Living A Sober Lifestyle Is Strange Sometimes?
The world has gone mad! Allow me to share a little story with you, and I will prove it.
Alcohol is so firmly embedded into our collective conscious that you will observe some extraordinary situations when you stop drinking for good.
One of those occasions has just conveniently arisen as I am writing this. I am typing this at 37,000 feet over the French Alps enroute from Manchester, England to Larnaca, Cyprus.
As I boarded and took my seat, a familiar face greeted me. Andrea, a friend of mine I have not seen for many years and now works for the airline. She happens to be the senior cabin stewardess aboard this flight to Cyprus.
It made me feel quite remarkable to get a hug and kiss on the cheek from the air hostess as she took my ticket (that has certainly never happened before).
As she hugged me, she whispered in my ear, “don’t worry, I will make sure you are looked after”.
There was no room in the business class section, but she made sure I got special attention; I am sure to the annoyance of the other passengers seated nearby.
I was moved to sit with a whole row of seats to myself, and not more than 30 minutes into the flight, her colleague approached me and asked if I would like a complimentary drink. I ordered a coffee. The same stewardess returned an hour later and asked if I would like something else, and I ordered a fresh orange juice and some crisps, which she quickly and politely delivered to my seat with a smile.
Not long after, Andrea came to see me herself and, with a confused expression on her face, asked: “do you not want some wine or whiskey?” I assured her I was okay, and she smiled at me as she dashed off to respond to another passenger who had pressed the call button.
What No Whiskey?
About a third of the way through this five-hour flight, I had already enjoyed a coffee, OJ, mineral water, a hot meal and now a Cola, all gratis. Thanks to my friend the air hostess.
But something was wrong; Andrea sat in the empty seat next to me, “are you sure you don’t want some wine?” she asked, and again I smiled back at her and said, “I am fine”. Her face crumpled with confusion, “are you driving as soon as you land, is that why you don’t want it? You can take some bottles with you if you want,” she added.
I held a hand up to emphasize the point subconsciously and smiled again, “no Andrea, honestly I am fine, I don’t need any wine”. She nodded an “okay”, smiled and walked back down the cabin, obviously perplexed by the strange man who didn’t leap at the chance of free alcohol.
As she walked away, I somehow got the distinct impression I had offended her. It couldn’t have been because I had refused her generosity. After all, I had eaten and drank like a king for the first three hours of the flight and not paid a penny for the privilege.
Everyone Drinks Poison For Fun
In a society where 80% of people drink poison for apparently social reasons, you will repeatedly experience this sort of event, especially when alcohol is offered free.
Turning down free poison appears to be one of the most offensive things you can do in polite society. This simple act seems to cause significant discomfort and distrust for the person offering the booze.
When you ask for a soft drink instead, they assure you that it isn’t a problem, yet they walk off to the fridge with the most disingenuous expression you have ever seen.
People worry that you are sick or there is something wrong with you. As though refusing to drink the poison is madness.
Step Outside The Illusion
When you get to the point where alcohol is just making you more and more miserable, this is when you can step outside the illusion and see the insanity for what it really is.