Confessions Of a Teetotaler

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
December 17, 1993

All the liquor I’ve ever consumed in my lifetime would fill a martini glass.

OK. Maybe two.

When I was in college, one of my cousins – also not a big drinker – told me I would have to learn to drink socially or I would risk being viewed as an oddball. I’ve been viewed as odd for many reasons, but not drinking has never been one of them.

Why don’t I drink?  Here’s why:

I hate the taste of alcohol.  Dom Perignon or Bud – they’re equally unpleasant to me and smell even worse.  Mixed drinks such as Long Island iced tea and Amaretto sour aren’t too bad, but they basically taste like mutated soft drinks.  So, my theory is, why bother?

The calories.  One look at the average 30-year-old male’s beer belly is enough to make me not want to even start.  I prefer my fat the old-fashioned way: ice cream.

Friends usually want me around, not because I’m such great company but because they can enjoy a drink or two and relax. I am the permanent designated driver.  And as such, I can get free sodas at many bars that have designated driver programs.

I’m cheap.  Ginger ale, Diet Coke and mineral water cost less than alcohol. My job requires that I spend a lot of time at night clubs and concert venues. Ever smell one of those bathrooms?  When you don’t drink alcohol, you don’t need to visit the WC quite as often.
That, if nothing else, makes it all worthwhile.


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