The statistics for staying sober forever are dismally low. Why should I believe that I can do it when the vast majority of people crumble and stumble and sometimes never get back on the wagon? What makes me different? I am no different, but I do think I can do this. I also believe I'd be one of the few that would survive the apocalypse and help rebuild humanity. I'm just optimistic like that.
This week-end I am going to Paris. The Paris. The Paris where I'm supposed to wear a cute dress while I ride a bike with a basket, and that basket should have a baguette and a bottle of wine. I'm also on this Whole 30 cleanse where I am not to eat anything but protein and vegetables. That's not the Paris I thought I would be visiting one day. I already decided to give myself leeway on the Whole 30 business-I'm not soul searching with that plan, it is just a reeling in of poor food choices. But the drinking. In 20 years will I regret not sipping red wine at a cafe with a view of the Eiffel Tower? I might. I might not.
During undergraduate I did a study abroad program in Buenos Aires for 4 months and I was a vegetarian at the time. And I admit I did miss out by not eating meat, especially being in the late 90s, there weren't a whole lot of options for me. I was hungry a lot and I ate a lot of cheese pizza. Twenty years later I do regret not taking part in the barbecues and empanadas, probably because I'm no longer a vegetarian. I remember an Argentine saying to me, "Why would you come to Argentina as a vegetarian? That's like going to China when you don't eat rice." Touché Argentine, touché.
Well then. How will I feel in 20 years that I didn't drink wine in Paris over the week-end? I guess it will depend if I'm still sober or joining the vast majority that don't stay sober. I'm ambivalent about if I'll join the crowd that melts back into the drinking culture or keep it together with the those who abstain. But either way I will survive the apocalypse.
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. My life is so much better for it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp