Volume 93, Issue 17

Tuesday, September 28, 1999


Letter on racism lacks guidance

No truth or spelling in advertising

Racism or sexism can't be reversed

Peace and love ignored

Freedom tank

Costly mistakes

Smiling on the beauty pageants

Police report should have been dropped

USC needs to get their finances in order

Justice Mercer-Style?

To drink or not to drink

Editorial Cartoon

To drink or not to drink

There are some things in life I just don't understand. For instance, I have never been able to make sense of the fact that my not drinking alcohol is so difficult for others to accept.

It never fails to occur. I attend some social gathering that includes alcohol, or I go to a bar and I'm forced to answer the question, "So how come you don't drink?" at least three or four times.

I really don't mind explaining it to some people. For many of them, it's the first time they've ever gone out with me, so an initial question is forgivable.

But even those who have gone out with me more than a few times feel the need to bring it up. In their drunken stupor, they decide they'd like to teach me a lesson about the wonders of drinking. And although I appreciate their concern, it really isn't needed.

Admittedly, non-drinkers are rare – especially on a university campus. Amongst all the drunks and pubs, for someone to stand up and say I'm not going to drink is a little odd. But if one chooses not to drink, what's so wrong with that?

I could recite a few reasons for this action but in all honesty, it's a personal decision and I don't feel like sharing my rationale with everyone I meet. My life experiences and personal feelings have led me to my decision. Enough said.

All of my friends drink and I have no problem with it. I've had tons of hilarious moments with drunken friends. It's their decision and I'm more than happy to go out with them when they drink.

In addition, I consistently feel bad, as if I'm bringing down the party or spoiling the occasion by not drinking. The last thing I want is to bring down someone else's evening with my behaviour, but at the same time I don't understand why my not drinking should cause others to enjoy their drinking less.

If we're all supposed to be so liberal in the politically correct '90s, why is it so difficult for something so simple to be accepted?

Basically it all comes down to the fact that my not drinking scares the shit out of people.

For a lot of people, drinking is a way to overcome their weaknesses. They do it because they need something to relax them, or help them loosen up. Or maybe they like the loss of control. Or maybe they just want to fit in.

So when someone comes along and says they don't need alcohol, they're intimidated by it.

If people had more confidence and weren't so self-conscious, beer sales would plummet. Which is the reason you see only beautiful people in alcohol commercials. Advertisements for alcohol play on the public's inferiority complexes and lead them to believe alcohol will make them forget about their shortcomings.

Needless to say, this is not the entire reasoning behind everyone's decision to drink, but I think if you look close enough you'll find this holds true for many drinkers.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999