I was reading Shane Watson's column in the Times Magazine yesterday.
I've always liked Shane Watson. The title of yesterday's article was 'Why I Hate People on Diets.'
As I read it, chuckling away, it struck me that trying to drink 'moderately' is very much like being on a diet.
Here's what Shane says about dieters - see if it rings any bells:
They (moderators) are unrelaxed and unrelaxing, reek of self denial and vibrate with unfinished business. For obvious reasons they tend to have a short fuse (who wouldn't, with the day stretching ahead with only three litres of Evian (one glass of wine) to look forward to), and God help you if a long-anticipated meal (drink) is held up for any reason....
....they are wired and restless and keen to get to the next stage, and then the next stage, before they finally collapse into bed and lie there, jaws clamped tight.
Remember all that? I think part of the reason we dread sobriety is that we've all played with moderation and assume that being sober is just the same but endless.
But it's not! Sober is like ditching the diet and eating what you want, it's just that you've got to the point where you no longer want to eat (drink) the bad stuff.
So, I'm nodding along, feeling smug, when Shane says: saying "I'm no carbs" is like saying "I'm teetotal."
Can you hear the implied scorn? I've always hated Shane Watson.
She goes on: dieters have....made us self-conscious about food. They've taken one of the most enjoyable things in life and made it awkward. That's why I hate people on diets: because they affect the way I feel about food and the role food plays in my life. Eating normally seems....like showing off.
With a horrible sinking feeling I recognised that that is exactly how people see 'teetotallers' at a dinner party. Party poopers. Fun suckers. Energy drains.
We make them question their own habits, and we make them self conscious about drinking in front of us.
That's why I usually stay quiet.
I let people fill up my wine glasses which I then don't touch. It's not because I'm ashamed of being sober - I'm not, quite the reverse.
It's because I'm worried that however much they pretend to admire me and be impressed, they're secretly thinking "bloody hell, they've sat me next to the sober person! Beam me up, Scotty!"
Love SM x