With each passing year comes a massive worldwide celebration as generations watch the clock tick by. Cities across the planet while away the hours in their own special celebrations. Friends and family gather. A colossal ball drops at midnight in Manhattan, then repeats again and again in the various time zones across the United States.
There are parties, kisses welcoming in the new year and, according to alchol.org, an average of 4.4 drinks consumed within a single evening.
While engaging in the festivities, it's easy to find it odd when other people decide not to join in. Though you may question why anyone would choose to stay dry, please remember the following seven ideas, on tonight and every special occasion you're in the company of a teetotaler:
1. Yes, we do exist. No, it isn't weird.
Maybe alcoholism runs in our family. Maybe we've seen a family member or close friend deal with the negative consequences of drinking. Maybe we swore in our journals at fifteen that we would never drink because of it. Maybe we're recovering alcoholics. Maybe we hate the taste of alcohol. Maybe that Shirley Temple or virgin strawberry daiquiri looks refreshing. Maybe we do drink, but aren't interested in a morning hangover. Whatever the reason, there is never a reason for you to ask the reason. If a teetotaler volunteers the information, that is a different story.
2. But you're missing out on the fun. Are we? Have you ever been in a room full of people enjoying a drink while you're the only sober one? You don't have to walk fully clothed through a fountain after one glass too many of wine to enjoy yourself.
3. How can you have fun if you don't drink? Easy. There's board games, puzzles, this lovely idea called a conversation. But how can you travel Europe without drinking? How can you enjoy Epcot Food & Wine? Because there's food. That in itself is glorious, especially from the rare Scotland or Greece stand. And as far as travelling, it's fabulous to remember every single second of your experience.
4. Are you telling me you seriously lived in Ireland and didn't drink once? Okay, first of all, you're perpetuating the stereotype mostly driven by Hollywood and a history of Irish-American over-alcohol consumption that every single person in Ireland drinks, which fits 4.8 million people in one box and completely ignores the history of alcoholism that many Irish families are well acquainted with and may try to avoid themselves...
5. One drink won't hurt. It might. Why take the chance?
6. But I'm Christian/Catholic/Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist/Sikh/Jewish and I drink. Good on you, mate. Why do you assume anyone's desire to avoid alcohol has to be a religious reason? And, if it is because of a religious reason, what's it to you? Also, don't be offended if you were simply making conversation by asking what we were drinking and received an automatic response of "I don't drink." We're used to it.
7. So you're judging me right now? No. I don't care if you drink. Enjoy. We'll be over here with our carbonated beverages or our waters.