20 Feb Dry January Reflections
Sometimes I do strange things with no better reason than to prove to myself that I can (see also: vegetarianism of 2006; moving to Italy…). So this year, Paula and I had the brilliant idea of doing “Dry January”. I thought everyone knew what this was, but it turns out that nobody here has heard of the idea, so here’s the short version: Dry January means not drinking a drop of alcohol for the first month of the year. Yes, it’s boring. Yes, tasting counts. No, a month has never felt so long.
Here’s what we learnt:
- Italians think Dry January is a pretty weird thing to do. You will be asked a lot of questions, mainly “…but why?”. You will find it harder and harder to answer that as the month goes on.
- Ginger beer is a lifesaver. Non alcoholic, delicious, and can be made to like a cocktail to get you out of answering “…but, why?” again, if you ask the barman nicely.
- Wine has never smelt more delicious than when you can’t have any.
- Drunk people are annoying in every country.
- Basically every social situation when you’re an adult involves alcohol to some extent. You will find yourself saying no to an after dinner San Simone, passing on wine at lunch, refusing the prosecco your friend is offering for their birthday, and having to repeat “DRY JANUARY” as your tipsy friends urge you to “just taste” their G&T.
- You don’t need alcohol to have fun, but don’t think about going “out out” unless you want to hate everyone. P.s. walking in heels hurts even more when you’re sober, and you’ll feel the cold much, much more.
- Social situations just got 100x more awkward. I decided that sober January would be the perfect time to make some new friends, and found myself spending a fair bit of time with people I didn’t know very well, having to explain right off the bat that I wasn’t drinking for a month for no real reason whatsoever. Needless to say, they probably think I’m pretty odd.
- You will spend a little bit less money, but that’s mainly because cold weather + no promise of wine = “maybe I’ll just stay home tonight”.
- There will be moments – many, many moments – when you will regret having ever said you’d do this.
- …but you can be sanctimonious and smug when it’s all over, which (although it’s no substitute for all the prosecco you missed out on) definitely helps.