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to think there's nothing wrong with being teetotal?

(183 Posts)
ShowOfHands Sun 13-Mar-16 07:41:01

DH and I don't drink. We're not evangelical or derisive of people who do. I just never started and DH used to as a teen but gave it up 17yrs ago.

DH is on a stag weekend right now and the majority of men there are completely indifferent with regards to who drinks what and why. A couple of them however, seemed to mishear DH when he said he was teetotal and presumably, what they heard is "I'm from Planet Zog and I will actually be dipping my tumescent cock in my beverage and sucking it up that way". You'd think so anyway from their ashen faces, incredulity and on two occasions, the downright refusal to buy him "a bloody coke" and then proceeding to plonk a pint in front of him instead.

They keep going on about how it's like having a maiden aunt along and last night one of them threatened to spike his drink.

Ironically, their insistence that DH needs "a good stuff drink inside them" (yeah I could psychoanalyse the shit out of that tbh) is 673% duller than DH not imbibing their alcoholic offerings in the first place.

On a slightly serious note - I know, it's AIBU and not home of the serious - DH is quite sensitive and I know it makes him feel like he doesn't belong. The groom and most of the other blokes don't care but I know DH and I know he'll come home and play the comments over in his head. And that's ridiculous. It's bullying.

Why does this still happen?

sooperdooper Sun 13-Mar-16 07:44:02

God they sound tedious and childish, your poor DH!

Hopefully someone will come along with a good one liner reply he can use?!

soupmaker Sun 13-Mar-16 07:45:16

It happens because of cultural attitudes towards alcohol in this country. The alcohol industry has the vast majority of the population believing you can't have a good time without it. Governments collude because of the tax revenue. I like a drink though.

leelu66 Sun 13-Mar-16 07:48:25

YANBU here from a teetotaller. Your DH should ask them why they can't have a good time without alcohol. 'Have you always been dull without alcohol?' etc.

curren Sun 13-Mar-16 07:48:57

It's weird because I don't di K and never ever come across this attitude.

Although tbh I would find going to an event that is centred around drinking a bit odd. The whole purpose for most people is to go get smashed. Since I avoid this sort of thing (got fed up of essentially just being there as everyone else keeper) maybe that's why I don't come across it.

Why is dh so sensitive? It's a choice he has made, why isn't he comfortable with that?

Pseudo341 Sun 13-Mar-16 07:49:19

Of course there's nothing wrong with being teetotal, I have quite a few friends who are, they simply don't like alcohol so don't bother with it.

Yes it is very much bullying. I saw a lot of this sort of thing at Uni, but you'd hope people would grow out of it. The only response I ever came up with is to ask people exactly why they cared so much that I wasn't drinking (I'm not teetotal, but often driving and prone to headaches). Just keep repeating "but why do you care" "how does it effect you?" That sort of thing. You've just got to keep calling people up on their twatishness. Your poor DH though.

curren Sun 13-Mar-16 07:49:24

I don't drink

ShowOfHands Sun 13-Mar-16 07:50:27

I've suggested he either refuse to engage in a battle of wits with the unarmed or actually dip his cock in their drinks. Which they'd applaud like seals I suspect.

QuiteLikely5 Sun 13-Mar-16 07:52:01

I wouldn't say this was bullying I would say it was banter!

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 13-Mar-16 07:52:16

I think he should have the courage of his convictions. Brush it off.

In our circle we have teetotallers and heavy drinkers, with most friends somewhere in between. I've never known it remarked on or criticised or even discussed. It's a non issue.

TheDowagerCuntess Sun 13-Mar-16 07:54:08

It takes a brave soul to be teetotal in the culture that we live in.

One of my good friend's husband is teetotal (she's absolutely not), and it's constantly A Thing when they meet new people. He's happy enough sitting there when we're all out in a big group, and he'll wile away the evening with us. I mean, if someone's happy to do that, what does it really matter whether the drink in front of them has alcohol in it or not, as long as they're not judging/disapproving.

BeardMinge Sun 13-Mar-16 07:56:01

Not unreasonable to be teetotal at all, but maybe a bit odd to go on a stag do, as a) most stag dos feature drinking excessively (yeah it's a bit unimaginative, but fairly standard), and b) being around very drunk people when you're sober is crashingly dull.

I probably wouldn't have gone in the first place tbh.

mawbroon Sun 13-Mar-16 07:56:05

It serves as a reminder of their overindulgence.

Nobody wants to be the only one who is steaming drunk.

It seems a bit better round here than it was 20 years ago, but it will take a long time for cultural attitudes to change.

I can't link on my phone, but look on you tube for a Chewin' the Fat "Take a drink" sketch. That's exactly what it was like here at the time

Bikey86 Sun 13-Mar-16 07:56:16

I agree with soupmaker. I have recently read a book called 'Control Alcohol' as I was keen to cut down on my consumption. Its frightening how socially acceptable alcohol is when it is a really addictive and dangerous drug. We are conditioned by society from an early age that you need alcohol to enjoy yourself. I have found that since reading this book I have been able to enjoy more social occasions without alcohol. However, I am always questioned by my friends as to why I am not drinking. It is a fact that people feel threatened by none drinkers as they feel they need to justify their own drinking habits!!!

