Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

With no desire to ever be inebriated, am I an anomaly or the norm?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21989 points ) August 12th, 2011

When I was younger I would get together with the fellas to go out on drinking night, but I could never get into it. The thought of being in a place I was comfortable and not being in control was unacceptable, much less in a strange place with people I didn’t know.

I was with a friend who was at a fellowship meeting with people who were addicts, or are now recovering addicts. I know people who are not legal to drink yet, I bet they sneak some at open house parties, dying to be 21 so they can go get blitzed. I know people who can’t do certain events or family gatherings unless there is booze there, some who ply themselves with drugs to get wasted, or ”Chinese-eyed”. It seems like most people I meet cannot stand to be in their own mind; almost as if being sober in your own mind is repugnant or something to escape. I wonder, am I the anomaly and those who want to be out of control the norm, or is it the other way around?

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27 Answers

tom_g's avatar

I think you are an anomaly. However, so I am.
Sure, when I was young I indulged in some fine alcoholic beverages or pot. However, it didn’t take long to discover that I was really just enjoying the company of my friends. The feelings associated with being drunk were not very pleasant.

The thing that strikes me as odd now as an adult is that there are fellow “adults” who still choose to “get wasted”. They seem to treat it as an escape from life, as though they were even partially conscious of life when they aren’t consuming alcohol. These people are walking zombies, living in delusion 90%, then “escaping” into a numbed alcohol stupor the other 10%.

Hibernate's avatar

Some choose that just to forget real life. They get drunk/wasted just because reality is too much to handle or is worse for them than for others.

JLeslie's avatar

I think many many jellies in the collective are like you. I am. My husband almost never has a drink either, and when he does it is only one. My mom never drinks. In fact, when our families get together alcohol is almost never part of the dinner whether at home or in a restaurant. Only exception is my father in the last ten years took up drinking wine. But, he would not care if it was not served. And, sometimes during Christmas dinner wine might be offered, but only a few people partake.

My husband and I are in amazement at how much money people spend on alcohol. When we go out with friends and our bill is $60 for dinner, and theirs is $90 +. But, it isn’t really the money, we just don’t bother drinking much.

zenvelo's avatar

You are not an anomaly, but fairly close to the norm

On the spectrum from alcoholics to those who never drink because they have no interest, alcoholics make up about ten per cent of the population. There are also many heavy drinkers who are not alcoholics, the vast majority of people who only occasionally drink. The fluther survey much alcohol do you drink in an average week? was surprising to me on how little people here actually drink.

JLeslie's avatar

About drinking to get wasted. Only talking about adults, not teenagers who are figuring the whole grown up drinkng thing out. I think it can be various reasons. Some are alcoholics. Some seem to not be very creative about other ways to distract ones mind. Not necessarily to escape reality, but just doing something entertaining. See a movie, go to the symphony, walk along the ocean, varies by where you live. Probably some people drink out of boredom, it kindof creates a party if you are hangingnout wth a few people. Maybe if you are in a small town it is kind of like therebis nothing much better to do? I also think there is still peer pressure to drink when you are an adult, depending who your friends are.

anothermember's avatar

I don’t understand the lets go out and get wasted attitude. Even my mates who are 18 – 20ish will go out to a bar or buy beers just for something to do whilst hanging out. I mean getting drunk is not normally the objective and there is always a few who won’t drink. It’s mainly the under-ages that think that getting drunk is so cool and what not. Most of the people I know are neither completely sober but they don’t want to always get trashed.

ucme's avatar

You’re an anomanom…..anomonna…..hic….an anolonmoa…..oh fuck it!

marinelife's avatar

You are unusual. Did you grow up around an alcoholic? That often results in the feeling that you describe.

Bart19's avatar

I barely drink and I am nineteen. I don’t like the feeling of losing control either. It is probably because of my parents though. They drink a lot. And I mean a lot.

My mother gulps down a bottle of jagermeister in one evening and then either becomes emotional, crazy or starts flirting with random men (She is married for 25 years now) which makes going to the pub with her a most painful experience. So I rather stay sober.

I do think you are anomaly because so many teenagers and adults drink and get hammered but trust me you are not alone. ;)

athenasgriffin's avatar

I drink a lot less than my friends, because I like the feeling of being buzzed, but not the feeling of being drunk so much. I don’t think I’ve ever had a drink in a way that wasn’t social. I certainly don’t feel the need to get wasted out of my mind every weekend like some people in my group. Also, I like having enough control to know before pictures are taken that I do not want ending up on facebook.

mazingerz88's avatar

(Hic!) Can’t see you clearly through my Chinese eyes right now, but man, I think you are an “anomanorm” of some kind, man…(burfp!)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@JLeslie I also think there is still peer pressure to drink when you are an adult, depending who your friends are. I guess in high school there was all sorts of pressures to get drunk, high, etc, but I figure if that is what they wanted to do, they can go do it and I will do my own thing.

@marinelife You are unusual. Did you grow up around an alcoholic? That often results in the feeling that you describe There were a few of my mother’s friends that drank, and there were many neighbors that did, but I never really thought about them. I never really thought about drinking, or not drinking, until I got into high school and it seem everyone was chasing a party where the parents were away and some older people would be sneaking in booze.

Blondesjon's avatar

I drink to excess quite often and am tired of being labeled by my choice.

I don’t do it to escape. In fact it doesn’t remove anything from my reality. Like I mentioned above, it saddles me with a broad sweeping generalization that I am a sick/bad person that only makes sick/bad decisions.

