Partaking in No Drink Granuary…I mean January…automatically makes people think that during all other months, I drink myself into a coma. Though wine does help me drift into a rock-like state, I want to immediately address the fact that in no way do I have a drinking problem. For me, No Drink January (alternatively known as “Dry January”) is some sort of self-inflicted torture to prove to myself that I do, in fact, have a thread of self-control left in my body made of cheese. Last time I tried this stunt, I made it until January 27th, so we’ll see how this year goes.00011

The general reaction I receive after proclaiming my decision to refrain from any alcohol for a month is, “Oh my gosh. I don’t know how anyone could do that!” When I suggest someone join me, their first words are, “I need to check my schedule to see if I have any events I’ll want to drink at.” Nobody is a bad person for wanting to get loosey goosey on the dance floor of a wedding or celebrate a birthday with some sensible shots champagne. Heck, if you need your late night scotch every Monday to mourn the long week ahead, who am I to judge? I will say, however, that I think it would be a fascinating social experiment for every single person to participate in No Drink January.

I can imagine it now…

I walk into a bar to find the grim bartender bitterly sipping on a ginger ale. The lonely bottles behind her, the beer taps still wrapped in saran wrap (if you have ever worked at a restaurant, this does not sound weird to you), and drink menus stuffed onto a shelf. A few brave souls sit on the stools, talking about their days at work and trying to figure out what to do with their hands. Sweet Caroline is faintly playing in the background since loud music just sounds dumb when liquor isn’t involved. I get a text from my fiancé  (it’s my imagination, okay?? I can have whatever I want) and he tells me that he signed us up for ballroom dance lessons because it’s either that or go to the gym, but those are way too crowded with people who’d normally be at the bar. What else are we going to do on a Thursday night? After I down my water, I meet him at the ballroom dance studio in the underappreciated part of town reserved for the stray Waffle House and bridal boutique. We’re magically awesome at waltzing, plus we laugh and befriend a hilarious couple who are both doomed with two left feet. The four of us dance to Sinatra and chat without using shifty eyes (the common tactic of pretending to look for someone across the room during awkward silence). How refreshing and pleasant!

Okay, I know this won’t ever happen- in large part because I don’t have money for ballroom dance classes, but mostly because far fewer people try random things like ballroom dancing when they could easily go to local bars and turn off their brains. How would we (being my fake fiancé and myself) meet our hilarious imaginary couple if we/they hadn’t taken a chance at ballroom dancing? Don’t say “at a bar” in that snarky head of yours. Maybe I don’t have enough faith in American culture to think that tons of people aren’t already engaging in interesting activities or holding significant sober conversations, but I honestly find that most people associate socializing with drinking. Hobbies take up one weeknight and Saturday afternoons, but the average millennial schedule involves Thursday at Happy Hour, Fri-Sat drinking at bars, Sunday having champagne brunches, and Mon-Weds recovering while watching New Girl, Modern Family, The Bachelor, Blacklist, Scandal, Revenge, Mindy Project, The Biggest Loser, and Suits.

Exceptions exist, I’m aware. Plenty of you are out there CrossFitting your little hearts out every evening or rehearsing for a musical on Saturday nights. But I know you don’t disagree with me in thinking the month of January would be very interesting if all of America went dry. By the way, bartender friends, I’m not trying to make you panic or feel forgotten. Have you heard of what happened during the Prohibition? Universal No Drink January will never happen. Calm down. I love you.

I’m on day eight and so far, so good. I’ve had to turn down one brunch because the person said that I must take part in the bottomless champagne portion (rude). I have seen Frozen twice, drunk weird amounts of apple cider to replace my wine cravings, and hung out at my friend’s mom’s house since meeting out for a glass of Pinot wasn’t an option. These things may be a little off the normalcy curve, but I’m getting by just fine! Here’s to 23 more days!