Today is Day 83 of this alcohol-free journey. Honestly, I had no idea how many days it’s been since that last sip of wine. I had to look it up on the phone app I downloaded on or about Day 3. The app keeps track of the number of days, as well as how much money I’ve saved. So, to date, it’s 83 days and 581 dollars.
Having that 581 dollars in my bank account seems like a pretty good answer to the question I get every time I take a pass on an alcoholic beverage.
During the last 83 days, we have been pretty isolated from people. We’ve seen a few friends in the last month or so, but, for the most part, I haven’t had to answer the why question too many times. But, the thing is: I’ve had to answer it every time.
And I wonder, why? Why do I have to offer a reason for quitting? Like what I’m doing is just so crazy that there just has to be a logical reason for doing it? Why do people need to know?
And, more incredulously, why, when I give a reason, do some feel the need to people mock my reason? Scoff at my personal decision to give up drinking. They do, and they have. And… more will. They want to know why, and then if it’s not a reason that they’re expecting or that works for them, they dismiss it.
Which is why… you really don’t need to know why. My why is my own.
I have several friends who are vegetarians, and when they made that choice, I never asked them why. It’s really none of my business why. It’s a decision they made for their own personal reasons. I would never say to them “Oh come on, just one bite of steak. One bite won’t hurt you.” I would never challenge their lifestyle decision. And I support them when they visit my home — ensuring I have meat-free options.
I know that as we venture back out into our social circles, I will attract curious looks and unsettled reactions when I pass the wine bottle to the left or the right without pouring a glass for myself. I’ve already experienced the negative comments when I gave up beer last year. I heard the “Oh, come on, don’t be a party-pooper,” and have had to explain, to incredulous listeners, that I was doing “no beer for a year.” And even then, I had to explain why I would do that. It got old. Very quickly.
Here’s a why question: Why is it socially acceptable to put someone on the spot for not drinking?
But here’s the thing: I don’t care if you drink. I really and truly don’t. So why should you care if I don’t? Why does the WHY matter? I don’t ask people why they drink. I don’t ask them why they drink beer versus wine. I don’t ask them how much they drink or when they started drinking. I. Don’t. Care.