Life as a non-drinking Aussie isn’t easy. In fact, I’d liken it to trying to remain a virgin in a whore house. Now we all know there’s usually someone keen who’s trying to bed the virgin, right? Well, being a non-drinker when everyone else is drinking can be much the same.
It doesn’t matter what the occasion either. Family gatherings, barbecues, festivals, sporting events – it’s normal Aussie behaviour to have a drink in your hand.
I even ended up at a baptist church picnic and the conversion began. Not the religious variety which I had anticipated either. I went along expecting a dry event and reprieve from the relentless onslaught. Yet out came the bottle of bubbly and wham-o! As I passed my plastic picnic glass along the familiar conversation about my abnormality began.
Now if I wasn’t safe among the God fearing Christians…actually strike that. The monks have always had a hankering for mead. Plus they do drink wine in church. Add the fact they were Australian and thinking back I was being totally naive. What was I thinking?
I should have known that if there’s an excuse to crack a can or pop a cork Aussie’s will generally support it. Look at Australia Day? Even though most people need to return to work the next day it’s no deterrent. Our culture dictates we all want to have fun but it also encourages that we should be drinking to do it.
I recent heard a survey on the radio that stated something like 60% of Victorians don’t drink alcohol to get drunk. So I’m not a total alien after all but that does mean that the remaining 40% are out to have a damn good time! Maybe that’s the populations percentage I’m surrounded by?
Now I’m not against having a drink or dozen if that’s what you wana do. It’s just that I’ve been there done that and don’t feel like drinking anymore. The thing I just don’ get is why a non-drinking Aussie has the capacity to make the drinkers so uncomfortable?
Is it because they’re worried their drunken escapades will end up on social media? From what I’ve witnessed I reckon they’re more than capable of doing that themselves. Isn’t it a fact that some drunken Aussie invented the selfie? Probably not but it shoulda been.
As a sober Aussie among the drinkers I can and do join in the fun but sometimes the different wave lengths are a little annoying. Quite often drunk Aussies aren’t nearly as funny as they think they are. It’s amazing what this lot will laugh at and consider funny.
Thankfully the term designated driver is now a valid excuse for choosing coffee over champaz. I would have hated to be a non-drinking Aussie twenty plus years ago though. Driving wasn’t accepted as a valid excuse to remaining sober. They’re weren’t designated drivers. They just had those who weren’t as wasted as the others and they were thrown the car keys! Imagine the peer pressure back then?
Yeah, life as a sober Aussie isn’t for the faint hearted. For many the more times they say no to a drink the more times it’s offered. (That’s a tip for anyone wanting free alcohol BTW) Mind you us teetotalers do come in handy. Which Aussie on a mission wouldn’t want a willing allocated driver for those occasions hey? Come to think of it I do get invited to a lot of outings. Umm, maybe being a non-drinking Aussie isn’t such a bad thing after all?!
Image via theleader.com.au