Mailbag Monday: Is Drinking Alone Difficult?

Dear Alleigh:
I just found your blog through Snooth and really like it.  I hope you don’t find this question to personal, but I went through some old posts it sounds like your husband doesn’t drink.  Does that make things difficult for you?

Welcome!  I’m glad you found A Glass After Work, and I hope you’ll be back.

As far as your question, one of the things I’ve learned from writing a blog that touches on my everyday life is I have to get personal.  That’s part of my relationship with my readers, so your question is fair game.  In fact, I try to be open about the fact that Hubby doesn’t drink.

I think there are a lot of people who don’t drink because a partner or relative doesn’t and they feel awkward “drinking alone.”  When we first started dating 8 years ago, it was a little awkward ordering a beer or a glass of wine when Hubby ordered a coke.  It made me a little self conscious about what I was drinking and how much I was drinking of it.  However, it soon became clear that when he said he didn’t have a problem with other people drinking, he meant it.  Hubby just didn’t want to have one himself.  His decision wasn’t because he had an alcohol problem, which made it possible for me to have wine in the house or drink in front of him when we went out.  So, while it took me a little while to not be self-conscious about it, I don’t have any problems with be the only one in the house that drinks.

Now, there are some wines I’m so excited about trying and want to share the experience with another person, in which case, I will usually open the wine with a friend or two.  There are also times when I want to open am expensive bottle of wine that I don’t think will stand up to a day or two of being open, in which case I try to wait to share that with others as well.  Otherwise, I’m happy to open a bottle of wine, drink a glass, put my Corker in the bottle, and place it in the fridge for the next night.

Now, when I’m out a restaurant, the fact that Hubby doesn’t drink can change my ordering decisions.   Usually, I will stick to the half bottle or by-the-glass menu.  However, Virginia and DC both allow customers to take unfinished bottles home from a restaurant, so if we’re going directly from the restaurant to our condo, I may order a whole bottle and take the leftovers home with us.  Otherwise, it’s just impractical for me to order and drink a bottle of wine by myself when we go to dinner just the two of us.

With all that said, there are actually benefits to being the only wine drinker in the house.  The biggest is that I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s palate.  When I got to the wine store, I only have to think about what I want to drink, and I never have to worry about being experimental. The only person I disappoint with a bad bottle of wine is myself, and when that happens, I just open another.


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