By Jillian Owens
Hi all! When last we spoke, I was about to go off booze for 2 weeks.
So…did I make it? Or did I cave to peer pressure, stress, or the desire to take a few luxurious sips of a crisp Pinot Grigio on a balmy SC day?
You’ll be happy to know I made it! I went 14 days without a single drop of alcohol! Huzzah!
It really wasn’t a big deal.
Marques was right. I was incredibly surprised by how not a big deal those two weeks were. I still went to events, parties, and bars with friends. My social life didn’t change at all. The only difference was that I wasn’t drinking alcohol. And I still had a blast. Anything I enjoyed with booze I still enjoyed without booze.
When I started this experiment, my friends thought it was kind of silly…a totally unnecessary display of self-discipline. But despite thinking this, they were really awesome and supportive throughout the two weeks. When they had parties, they made sure to have delicious non-alcoholic options available for me (which I never looked at as even being their responsibility).
Even bartenders who I was sure would get a bit miffed with my tea totaling ass were still super nice when instead of ordering my usual Moscow Mule, I ordered non-alcoholic Ginger Beer instead. Of course I always made sure to tip just as much as I would for a cocktail to keep in their good graces.
I discovered some tasty substitutions.
I discovered that a glass of sparkling lemonade in a wine glass can sometimes be just as nice of a treat after a long day at work as a cocktail. And I actually had a ton of fun raiding the soda section of World Market for lots of of sparkling bevvies I had never tried before.
Drunk people didn’t annoy me.
I totally expected to find spending time amongst tipsy companions to be super-obnoxious, but it wasn’t. Fun & Silliness are contagious, and I found myself giggling right along with the imbibers.
Nothing really changed (and I think that’s a good thing).
Everyone told me to expect to sleep better, run faster, jump higher, and become more productive while not drinking. But that didn’t really happen. I’m still ridiculously clumsy and I still don’t do mornings. I wasn’t suddenly motivated to hit the gym with a new fervor (or indeed at all), and my productivity stayed at the same exact level.
It was kind of disappointing, really.
But there was one BIG advantage to my two weeks off the sauce…
I DEFINITELY saved money. I still went out to bars with friends, but guess what? At just about any bar I went to, nonalcoholic beverages were totally free. As I said before, I still tipped my bartenders (so as not to be an inconsiderate jackass), but my most expensive drink of those two weeks was this:
That’s really it. No great catharsis. No brilliant conclusions to be drawn. I feel reassured that my relationship with alcohol is clearly not destructive or problematic, so at least there’s that.