Never have I wanted to disappoint my parents more.
At this point in time, roughly three months stand between me and my 21st birthday. At midnight June 1, I will enter womanhood by hopping bar to bar wearing a plastic princess tiara and a sash, toting and boasting at least 19 forms of ID because I might have just been granted an adult privilege, but I intend on abusing it to the point where I act like a kindergartener by 3 a.m.
However, my parents are pleased to know that a Panera cinnamon crunch bagel iced with reduced fat cream cheese is currently exciting me more than the notion of all alcohol legally being at my disposal.
Upon entering Ohio State and attending my first college party, I found rather quickly that I did not thrive in such an environment. Plainly said, I hated it. The first sips of whatever they had in the fridge tasted terrible, and it never got better. So I tried beer, which tasted like shampoo. Then I tried some punch thing, in which the host of the party swore on his life “you can’t taste the alcohol, like, at all, dude.”
But I could taste the alcohol all the way, dude, and I could not tolerate the flavor. Many experimentations at house and frat parties from then on still proved unsuccessful and resulted in me leaving the premises within 15 minutes on arrival. I have never been drunk, but I can only assume it makes really crappy parties into Gatsby-level blowouts.
Needless to say, I realized very quickly that my inability to enjoy a drink was not only going to leave me distanced from one of college’s trademark experiences, but also wipe out one platform of adult connection for me.
“Want to go get drinks after work?”
“Nah, I think I’ll just go home and take a nap.”
“Hey shawty, can I buy you a drink?”
“Uh … what are the other options?”
Even scarier, I can’t blame it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol. I can never attribute stupid things I do at night to being under the influence, and I would forever have to own up being obnoxious, slap happy and uncomfortably sarcastic as regular facets of my personality.
“Were you drinking last night? You kept telling jokes that weren’t funny, like at all.”
“Nope, that’s just me. Can I have your number, hottie?”
But probably most concerning to me is people don’t know how to have fun within my presence. Many a Friday night have my friends wanted to go out and didn’t know how to deal with the fact that I would not be drinking. Simply not liking the taste of alcohol turned into this terminal illness that prevented me from letting my hair down and having a good time, so they would start making ridiculous suggestions while they were pregaming like, “Can we get you anything? This is the last shot, we promise. There’s some watermelon in the fridge! You can put ketchup on it if you want!”
When my friends started slipping into drunken stupors, though, I became the hottest drinking game in town. Second to beer pong is “I bet I can find a drink you like Dani. Try this,” which consisted of friends swearing to Heaven, Hell and the holy trinity that this cosmo will forever convert me (Spoiler alert: I still hate drinking).
So what is it like being almost 21 and not seeing the appeal in alcohol?
Aside from adding “a newly found taste tolerance of alcohol” to my prayer requests each week at church, it’s a tad upsetting to not share a common vice; however, I realize the pettiness in such a complaint. Honestly, I should feel lucky that I will likely never experience the pains of a hangover, and I can nix the possibility of addiction.
On a social level, though, it’s frustrating to be perceived by others as uptight and naive by a simple dislike in something. I love tomatoes — heck, I eat them plain and salted — but I don’t find you mousy and drab if you can’t appreciate such a delicacy.
I don’t care if you drink, and I don’t care if you bring alcohol. I will go with you to the party, and as an adult, I can find a way to have fun and entertain myself while you do you. I can even pretend like I’m all into this alcohol thing, as my expertise in “nursing” a drink could fulfill curriculum to a whole bachelor of sciences in nursing program.
At the end of the day, your concern in the fact that I don’t drink is way more than my concern in the fact that you do.
If you want, though, you can still try to get me to try different drinks. However, I will only assume one of your favorite pastimes is flushing money down the toilet.