Sober Night Out

I mentioned recently that I had plans to go out with friends this weekend and next, and last night was the first time in quite awhile that I did so. I met a group of old friends- friends that I don’t see so often these days- for drinks and appetizers at a restaurant/wine bar, and then we moved on to a legitimate bar for more drinks. Overall, it was fun to see friends and a good learning experience. I went a bit late and left pretty early, which was a good strategy this time.

I never really looked at it this way in the past, but now the whole concept of socializing at bars for hours and hours late at night seems like a waste of time to me. People should do what makes them happy, but for me, at this point in my life, having fuzzy, overly enthused conversations with acquaintances into the wee hours of the morning is not that much fun. I would rather have real conversations with people who are fully present. The late night bar scene seems like mental masturbation compared to the many things I could be doing that improve my life such as reading a great book, catching up on sleep, hanging out with my family, exercising, meditating, working on a project that makes me genuinely happy and content, or connecting with friends sober. I am not putting people down for doing this- I spent so much time in bars in the past that I would never judge anyone for that lifestyle choice- it is just not my thing anymore. I am perfectly okay with going to a nice restaurant for appetizers and drinks, enjoying a (non-alcoholic) cocktail on a patio in the summer, or going to a BBQ where alcohol is served, but I think I will avoid bars unless it is a special occasion or there is a band that I really want to see or another compelling reason.

It was strange to come home and talk to my husband about the night after the fact. At one point I realized that I never used to remember conversations so clearly during my drinking days. I remembered who I made plans with, what people said, who I saw, etc., and was able to share all of those small details with my husband. In the past I would have been trying to piece that information together the next day. I guess it is normal to remember everything about a night out? What a foreign concept. I don’t know though, it seems like even non-problem drinkers get a little exuberant and loose-lipped while drinking. I had to remind myself that all of the plans I made throughout the night might not actually come to fruition because the people I made them with were drinking, and I can’t be sure how much they were drinking exactly. Weird to be on that side of things for a change. I probably made a zillion plans with people in the past that I totally forgot about the next day. I wonder how many people’s feelings I hurt by doing that? Being drunk is not a very good excuse for shitty behavior.

Overall it was harmless and pretty fun. I left when I started to feel tired and slightly uncomfortable, and was happy to have a cup of tea, a piece of chocolate, and a cuddle in front of the TV with my husband before bed. It was a nice night. I am looking forward to a friend’s bridal shower and bachelorette party next weekend- hopefully it will be fun, too. It seems like all my friends are getting married this year! Maybe one day I will remember this as the year of sober weddings. πŸ™‚


9 thoughts on “Sober Night Out

  1. great job! i completely agree re the bar scene. i can’t believe now how much time and money i spent on that lifestyle. wasted my twenties and vast coin in bars. nights always fuzzy and next day spent feeling gross wondering wtf i did. a good friend in also getting married this summer – not as many weddings on this end now come 40+ but the wedding is on the eve of what will be 1 year sober. this crowd is used to me in a drunken stupor – falling over, ranting and raving, dancing wildly – not this time. will be interesting to experience sans booze. good luck with b. party. can’t go wrong sober, worse case one gets bored but not the next morning! the joy of the next morning does not grow old.

    • Thanks! You are so right about the money- I spent a grand total of $3.50 last night. Haha! The whole experience would have been so different had I been drinking. Who knows how much money I would have spent or when I would have gotten home… much better this way! I bet your wedding will be fabulous sober! Hugs!

  2. Well done with your night out – I must say, I completely agree with you on the not-wanting-to-sit-in-a-bar-all-night point! I have managed a few nights out so far where there has been a fair bit of alcohol involved (for others!) but not in bars. And it’s not just that I would struggle with that right now – I can’t really ever seeing myself wanting to do it. And I did do a lot of it in the past, too! Life moves on, and there are more interesting places to meet with friends πŸ™‚ Thanks for the post πŸ™‚ xxx

  3. Being drunk is no excuse really – once you look back and change you cringe at the memories – well I do!!
    Hope all your weddings this year are sober ones πŸ™‚

  4. I enjoy your blog! Our sober dates are almost the same, August 11 for me. And this is definitely the year of sober weddings…mine in less than three weeks! πŸ™‚ The idea that I will get married sober is amazing. Even though I am a high bottom, I’ve spent almost 40 years wondering if I drink too much. I finally got sick of wondering.

  5. I don’t comment much but I have to thank you for that visual “mental masturbation” – that is just brilliant and SO true. We had dinner in a boutique brewery last night and in our group of 6 only 2 were drinking very moderately, but going up to the busy bar and waiting alongside people was quite the eye-opener.

  6. Wow, I really needed this reminder–been romanticizing drinking lately. I have gone through this whole same process, of finding out what a waste of time it is to drink for hours on end. I actually find it pretty annoying to hang out with drunk people now, because I feel like, one, they are there for the drinks and not me (I get that because that’s what was most important to me on my nights out when I was drinking!); and two, I pretty much never know who far gone everyone is and if he or she is going to even remember half of what they’re saying to me!

    The shift in perspective is marvelous, isn’t it? There are so many other things to be doing besides wasting time drinking…which makes it almost impossible to start drinking again once you really move into this mindset. Thanks for this excellent reminder of how fun drinking IS NOT. πŸ™‚

  7. I so agree with you about the bar scene handouts…… Unless it’s a special event there seems no reason too….. It’s sad but there are so many more things I rather be doing. Glad it’s not just, “your not drinking so your boring now” theory! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Insightful post . It’s so funny and ironic. I had very similar experiences this weekend and came to the same conclusions. If there is a purpose to the social gathering ( at a bar or where ever ) great, I am in , and probably will enjoy it (watching a game, dinner, a quick drink and specific conversation). But, If it is purely an opportunity for prolonged drinking, not so much. One insight that I have picked up is that the uncomfortable feeling I get being in that situation isn’t necessarily that I am craving a drink (although that may be part of it), it’s BOREDOM. Which by the way is one of my drinking triggers. I usually end up talking with the bartender more than the people I am there with. The thing that is ironic is that after a while the reason that everyone is supposedly there (fellowship, camaraderie, connection) is actually non pretty nonexistent after 3 or four drinks. I am not judging anyone either (well maybe a little) it’s just an observation. Keep up the great posts!

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