1. Your small talk stock skyrockets:
At the end of the
day life, we’re all just looking for things that’ll enable us to hold a 3 minute elevator-to hallway conversation. Not drinking, or at the very least, cutting back on drinking, is a sort of life-pivot that can pay off huge dividends in any small-talk situation.
Like the American West in 1862, telling someone you’re drinking less is a Homestead Act-type declaration. All of a sudden, there’s a wealth of fresh, unsettled conversational territory that must be capitalized upon immediately. New topics include:
- Them asking you if there was any low-point event that prompted you to stop.
- Their story of how they’re also drinking less, how it’s really paid off for them, and how they are subtlely better than you.
2. No Worries:
One of the major reasons people drink is because we oftentimes get “crushed” and “swamped” by work, the stressors of life, and the lack of text from that person who you thought you had a real connection with. Alcohol is a depressant, and it takes those worries away — it’s a hakuna matata for the 27 year-old who wishes it was 3 years ago, when his or her lack of future seemed a lot less daunting
But what about all the stressors of drinking? The concern of doing and saying things that are dumb or out of character, or feeling partly responsible for the DD that night — who just so happens to be the one guy in your group who thinks drunk driving isn’t a big deal? No drinking = full control. Which means you no longer have to worry about the alt-delete part on a night gone wrong.
3. Alternative De-Stressors:
Now that alcohol is largely out of the picture, you’ll probably need to find new things that make you forget about the horrors of our world today — horrors that are made abundantly clear day in and day out by that apocalypse-foreshadowing Facebook “trending” sidebar.
Will you suddenly get obsessive about the gym? Cook? Do yoga? Tell people about doing yoga? The options are endless — and quite exciting, in the same way l’d imagine being 31 and looking at real-estate is exciting.
4. You now have additional money to spend on
clothes, books, a present for your girlfriend, those fancy juices, the rising price of coffee, increased subway fare, that late fee your management company charged you even though you send your rent in the same time every month and it probably was just a processing issue, which, despite being incredibly annoying, is probably something you shouldn’t take out on the person answering the management company’s phone, because it really has nothing to do with him, and he probably has enough daily stressors to deal with already — stressors which, maybe, he copes with by drinking heavily after work.
5. You seek out things you otherwise wouldn’t:
I recently made plans to meet up with a friend who I haven’t seen in awhile — we even marked down the date on our respective calendars. Actually I don’t have a calendar, but maybe he has one.
Traditionally, we’d go to a bar, get two too many pitchers of beer, and talk things out — careers, the NHL playoffs, that time when our mutual friend didn’t know the song Free Bird, but then pretended like he did and things got super weird. But I think I might suggest we go to a Dim Sum place instead, given that he’s definitely the type of friend that’d be down for Dim Sum.
It’ll be perfect. We could both brag/be depressed about how we don’t really drink anymore, and earnestly hope that Shaomai will be an effective enough social lubricant to remain good friends.