What I Learned from No-Booze November

Motivated by a series of ill-advised alcohol-related incidents during the month of October, I took Sandy Rooney’s advice and put the “no” in November by abstaining from alcohol this past month. While I wouldn’t classify myself as an alcoholic in any sense of the word, I noticed that I was making poor decisions and treating alcohol as more of a crutch than a beverage with great powers that must be respected. When I embarked on my dry month, I expected it would be a challenge, but I didn’t expect to learn very much. Expectations SHATTERED.

Or SHATNERED, if you will.

Here’s what I learned about drinking, not drinking, and myself over the past month.

The holidays are a crap time to stop drinking. What with wine at Thanksgiving, cocktails at holiday parties, and pumpkin beer all month long, the holidays are full of alcoholic delights. You guys, pumpkin beer is my FAVORITE and I didn’t have any this month. So if you’re going to quit drinking, do it during Lent, when there’re no awesome drinking-related activities (aside from St. Patrick’s Day).

Not only will you have to justify your decision to yourself, but also to EVERY PERSON YOU KNOW. Every time you refuse a glass of wine at dinner, every time you offer to be DD, every time you say “Nah dude, I’m not drinking tonight,” you will have to explain why you are not drinking. And you’d better have a good reason handy, because “It’s No-Booze November!” will just not cut it with most people.

Refusing wine at Thanksgiving is like refusing cake at a birthday party. You're bringing down everyone else's fun.

Being DD can actually be kinda fun sometimes. Watching your friends get progressively drunker while you stay sober is a valuable opportunity to learn about what they’re like when they’re unguarded and letting loose. Maybe you’ll gain an insight into the heart of your BFF that you never knew before (or that you forgot about because you were drunk the first time you gained it).

Drinking is expensive! I probably saved over $100 by not drinking this month. All those beers and cocktails and rounds of shots and drunk food at 2am after bar close really add up after a while.

I like myself better when I’m not drunk. I have full control of everything I say and do, and that’s pretty reassuring. I don’t accidentally say hurtful things or make irresponsible decisions (like spending $100 on a round of Patron shots) and actually, being sober and alone on a Saturday night isn’t so bad.

This stuff is EXPENSIVE.

So, peace out, November. I’m getting DRUNK tonight.

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