Oh, The Joys Of Being A Teetotaler During The Holidays

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It’s that time of the year again. The most magical one, in fact. Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa (and probably more I don’t know of).

Party season is already in full swing. Sparkly frocks, high heels, tuxedos and blown-out hair are everywhere you look. Even the biggest Scrooge will attend at least one party/soiree this month.

The night starts off brilliantly, with high hopes of having a fabulous time. We look great, feel great, hell, everything is great. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that we’ve all been one of the following. Some of us have been all of them. *cough*

That person in the corner, at the end of the evening, crying.

That person who gets home minus a shoe.

That person who’s had their hair held back while sprawled out on the toxic bathroom floor, crying.

That person who loves everyone in the room and tells them so, crying.

That person who honest to God believes they’re a natural-born dancer and just needs the right ambiance to unleash their talent.

In sum, getting shitfaced drunk in public involves a lot of… crying.

And you know what, it was not soiree-like.

The sparkly frock is ripped and one of your chicken cutlet boobs has traveled down to somewhere around your bellybutton, only stopped from falling to the floor by your Spanxx.

You’ve taken your heels off because crawling to a cab is not an option. This is likely the part of the evening where you lose a shoe (see above).

The blown-out hair has vomit in it.

The tuxedo you rented is now covered in suspicious-looking stains. The cummerbund they threw in for free is missing. This is going to cost you more in charges than what you paid to rent it.

Ahhh, the memories are flooding back. This is not necessarily a good thing. Malibu and Coke. *retch*

Anyway, moving on. These days I don’t drink alcohol. That’s correct, I don’t drink at parties. In addition to me, there are tens of thousands of people who are teetotalers for a whole host of reasons.


Teetotaler (n): a person who abstains totally from intoxicating drink.


Religious reasons (loads of cults religions), health, pregnancy, alcoholism or just because you know you’re a sloppy drunk and don’t particularly wish to put that on show (see above).

On behalf of these people:

Just because I don’t drink, it does not mean I am boring. Really. There are people who do drink and are boring as shit.

Please don’t be a dickhead and say things like:

“Well, can’t you just have one?”

“What the fuck?”

“Why not?!”

For those of us who don’t drink because as Robert Downey Jr said “I’m allergic to alcohol. When I drink, I break out in handcuffs.”, you don’t need to hide all the alcohol when we visit your home. Please do invite us to your parties. We will not strip naked and do unrepeatable and possibly illegal things if we smell alcohol. That’s likely why we no longer drink it.

I do have a few personal favors to ask:

For the love of god, don’t produce a bottle of Martinelli apple juice or similar, and announce “It looks JUST LIKE CHAMPAGNE!’. Speaking for myself, I’m not 12 years old. The intention is sweet and it’s appreciated, though. No, really, it is.

When at a party with my peers (ie, other adults), I’d really appreciate something a tad more exciting than water. Yes, for some people, fizzy water is a real treat, particularly when you have the option of flavors. Excitement! At last I can try the Soda Stream cola! Ooooh, I have a Crystal Light lemonade, lovely. Yay, a glass of Pellegrino with a slice of lime. Very chic. Oh, to be so spoiled for choice. At the end of the day, it is still H2O, and as my mother says “Water is for the plants.”

Broadening the non-alcoholic repertoire to include coke, sprite, ginger ale…well, that’s a bit sad, no? Frankly, if you do offer me children’s drinks, I will ask you for a coffee, in a very polite and difficult to refuse voice. A proper coffee. One that will take you at least 7 minutes to prepare. Same time as a caipirinha or mojito (those minutes add up if you crush the mint leaves in a pestle and mortar, as one should). Fair’s fair, right?

I fucking hate mocktails. The word makes me shudder. Again, the concept of “still drinking but not really” is just ridiculous. Just call the drink anything other than a mocktail. Please.

Finally, please don’t hand me a drink in an ugly cup or glass. Tip: 0% alcohol does not mean 0% standards.


teetotaler sober during the holidays


About the Author

An ex spy from the UK, Elaine currently lives in Washington DC with her husband and toddler. Having to verbally hold in her British snark, she finds an outlet through writing. You can find her on Twitter @damesparkula and Instagram @delcerroyau and @twosisterstwocountries.

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An ex spy from the UK, Elaine currently lives in Washington DC with her husband and toddler. Having to verbally hold in her British snark, she finds an outlet through writing. You can find her on Twitter @damesparkula and Instagram @delcerroyau and @twosisterstwocountries.

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