Well done to you DH for not being pressured into something he doesnt want to do. His friends are being idiots.

DizzyNorthernBird Sun 13-Mar-16 07:56:29

Ugh I have no idea why this still happens, it's old fashioned and it's boring.

My DP has never drank. I used to but I'm happier now that I don't. I do enjoy a good glass of red now and again with a meal, but I don't need to get silly on it.

'Having a drink to enjoy yourself' is a complete myth, probably most used by people who do do need to rely on it to enjoy themselves. Getting pissed does not make for a better night out. It does not make a person more fun, however much the person who is doing the drinking might insist that it does.

ShowOfHands Sun 13-Mar-16 07:56:35

DH isn't sensitive about not drinking. He's sensitive about being made to feel unwelcome and ridiculed. Sorry, I thought I made that clear.

It isn't an event with the purpose of getting smashed either. DH is celebrating with one of his oldest friends. And it's more sport and outdoor adventure activities than anything else.

I too thought most people had grown out of it. It's a lucky person whose never met this attitude to not drinking. I got it a lot at university.

Ridiculously, the teetotaller rarely has interest in discussing it. There'd be bog all focus on it without the rampant drinker's boorish comments.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Sun 13-Mar-16 07:57:48

It's bullying, not banter!
People who can't accept somebody not drinking feel insecure or guilty about their own drinking. It is really tedious to justify your choice over and over and over.

I usually don't attend events where the only purpose is to get drunk.

LittleCandle Sun 13-Mar-16 07:59:25

I like a drink, but seldom bother. It is only when you don't drink that you realise how pervasive the drinking culture has become. People go out with the express purpose of getting completely hammered - why? I know that when I go in to work today, there will be colleagues there with a hangover from a party last night. (I didn't go because I am dying with the cold) They will insist that they had to have had a great time because they can't remember anything - and I believe several of them were going along with their own bottle of 'water' to keep the evening cheap. I think its pathetic.

fish88 Sun 13-Mar-16 08:03:32

I don't drink, never been bothered about drinking but think it's weird to say don't go to a stag do. I've been on hen party weekends myself. Why should I miss out on celebrating my friends' upcoming weddings just because I don't drink?

Most of what you said sounds like male banter but I would take offense at the threatening to spike his drink.

Maybe your DH needs to have a few witty replies ready to dish out in situations like this so he feels a bit less cornered.

ShowOfHands Sun 13-Mar-16 08:03:39

Banter? Refusing to buy one of the party a chosen drink when it's your round? Buying them a different drink instead and telling them to "strap on a pair and drink it". Openly sneering? Oh my mistake. It's the bantz. LOL.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 13-Mar-16 08:03:49

I like a (n alcoholic) drink and sometimes I have one or several, and sometimes I don't, particularly but not always because I'll be driving. I can't say it's made any difference to my enjoyment of an evening unless it was an exceptionally luscious cocktail (and in that case it would definitely be several). Other people drinking stuff that isn't alcoholic? Who cares and why would they? I used to get this in primary school when I liked the skin off the custard, or didn't like sultanas, and other children said I was "mad". I thought then that it was ridiculous and childish to dismiss others' different tastes. And here are supposed adults doing the same!

I suspect people who have a huge problem with other people not drinking what they are have a need to validate their own behaviour by ensuring everyone is doing the same as they are. Because if everyone's doing it it must be ok, right? Like the old saying goes, 500,000 lemmings can't be wrong.

tilder Sun 13-Mar-16 08:05:12

I think it is bullying too. Constant comments that suggest you are boring, letting the side down, not joining in etc are horrible.

I would hope for some support from others going on the stag do (especially if the vocal prodrinkers are a minority).

Would treat like any form of bullying. Either with disdain or witty put downs.

Presumably he is just as much a friend of the groom as the rest of them.

I get this sort of shit from my mil. I do drink but not lots and I am selective about who I would drink more than a couple with. Comments along the lines of its boring. Or a sign of a good night is lots of empties. Maybe one day I will get pissed in front of her and my 'edit before I speak function ' can be switched off grin

Anniegetyourgun Sun 13-Mar-16 08:08:02

I wouldn't say this was bullying I would say it was banter!

I would say it was fucking rude, myself.

ShowOfHands Sun 13-Mar-16 08:08:18

Sometimes it is banter of course. But this wasn't. And the groom is a childhood friend. No way would DH miss his stag whatsit.

Herewegoagainfolks Sun 13-Mar-16 08:13:09

Quitelikely. It is assuredly not banter if you are in the receiving end of it.

Years ago I had to travel for work, often in a group of colleagues, I regularly experienced the entire table (12 peopl) chanting 'drink, drink, drink' at me.

They thought it was hysterical.

it was bullying.

In another job I've had bosses repeatedly refuse to buy me anything but a alcoholic drink while the waiter and group of colleagues looked on saying nothing even though I was clearly very uncomfortable.

As a teenager out with a friend's family a family friend switched my Coke order to Bacardi and Coke (for a laugh apparently)

In all these incidents, they thought it was 'banter'.

"but it was a joke" it the favourite defence of every bully I've ever met.

OP really the groom should be sorting out his friends with a quiet word.,

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