To me this is bullshit. I’m fine with a person not drinking and I’m not one of those assholes that will try and force booze on you all night if you are abstaining. I also don’t pass judgement on or try and label a non-drinker. It’s their personal choice and I’m cool with that. I would just like to quit being vilified because someones mother/brother/father/sister/cousin/friend/grandparent/spouse gets fucking stupid after half a Zima or decides to use the family as a punching bag halfway through a fifth. Guess what? That’s them, not me.

I’m not special but I am an individual and not the boozey stereotype so many of you have fixed in your minds.

i’m never going to remember this in the morning . . .

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t drink…anymore…I used to, a lot. At some point, I wondered why we need to drink to hang out and stopped doing that. I don’t think that’s the norm though. I don’t think most people get uber drunk often either.

tom_g's avatar

@Blondesjon – Other than here on fluther, do you get the feeling that you are labeled and vilified? I’m under the impression that we live in a culture that celebrates and glamorizes drinking.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I didn’t drink in high school either. Took a few sips a few times. For the most part I did not go to any house parties or bonfires that all my friends were going to. I was a lonely girl for a few years there, because I didn’t feel comfortable at those things, depressed. Then I started work met friends who did not drink, and everything turned around. Later in high school I dated a guy who never pressured me to drink. In college I was the driver all the time. My friends did not care if I drank or not. And, they drank like fishes, even weeknights. The people who care the most and put the most pressure tend to be the alcoholics.

zenvelo's avatar

One thing I have noticed from the time I was an active alcoholic until I stopped completely is that most people socialize and congregate with people with similar drinking habits.

I was in a fraternity in college, and assumed most people drank close to the way I did. It was many years later that I found out that most did not, even in school. And now they hangout with people that drink more or less like they do: the heavy drinkers stay together , the “one or two in a night” crowd sees each other, and the ones that drink rarely if ever don’t mix with the drinkers unless it is a special occasion.

Blondesjon's avatar

@tom_g . . . We live in a PC, non-smoking, brave new vegetarian world now. The fact that I drink a lot has carried a stigma since the Nancy Reagan, Just Say No days.

for the record i did give in and quit smoking cigarettes nearly 5 years ago but they’ll have to pry my twelve ounce from my cold, dead hand

Pandora's avatar

When I was about 19 I got really drunk at a Christmas party. It had snowed really bad and I walked a mile home. It really wasn’t the smartest thing I did and on top of that I was got really sick for a couple of days. Worst holiday ever. After that I would drink and get a little drunk but I always made sure I had plenty of water to drink and ate before drinking and that I had no plans of going out anywhere but straight to bed. Only did it a few times but never really got drunk after that. It just really wasn’t appealing to me to lose my senses or do something that will make me feel sick the next day.
Most of my friends are not heavy drinkers. My husband easily falls asleep after 2 beers so he’s not a big drinker either. There really isn’t any appeal for either of us in getting drunk.
The most I do these days is one pina colada, or a glass of wine.

tom_g's avatar

@tom_g: “We live in a PC, non-smoking, brave new vegetarian world now. The fact that I drink a lot has carried a stigma since the Nancy Reagan, Just Say No days.”

Interesting. We live in completely different worlds. Seriously. It could be the abundance of colleges here in Massachusetts, but if you are not consuming large amounts of alcohol, you are a freak. I’m almost 40 and most of these people still talk with admiration about how much someone had to drink last night. I also know exactly 1 vegetarian. Please tell me where you live so I can move there!

For the record, I support complete legalization of all drugs. I’m not some teetotaler who wants the rest of those pesky youngins to stop all of that evil drug use. And I do drink occasionally. I enjoy good beer, but don’t enjoy the feeling of having more than a couple.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I’ve never had a drink in my life, and I’ve never wanted one. Drinking just doesn’t interest me. I believed for a long time that not drinking was anomalous, but I find more and more that it is less unusual than I once thought. It’s not the norm, but it’s not bizarre either. People who drink, but don’t get drunk, seem to be quite common outside of college campuses. That’s my impression, at least.

JLeslie's avatar

@marinelife I disagree completely. People who grow up in families who are not big drinkers also feel like @Hypocrisy_Central . We don’t get it. What’s the big deal? Sure I could have a drink, but just don’t bother. I am already having a good time. Alcohol is a nothing to me for the most part. Getting really blitzed has no appeal at all.

tom_g's avatar

Aaah. Too late to edit. Just noticed that I attributed @Blondesjon‘s quote to myself. [insert inebriation joke here]

cookieman's avatar

You’re not unusual by my standards. I completely agree. I never saw the point of drinking or (specifically) getting wasted.

I also agree with @tom_g‘s sentiments. Around here (also Massachusetts), most people I know wear their drinking ability as a badge of honor. And I work with a vegetarian whose constantly getting teased.

And yes I do come from a family of alcoholics, drug addicts and heavy drinkers (9 out of 12 immediate family members) and one gambling addict.…so that may play a role in my opinion.

MilkyWay's avatar

I think you’re a sensible person. To be honest, I don’t like going to places where the main aim is to get as drunk as you can. And I absolutely detest any feeling of losing control over myself.
I got wasted once, I don’t think I ever want to get wasted again.

downtide's avatar

I don;t think you’re unusual at all. I enjoy a drink or two but I have no desire to get inebriated, and neither do any of my friends. I think that is the way most people are.

YARNLADY's avatar

My husband went through most of his life never having a drink, and now only occasionally has one glass of wine with a meal. I consider non-drinking to be the norm.

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