“There’s something which has been bothering me for months now. In most social groups, I am either uninvited or made fun of.
I am a girl who neither drinks and nor smokes.
There are many people who think I am ‘abnormal’ because I don’t fall into their category of normalcy, defined by drinking and smoking. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider them a sin, but personally, I don’t prefer doing either.
Sadly, my preference is becoming my hindrance these days.
I find it difficult to make new friends as a lot of people believe that the best way to approach someone is by asking them for drinks. I also find it difficult to keep up with my existing friends as they think don’t fit in their group these days.
I fail to understand why drinking is becoming the marker of social acceptability? Why is it so hard to accept that there are people who don’t drink and maybe won’t ever
Let me share an instance:
When I first came to Delhi, I was asked by a bunch of people – “you drink?”. Obviously I said – “no”, and as a result I was not invited to my first party in Delhi.
Lesson learnt – no matter what, say yes when this question comes up again.
Next time when the same question was asked by a different set of people, my answer was, “Oh yes, I do, and a LOT!” My mission was accomplished – I got invited to the party.
But this is when the tough part started. Since I had said yes, I had to drink. But how could I when I don’t like it? And ended up becoming a party spoiler.
It’s been a long time since, but it’s becoming very difficult for me to survive every day.
My college is over, masters is over, and now job. But why am I still being judged by my drinking habits?
If you don’t drink, you are not cool enough, if you drink a lot, you not don’t have values. People come to me and say, “you know alcohol is not bad, have you seen Americans, they drink beer instead of water.” Some say that I don’t drink because I can’t get that ‘sanskaar’ thing out of my head. Had that been the case, I would not have not coloured my hair green, or worn a bikini, or stepped out of my house late at night.
According to some people I can never be a good girlfriend/wife because my better half won’t have a company while he drinks. I have queries coming up like, ‘what is the pickup line for a person who doesn’t drink?’, ‘I have to meet my mother-in-law, how should I pretend that I am averse to drinking?’, ‘how do you overcome a breakup?’, ‘oh it would be so great for a person who takes you on a date, he can save so much money which otherwise would have been spent on drinking’ , ‘you are so uncool!’
Why is coolness dependent on the number of pegs you take down? Can a person not be cool enough in his/her own skin? A drink in his/her hand is the only proof of their ‘coolness’?
I have seen so many people who have started drinking just to fit themselves in “THE” group and I have also seen people loosing their lives because of excessive drinking.
Why can’t a person’s choice be respected? Why does the society force us to fall in their standards of coolness? Is it too difficult to fathom that there are people who don’t drink and they are ‘normal’ like anybody else?
Peer pressure is one of the leading reasons for teenage depression and suicides. It is my earnest request to every person to not judge another on the basis of their personal choice.”
Story By – Meghana
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