As promised, the post about being a non-drinker in law school. This incredibly apropos, since we had the Thank God Finals Are Over WOOHOO We Are Rising 2Ls Party last night.

I don’t drink.

No, that’s wrong. I can’t drink. If I drink a reasonable sized sip of scotch, I get a migraine that’s pretty much instantaneous, and it’s pretty much going to put me down for the count for at least 45 minutes, in hellish agonizing pain, not really being able to see, and may possibly end up puking on your shoes. The reaction to other things are only slightly less drastic. (Or rather, that has been true since New Years, 2009. Which is the last time I had a drink.)

I was actually really, really worried about how this would affect my law school experience. Really worried. I knew that law students, as a whole, tend to drink a lot. And I also knew (from personal experience) that there are people who get all offended when I don’t accept their drink because they think I’m not drinking AT them, when really, I’m just not drinking.

And, by the way, really sad about it. I never was a hard drinker (I grew up in a non-drinking, AA household, and when I was in high school, I really was that sanctimonious little shit who was like “ALCOHOL RUINS LIVES WTF ARE YOU DOING” but I got better when I realized that life is not really an after school special, and there are people who can enjoy a drink without becoming sloppy about it and spending all money.

My freshman year of college, my boyfriend at the time tried to get me to drink beer, which I wasn’t all that keen on because… the beer he gave me was gross. His response was, “after the first six or so you don’t taste it anymore!” That idea is so anti-everything to me- why eat or drink something if you don’t enjoy the whole experience? Drinking just to get drunk always seemed really stupid. (Also I don’t like losing control that much- I can get plenty silly on my own, thank you.)

Which is why I am glad that my friend A in college introduced me to microbrews that proved that all beer was not PBR or worse, Red White and Blue. My 21st birthday (where I did not drink myself into oblivion because I had a psych midterm the next day) involved an oatmeal stout from the Brewhouse in Duluth, Minnesota. It was heaven. And if I had to have a (very) limited number of drinks in my life, I’m really glad I didn’t waste any of them on shit beer.

Eventually I learned about good wine, and the migraines started just as I was learning about good scotch. It started with scotch, then was scotch and red wine, then scotch and all wines, And by Jan 1st, 2009, it was everything, up to and including Nyquil. It’s not sulfites, it’s not tannins, it’s the booze.

It fucking sucks.

Anyway, for the most part, it was a non-issue. I went out with people, and went to parties, and mostly, it was okay. There were a couple of times when it was less okay. The end of the fall semester party started with one of the guys buying a bunch of drinks for people, and I asked for a coke, and he gave me a “come on! live a little!” look and I cocked an eyebrow back and said “No, coke please!” and that was fine. People got used to me sidling up and taking a huff of their drink and wandering off (mostly- a few people thought it was so weird, which I guess it is, but it’s the only way I can enjoy booze, and it’s almost like tasting, but not really).

Over the spring semester, as I got to know people more (I takes me a while to warm up to people, so i really didn’t start coming out of my shell towards a lot of people until spring semester), I went out more, and there were a couple of memorable moments where I would be at a party, and someone would be passing shots around and I would say “no thank you” and they’d get all offended. Because apparently in my “no, thank you” they heard “I don’t drink, how dare you offer that poison to me AND BY THE WAY, I am judging you for drinking when I, pious bitch that I am, AM NOT.”


Yeah. My response to that was “One, medical reasons. Two, wish I could. Three, I’m not judging you for drinking; right now, I’m judging you for BEING AN ASSHOLE.”

I saw a facebook post from a girl who said that she just couldn’t understand people who just didn’t drink, because she spent 20 years of her life not drinking, and has spent the next three trying to make up for it. She (very generously) allowed for people in AA, because presumably they’ve put in their time or something, but people who just didn’t drink obviously had problems.

Fuck that. People drink, or not, for their own reasons. There are people who drink way too damn much. There are people who are assholes about how they don’t drink, and most people fall in the middle. I really wish that I had a brain with the proper chemistry that didn’t go haywire at the touch of alcohol. God knows this year made me want to drink. I wish I could enjoy good beer (and hearing about Dark Lord Day from Huma was like, DUDE PLEASE). I really wish I hadn’t had my last drink of Honeywies, ever. (And just after the packy near my old apartment was bring in Leinies, too! I SPENT FIVE YEARS IN BOSTON WHINING ABOUT THE LACK OF MY FAVORITE BEER AND BEING CARE PACKAGES. Then they start bringing in Leinies to the area. THEN MY BRAIN EXPLODES. In the words of Roger Sterling, what a fucking joke.)

But, I don’t get to have that. So in the alternative, I’d like to be able to huff in peace, and not get shit about something that is not my choice. I promise I am not drinking at you. Or at anyone. I’m just not drinking.

And I’m pretty sad about it, too.