Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Binge Drink Britain

My social life revolves around drinking, specifically drinking intoxicants. I can't think of a single social engagement I have had this year that doesn't have an alcoholic slant, whether it was dinner at a friend's with specially selected wine (well, the choice of red or white anyway), meeting up in the pub for a couple after work (it seems no one is ever so generous with rounds as when you are declining), or the free booze which is proffered at any private view I attend.

After my inebriated January I decided to get back on the straight and narrow and lay off the liquor for a while.

For those of you who don't live in the UK maybe you can go out and not drink alcohol without being eyed with a deep-seated suspicion, and reasons for your abstinence being demanded. And no, "I just don't feel like it" is not accepted. As a woman you will be automatically accused of being pregnant, and as a man it will be assumed that you are, at last, getting treatment for your alcoholism.

But in February I had the perfect excuse:
"Oh, no thanks, I've given up booze for February."
"Why? Most people give it up in January."
"February's shorter", I'd reply with a smug smile. See, no come back.

However, with the end of February drawing ever closer I need to cast around for another plausible excuse.

And I have one. As of today I have given up the hooch for Lent.

An excuse I hope most people will accept without questioning me too closely on my religious beliefs, but if pushed I can always rattle off a few Hail Mary's and throw in a couple of Glory Be To the Fathers. Which should scare even the most persistent questioner off, lest I try and convert them.

And after Lent, I ... ahem .. might ... cough ... just - excuse me, cough, weeze, hack ... - develop a cough that requires antibiotics. Antibiotics that I'm 'not allowed to drink with'. After which time I should know if the IVF has worked.

So I will either be serenely declining booze, basking in my expectant state and be unconcerned if there is conjecture about a possible pregnancy. Or if it hasn't worked, mine's a double tequila, with salt, lime and a Corona chaser.


  1. A+ for creativity.

    I hope your Corona chaser days are gone for a good long while...

  2. Such a witty gal. :) I have had self-conscious moments when I was abstaining, only to ultimatley realize that almost no one really noticed that I wasn't indulging. Maybe you could drink a secretly virgin cocktail?

  3. Brilliant!

    My social and work lives involve a lot of alcohol, I've definitely used the antibiotic excuse. Hopefully the "I'm expecting" excuse is in the very near future for you.

  4. I like the excuses! Especially giving up booze for February! I've definitely gotten some stares when I refuse. Luckily for the most part people seem to keep it to themselves, so whatever they think I don't really care!

  5. Love the excuses, very clever :-)

  6. Brilliant! This is why I check your blog everyday.

  7. Lent is a perfect excuse. I hadn't thought of it. And even if people know you're not particularly religious, you can always make vague references to "appreciating the discipline it requires".

    (By the way, I am very nearly convinced on the dog front).

  8. Lol, funny! Your excuses are awesome, nobody could argue with them. =)

  9. Love the excuses and am praying that you have to say them for the next 10 least!

  10. My social life also revolves around alcohol (which is sad, really). So if I ever decline a drink my friends always look at my stomach and ask why. UGH. I like the Lent excuse...too bad I'm not the least bit religious...maybe I've suddenly been converted? ;)

  11. I've been off the sauce since New Year. If you think it's difficult to get through social occasions in the UK without booze, you should try doing it in Ireland sometime. My reason for giving it up was not TTC concerns, but to lose weight, as I find I pay as well be pissing against the wind as indulging in social drinking when I am on a diet. I actually went on a pub crawl last Saturday with a few of my friends, me drinking mineral water all night. They were all in awe of me, having to listen to their drunken shite talk while I was stone cold sober. The thing is, I would be among the worst of them if I was drinking! Funnily enough, lent seems to be an unquestionable excuse here too, even though most people my generation don't see the inside of a church from one Christmas to another.

  12. Aren't you good, I've cut back but I'm not giving up completely until I start treatment. Does that make me a bad person?

  13. Me too, Lost in Space, although I wouldn't mind one right now.

    What, Trinity? Do you mean that I might not be the centre of everybodies world and no one really cares if I drink or not?


    I like to keep a raft of excuses on had, suchagoodegg, as evidenced by the post.

    Good on you Rebecca, I clearly worry too much about what people are thinking.

    Ta Al

    Finch, add me to your reader, then you don't need to keep checking (not that I mind of course).

    Exactly Adele, and dogs are for the win.

    I'd like to see them try arguing JC said...

    Nikus, 10 months plus breast feeding ...

    AplusB, I think as Adele says you don't have to pretend you are religious (I'd mess that one right up) just use it as a handy time frame.

    Now that is will power, Jane, I find giving up during a diet is vital - not just because of the booze calories but also the chips on the way home and nuts in the pub.

    Not at all Secret D, I would just cut back if I could, but I can't stop at just one, so I have to stop completely.

  14. Oh, I completely feel your pain on this one.

    This weekend's going to be a challenge for me with out-of-town guests and a big party in the works.

    If only my friends would believe the Lent story... That's a good one!

  15. Hah! Lent, I like it.

    Very holy.

  16. In the last round during the holidays, I perfected the beverage swap with the husband. You hold a full wine glass during the evening and put it up to your lips, and when your husband is about half done, he swaps glasses. You hold the half empty for some time and then swap when his is almost done, with enough to look like you need more, but you can wave off with "I've had enough, thanks!" Only side effect that your significant other drinks for two.

  17. Wonderful excuses! So you're already well covered by the Lent and antibiotics excuses for the next little while (stretch the antibiotic excuse for a good month), then there is the drink nursing (need pot plants conveniently placed for that one)... then let me see .... "I'm driving" works in Oz .... err ... maybe it interferes with your triathlon training.....
    You should be covered for long enough to see you through conception, birth and breastfeeding!

  18. if it gets too much, there's always non-alcoholic beer...:)


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