Not drinking takes away a lot of decisions. Will I have a drink after dinner? What will I have? Will I take a night cap when I come home from my (alcohol-free) night out? Do I really want wine, given that it`s so expensive in here? Can I go out till late, given that I`m working tomorrow morning? All those questions are no longer relevant. Perhaps, I`ll even find myself going out *more*.
Sometimes, I find myself looking forward to my glass of wine during the day, but then I remember, and that`s fine. The evening comes, and I don`t miss it at all, and my husband knows to skip the question.
The tricky thing however is: he still drinks. I don`t grudge it in the slightest, but I fiercely dislike the smell. As men do, my husband has always been drinking more than I, but just one glass on my behalf would erase my awareness of it. In fact, the very reason why I started drinking socially in the first place was so I wouldn`t be repulsed by my own friends. Deep down, I dislike drinking to cope with other people`s drinking, but I live in Scotland, and Scotland is… exactly like its reputation.
I`ve just finished reading this book here. The author lives in Australia, but she was born in Edinburgh, and I have to confirm all she says about its drinking culture. Getting drunk is normal, like a hobby for its own sake; everybody does it. If you want to remain on the same wavelength, you have to join in. And I for my part really can`t stand it when a human being smells like disinfectant. Yes, we do. All of us.
Fortunately, I have many interests and don`t have a social life that revolves strongly around alcohol. Many people however do and would need to change their lifestyle beyond not drinking, if they find temptation difficult. When I`m thinking about holidays, though, balmy summer nights in Greek tavernas, I`m missing the wine already. But hang on: I don`t even like Greek wine. I established that when I first went to Crete. It`s too sweet, yet, I kept drinking it, because it`s all they have, and it`s what you do. And I can think of many a drink which I didn`t like when I first tried it. Cigarettes, too.