I don’t have a tattoo, and I always said that if I got something it would be because I just ‘knew’ what to get – something I wouldn’t regret, something subtle, something that I could hide under clothing for work, but something that meant something to me.
At the moment, whilst still ink free, I feel like I owe it to the world to have ‘sober’ inked across my forehead, preferably in something florescent – pink maybe? Green? No, green may look like flubber got too excited and I was in the firing range and let face it, no-one wants to look like they’ve been spunked on by a creature created by Robin Williams. Lets keep it peptobismol pink. No-one could miss that.
It has been 18 days, and I feel likes its time to take my bad boy sober self out into town, and make the whole thing official.
Sober, sober, sober. And maybe a little overtired – *hello!*.
Back to the tattoo – the reason I say this, is that I feel a decision to drink, or not, falls into ‘public property’ or at least it is perceived to be, along with age, sexuality, and to an extent, wage and career. I am on Tinder (like any of you haven’t swiped right on my profile… you filthy creatures…. 😉 ) and I feel like I ‘owe’ it to the thumb-demented public to start my ‘About me’ with ‘I used to drink, but I don’t anymore’ or something of that ilk. In my current main picture, I have a pint of cider in my hand – is that misleading? Is it possible to go on a first date, to a pub, and order a soft-drink – is that ok? By not having some declaration, I almost feel like the person who just gained 2 stone, but has the pictures from last summer up still. False advertising.
But I’m still the same person with or without the drink yes? Still the same interests, qualifications, sense of humour?
Is it not ok that I just really like that photo?
Of course its ok, I hear you sigh indignant at 3-weeks-sober-boy, and if its not ok the move on, plenty more fish in the sea.
Don’t get me wrong, as much as a contradiction as it sounds, I don’t define myself on my drinking. I say contradiction because I write a blog on the subject, and recently spent half of my waking time thinking about matters connected to my drinking, but its not something I wear as either a badge of warning, or of honour. In the same way that I don’t question life decisions my friends, colleagues, first dates have made, I would like for it to work both ways – is that too much to ask?
Its not like I’ve never judged a person before, but when you order a non-alcoholic beer when on a date, or with friends, or you go for a pepsi with work colleagues at the pub, it shouldn’t necessarily have to come with a side of ‘let me tell you about my unhealthy relationship with drinking’ (paradoxically, this would probably contribute quite effectively to the collected forming the same). Humans are humans – we all see the eyes flik down, and flick back up – registering, computing, judging.
I do it, so is it unfair and unrealistic for me to ask others to ignore their own stream of consciousness?
….. if it is unfair and unrealistic (… we both know it is), can I still ask for it anyway?
Do they think I’m an alcoholic? Do they want to ask why I’m not drinking? Should I mention it? Should I explain? Should I lie and say I’m training for a half marathon and that’s the reason? Is that disrespectful to myself and what I’m doing?
Dates-wise, wasn’t it just so much easier when the drink went down, and the clothes came off. Sex is how you book end a first date right, how to say goodbye?
Work-wise, I’ve been the car-crash of my fair share of work parties (pretty sure I was the work party, and everyone else was just along for the ride) but I find myself preferring the idea of that than the idea of whispers and knowing looks when I turn down a drink at the open bar.
If he has a problem with alcohol, what other problems does he have? What else is a-miss? Shall we promote him, or John, who can handle his beer and still perform well at work? John doesn’t seem to have any apparent addicitons or tendencies to anything outside the norm. John is safe.
We like John. We like Harry but now we don’t trust him.
Maybe I am being overly sensitive (literally just re-read this whole piece, I would like to state that I think I am being ***massively oversensitive***), maybe I am projecting my own drink related insecurities – the vulnerability sans pint/million units on a saturday first date – maybe it is just in my imagination.
I found myself exhausted having to justify my behaviour when I was drinking, and now it feels like much of the same, except I’m too sober to put up with the bullshit.
I don’t think it is just my imagination, and I don’t know if its just an age thing, I don’t know if this comes from living in a society bossed by a drinking culture, I don’t know if it’s just me.
What came first, the chicken or the egg?