At work, every Friday, something called ‘The Beer Trolly’ comes round to our desks. The trolly offers up the chance to purchase beer, cider, or wine, to help see in the weekend after a hard week. The first time the trolly approached me, I asked for a Sprite, or a Ginger Beer. The man pushing the trolly said to me: “Sorry, we only serve alcohol”.
Needless to say, I went on a little bit of a rant wondering why I had to travel 4 floors down to the cafeteria to ask for a sprite, when everyone else could have their beer and drink it without getting up. I’m now planning a tactile email approach asking (perhaps demand that) facilities to take pity on the non-drinkers of the company. Perhaps its only me, it really does feel like it!
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to me since I stopped drinking. More so than often, I’m greeted with a look of disgust for daring to ask for an EANAB (an Equally Attractive Non-Alcoholic Beverage) in a bar or from someone.
Not so long ago, my sister and I went for a Sunday Roast at a pub down in South London. I ordered a pint of Orange Juice & Lemonade and the barman said to me: “You can’t come into a pub and ask for that, I’m only going to serve you alcohol”. I laughed at him, but insisted on my pint of OJ. Reluctantly, he served it to me, handing it over with a wise-crack about me needing to live dangerously. Looking back, perhaps he was trying to flirt or something, or perhaps I’d offended him. I don’t know. Either way, I came away thinking: why is it such a big deal!? Was he working on commission?
Then there was the time when a guy approached me on a night out, an offered me a drink. He seemed like a nice enough guy, so I said alright, and asked for a cranberry juice. His response?
“You need a proper drink”.
“No no, its ok, I’m not drinking tonight)”
“Go on, let me get you a drink”
“Really, I’m fine!”
“You will be after this, go on drink it” and he promptly handed me a shot of tequila.
“No thank you.”
*F*ck you’re a real bore aren’t you!?”
I walked away, and then had to deal with him following me around all night, staring me out with disapproving looks… it was really weird, and actually became quite the comedy. Why was he wasting his night, and his time, trying to mess with me?
Time and time again, I’m left with this question: why does it matter to you if I don’t drink? What exactly IS the problem? I fear as being a non-drinker is considered not normal, it must really scare people. I’m still trying to find the answers, stay tuned for a ‘critical essay’ presented in a highly readable way with all the facts!