eyes are on me.

 

“What are you gonna have?” asks the friend who becomes a mercurial spawn of the devil after downing a few beers.

 

I coolly reply, “Do you have lemonade…or fruit punch will be fine too but preferably lemonade”, my gaze directed to the server.

 

“BORING!” yells spawn of the devil my friend who has not quite had enough to begin the spawning process.

 

Nonetheless, it annoys me, irritates me even…to the core of my alcohol-starved liver!

 

Here’s my issue with the response to my beverage of choice. If you’re my friend, shouldn’t you just accept me for who I am? Actually if you’re REALLY my friend you would be quite aware of the reasons why I don’t care for alcohol.

 

By the way, is there a law of nature that says one must pump alcohol into one’s system to get the fun engine to output? Actually, I’ve seen quite the opposite.

 

The music is just right, your feet is trying to keep up with your hips, everyone’s laughing and dancing the night into a tiresome morning. Just then, Cognac Cletus starts a brawl because someone stepped on his toe… by accident! I’ve actually seen people become animals.

 

Can you count the Kalik beer bottles?

Can you count the Kalik beer bottles?

 

Alcohol? No thank you.

 

Now, this is not to say that all consumers of this “mood enhancer” behave this way. There are people responsible enough to know their limits and quit before Bubba begins to look like wife material.

 

Somehow, I can’t help but get the feeling that if there’s a non-alcohol drinker in the group, the others feel out-of-place and hence the negative reaction.

 

I am not judging you!!

 

Look, if it makes you feel better, here’s why I don’t particularly care for alcohol.

 

When I was a child, I spent the summers with an aunt who happened to live above a bar. I would watch the neighborhood men go into the bar at the end of a workday. They would wave hello to me as I people watched from the balcony. Real friendly, neighborhood folks. A couple of hours later, these seemingly nice family men would emerge a completely different person, falling all over the street, swearing and getting into fights. It was quite scary to me. It’s like they had no control over what they were doing or who they had become. I still find a drunk frightening and I’m never comfortable around one. You just never know what you’ll get with someone who has no control over his or her actions.

 

This next point is sensitive so I’ll make it short. At about the age of 8 years old, I can graphically recall, another aunts alcoholic boyfriend bashing her face in, in a drunken stupor. I sometimes look at the scar on her face that highlights where steel supports a once broken jaw. I picture little me from the waist down, barefoot in my Care Bear nightgown, making my way in the night lit only by the street lamps. I tried to keep up with my older cousin as she headed to the pay phone down the street to call for help. Like my aunt, this also scarred me. Only, mine is unseen.

 

Are you ready for reason number three? Here goes…I JUST DON’T LIKE IT! Are we not allowed in this free world to choose what we will or will not consume? My body is a temple for the one who created it. Therefore, I try to be mindful of the choices I make. Not to mention this body now reacts quite negatively to alcohol, rejecting it even, eliminating any thought of the rare, occasional Sangria or Pimm’s Cup.

 

Bottom line, get to know someone and the reasons for their choices before labeling them. Besides, if you need alcohol to bring out the fun in you, to get the party going, one would think that you’re the bore in need of a shot of fun or personality. You, however, make the mistake in thinking that ‘liquid courage’ is the lift that you need. Well here are a few words of wisdom so that you may not be deceived.

 

Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise. –Proverbs 20:1

Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks. Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down. For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper. You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things. You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast. And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even know it when they beat me up. 
When will I wake up so I can look for another drink?” –Proverbs 23: 29-35

Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit…-Ephesians 5:18

 

May I add that I have been known to shut the dance floor down in my day with just a cup of Sprite (in my best old lady’s voice). I don’t judge you in your alcohol induced walking coma, so let me be with my lemonade please. If you’re finding that difficult to do please note that I love you but we don’t NEED to hangout together. We are not birds of a feather.

 

Accept others for who they are. Live in love, not in the bottle.

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