Oh, I love it when people try to tell me how to live my life. I’m sure that’s a number one favourite with all of you..
In these days when choice is all around us, there seems to be a general shepherding towards certain sets of choices. Or perhaps I’m being paranoid. That actually wouldn’t surprise me, but it’s kept me alive and safe this long, so I’m not about to bad-mouth paranoia any time soon!
Little known fact: vampires cannot metabolise alcohol. Anyone that tells you they can is either a poser, faking, or just hopeful. Hence that saucy line in Dracula “I never drink… wine.” Bram Stoker was spot on with that little chestnut. To give you an example… there was one place I worked where everyone knew I didn’t drink alcohol. They certainly didn’t know the real reasons why, or I doubt I would ever have gotten the job!
Anyway, we had a particularly good day, and the boss decided we needed to celebrate. She brought in bottles of wine for everybody and a bottle of ‘alcohol free’ wine for me. The bottle said it was alcohol free, so why should she think any differently? I was extremely wary, but felt that I should least have a sip of the stuff. Tip: don’t bother with alcohol free wine – it smells disgusting; it tastes worse.
So, I had the obligatory sip. In fact, it was hardly even a sip. It barely touched my lips before my head felt like it was about to explode. You know all the stuff in films about making vampires explode? That’s where it comes from! After a matter of seconds I was on the verge of asking someone to put me out of my misery because I was in that much pain. I then checked the bottle… ‘alcohol content less than 0.01%’.
Alcohol free my backside!
Fast forward to today. A friend posts a news article about an alcohol-free bar opening in London. She sounds excited. I voice a wish that we had one where I live. A ‘friend’ of hers is quite vociferous in her disgust at this coming to pass, and tells me that I should ‘just go to an ordinary pub and order a fruit juice’.
Genius! Why didn’t I think of that?! That’s the answer to every non-drinker’s prayers! Oh thank you, Wise One, for sprinkling your fulsome knowledge upon us.
Oh wait a minute…
Now I remember…
I don’t go to pubs because they smell.
I don’t go to pubs because non-alcoholic drinks are horrendously over-priced.
I don’t go to pubs because I do not appreciate being treated like a recovering alcoholic or an eight-year old, just because I’m not having ‘what everyone else is having’.
And I don’t go to pubs because sadly in today’s culture, where I live, most people do not go to pubs for a quiet drink – they go to get as drunk as they can, as fast as they can. And hilarity ensues. Which, of course, it doesn’t. People are loud, obnoxious, quick to cry or fight, and I cannot protect myself from all the slurry whizzing around in their addled brains. Their thoughts are painful…
But mostly, it’s the smell.
So, why in a world where apparently I can choose to do or be anything I want, I am not allowed to choose where I want to go to enjoy myself? Or is it perhaps that my choices will only be approved if they conform to certain societal trends? Can a person ever choose to abstain from certain behaviours without being vilified? Apparently not, it seems.
So, tell me again how I should live my life. Pfft. Better still, why not recommend a few favourite watering holes? I may feel like popping out for a bite to drink one evening..!
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