Anyone who’s been “out there” knows that dating can be fun and revealing and full of potential as well as frustrating, confusing, and downright hellacious. One thing that seems to make dating possible is the presence of alcohol. In the words of Homer Simpson, To alcohol, the cause of and solution to all of our problems!
When you’ve made the decision to stop drinking – and you live in Boston, where booze is often the main course and not just a side dish – dating becomes an adventure. That is to say, an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks (at least according to Miriam Webster).
Since I stopped drinking, I’ve gone out on my share of first dates. Each one has been different in some way – the American of British heritage who was obsessed with being Italian, the former Olympic bobsledder who looked like a young Christopher Reeve and passionately argued his right to bear arms, the young businessman who resembled a crazed hedgehog when he laughed. There were nice guys, mean boys, great dates I was happy to just experience, awful ones I wish never happened, and a lot in between.
One thing they all had in common was that within the first 10 minutes of sitting down, the question inevitably arose, Oh, you don’t drink?
Faced with this, I initially took the honest route, Yeah, I decided it is better for me not to.
Honest? Yes, but this only led to more questions (oh, is there a story there?) and/or awkward silences (where can the first conversation with someone go from here?).
So I developed a small collection of responses that would hopefully introduce some levity or just plain distract my date. Here are a few of my favorites:
* It’s a condition of my parole.
* It interacts badly with my medication. [widen eyes for emphasis] We don’t want that, do we?
* It makes me really flirtatious; you saw the movie Blind Date, right? [wink]
* I took E before I came here tonight. I never mix.
* It’s bad for the baby.
Over course of a relationship, the conversation has to happen at some point, but that’s another story.