This week, I did something for the first time in my life: I bought a bottle of an alcholic beverage with the intent to drink it.
I’d bought cooking wine before, and even got carded for it, but I have generally avoided drinking alchohol. As a teenager, I’d only sipped tiny amounts of wine at family events.
Well, in Taiwan, I’ve done quite a bit more sampling of alcohol that I ever did in the states. I’ve developed two standard scripts:
If offered Taiwan beer:
Someone: Have some beer.
Me: No thanks.
Someone: Come on, have some.
Me: Sorry, I can’t handle alcohol very well.
If offered something other than Taiwan beer:
Someone: Have some [alcoholic beverage]
Me: Okay. *samples alcoholic beverage* It’s good.
Someone: Have some more.
Me: Even though it’s good stuff, I shouldn’t drink more, because I don’t handle alcohol very well.
Since I’ve never gotten tipsy, let alone drunk, I actually didn’t know how I would handle alcohol – but I didn’t want to find out in an unplanned situation.
I remember one time it came out that I had never gotten drunk. A bunch of people then decided that they simply HAD to get me drunk. I kept on politely refusing. And I also decided that I was not going to say a word to those people about my asexuality/celibacy (if that’s how they react to my lack of drinking experience, imagine how they would react to the fact that I’ve never had sex).
However, while my personal barriers to drinking tea were removed long ago (Taiwanese people are much more interested in tea than alcohol, and it’s hard to function socially without drinking tea), it’s taken much longer for me to lower my guard about alcohol. But over time, having sampled alcohol in so many situations, I gradually got used to the idea of drinking alcohol.
I bought a bottle of millet wine.
I wanted to drink it alone so that I could do it at my own pace, without pressure from other people. I only drank it on days when I didn’t have anything of crucial importance to do. Since it had relatively low alcohol content, and I drank it really, really slowly, I didn’t get tipsy from it.
The biggest surprise to myself, however, was that I enjoyed drinking it.
I don’t think I’m going to do this very often … but maybe, just maybe, I’ll buy a bottle of wine every few months. Perhaps I’ll experiment with getting tipsy, though I would want to do it under safe, controlled circumstances.
Another step would be to experiment with drinking in the company of other people – I mean really drinking, not just sampling. However, I would want to do it with people I trust, and the people I trust don’t drink much. Hmmm.