I’m a useless drunk


I don’t drink wine. I don’t drink beer, for that matter. I find both beverages foul and disgusting, and consequently they rarely,if ever pass my lips.

I like a good spirit; a nice liqueur or a fine bourbon/whiskey. (Or a cheap RTD; you know, whatever.) Not that I’ve been drinking much at all this year, not even so much for the fact that I can’t afford it but I just don’t feel it anymore.

I drink for the taste as much as anything, and I won’t drink crap just because it’s there/cheap/free/pink. (Beetroot aside, what’s pink that DOESN’T taste good?) Of course, this often means I’m out of luck at formal functions, or that I have to BYO instead of sponging off others as wine is the choice of tipple (girls) or beer (boys) at most gatherings.

I will never be a wino. I’ll never be part of a girly gaggle who drink five bottles of sav in one night while watching Love Actually or Dirty Dancing. I can’t stand the stuff! I can probably choke down a glass of super dry chard if it comes to it, but I really don’t understand the female fascination with wine. Acquired taste or not, I can’t imagine what it would take for me to come to like it.

It probably doesn’t help that alcohol was put up there with P and heroin by my oh-so-protective parents and I never got to spend my teen years in a drunken stupour in people’s basements/gardens/smelly flats.

It’s probably also why I don’t drink and eat – I find drinking with dinner strange. I don’ t like mixing the tastes. I’ve never had a glass of wine with dinner…apart from my very first work do, when I had some white wine with my pasta and pizza at Ginas. Result? I snuck off to throw up in the bathroom. Got home, had a hot chocolate, puked again. Twice? Possibly, my memory is fuzzy. Never again.

I’ve tried to learn to drink beer. It works out better than wine, but not by much. Too nasty to drink fast enough, resulting in your drink turning lukewarm halfway through. Then it’s a mission to struggle to empty it. And by the time I’ve had two I physically can’t drink anymore without feeling like I’m going to burst…I just can’t fit that much liquid inside me.

When I enter the workforce for good something is gonna have to happen. Work drinks will not work for me. Not when I go beet red after half a beer/wine/spirit, and turn radioactive after one. It’s just not cool. With friends, you can delete the photos and they’re used to laughing at your gradual colour change (well, most of them, some just won’t let it go after all these years). But at work? When you’re meant to retain some semblance of dignity and professionalism, and convince people of your competency….I know I would judge me, and think “she can’t handle herself”, and that would spill over into my opinion of me as a worker or colleague.

Maybe one day the dreaded flush will leave me, but somehow I doubt it. No, it’s hardwired into me, intertwined with the genes for neuroticism and perpetual lateness. I’ll just have to become a professional abstainer and do all my drinking in private.

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