Monday, January 6, 2014

Drinking in Mexico

I'm back! I wasn't expecting to take this hiatus from blogging, but I had very unreliable internet access while I was in Cozumel last week, so I took a week off.  And because . . . you know . . . I was in Cozumel.

Which was nice, but sounds a little more exciting than it was for us. It was kind of a business trip -- a reward thing for the company's brokers and such, and we got to go along. So, although the weather was lovely and the ocean was nice and we got to golf, get a massage, and take a submarine trip to look at the coral reef, our evenings were spent in long dinners socializing with people. Nice people, but hubby and I aren't social butterflies really (we much preferred our time alone or with just each other).

Mainly, though, I couldn't appreciate the trip as much as many of the others did because I don't Drink. Now, I do drink -- a bit. I can sip a glass of wine with dinner. I discovered that I like pina coladas on this trip (I don't like pineapple or coconut, so I never tried one). But I simply drink . . . on occasion.

But many of these people Drink. Not that anyone got wasted or anything (at least, not while we were around, but we went to bed and others partied on, apparently). But for a good number of these people, alcohol seemed to be their focus for the week.

Example: on New Year's Eve, our evening event was to start at 7pm. When hubby and I got there at about 7:15, only a handful of people were milling around, which we thought was very odd. Turns out, they didn't start serving alcohol until 7:30, so everybody went over to the bar to get drinks until then.

Now, I don't mean to sound judgmental if I do. These people were on vacation, they were away from children and with their significant others (for the most part), and nobody was having to drive anywhere. They seemed to be drinking responsibly, so there's no reason they shouldn't have been drinking -- especially on New Year's Eve. I have no moral issue with what was happening amongst our little group in Mexico last week.

I bring this up merely because this is a cultural thing I really can't relate to: Drinking. Centering your evening's (or afternoon's) activities around the beverage in your hand. I have friends who I know plan their entire weekends around opportunities to consume alcohol. I just don't get that.

Most likely, this is because I've never drunk enough alcohol to even get a buzz.  True fact. I grew up in a Southern Baptist home where alcohol was simply unacceptable. Never drank in college. Never even interested in trying anything alcoholic, really, until I'd been to enough of my husband's business events to start feeling really uncomfortable being the only one in the room with soda in my glass. (One thing I'll say for the people in hubby's more recent companies vs. companies he's worked for in the past: they don't seem to take any notice of what's in your glass. It's been several years since I felt like the oddball church lady at a work event while I sipped my Sprite.)

Maybe if I got good and tipsy once, I'd see the appeal. But I doubt it. I've seen enough people I liked and respected turn into idiots at parties; I have no interest in chancing that. And I've yet to see anyone whose personality improved after the application of significant amounts of alcoholic beverage. It would be very upsetting to me, frankly, to find that I needed the help of inebriation to be an engaging person to others. And if I need the help of inebriation to enjoy the environment I'm in . . . well, I'll go home.

I also don't like the taste of alcohol enough to drink enough of it to affect me. I did like those pina coladas, but after two, I couldn't drink any more. I was desperate for ice water. El agua, por favor!!

So, to sum up, I drink -- occasionally -- but I don't Drink. And I don't expect ever to do so. I still hold to a conclusion I came to during my college years: there is nothing beneficial you get from alcohol which cannot be gotten from another source that is not responsible for the destruction of lives on a regular basis.

Just sayin'.  Cheers. And Happy New Year!

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