I'll focus most of this post on the whole not drinking thing. I haven't had any alcohol in the past 17 days. Oh, which reminds me...is there anyway to tell people that you aren't drinking right now, or that you haven't drank in X days without sounding like a recovering alcoholic? If so, I haven't found one yet. I think it's kinda like what Jim Gaffigan says about not being able to drink wine out of anything other than a wine glass without feeling like a drunk or a crazy person. When I tell people that I'm not drinking, I usually get one of two responses. The first is the honest response that I'm way more fun to hang out with after having a couple of cocktails. The second is something about alcohol not being that bad in moderation, or some recommendation of a low calorie alcoholic option (Jack and Diet, Guinness, Michelob Ultra, or MGD 64).
I've given the second response some thought, and it's entirely accurate. Even if you have a handful of beers, that's really only about 500 calories, and that can be worked into a weight loss program. Especially if it isn't a nightly occurrence. What I've determined is that it's not the alcohol, but the fact that food goes so damn well with booze. My drinking food options usually fall into one of three categories:
1. Late Night Iron Chef MacGyver. This one only happens at home. It usually involves me and some sort of small kitchen appliance that we received as a wedding gift. We usually don't have a whole lot of food at our house. We'll have one main staple (which would be the Iron Chef part) and then a whole lot of random stuff (the MacGyver part). So it's me and a quesadilla maker or toaster oven making some magic. This one usually ends with Kate waking up in the morning saying something like "what the hell is the quesadilla maker doing out?" I could probably be smooth and say something about me having it out last night so that I could clean it, but the evidence of my turkey bacon, kraft single, and pretzel quesadilla is all over the counter. I wonder if the random uncle or parent friend who bought us the small appliance thought something like "oh, this will be perfect for Nate after a couple of Gin and Lemonades" when they picked it off of our registry. All signs point to no.
2. Order by the Page. This one usually happens while watching a football game at a bar or maybe at a work happy hour. After being over-served, I have a bit of trouble making an appetizer decision. For some reason, everything on the inside cover of the menu looks fantastic. So instead of picking between the wings and potato skins, I just ask for page 2 of the menu, and get one of everything. Yeah, that's a great way to get to your daily recommended allowance of calories within an hour.
3. Noah's ark. This one involves ordering two of something (usually everything). I think there are a couple of potential reasons why I do this one. First would be my hatred of sharing food with other people. I really, really don't like other people taking food off of my plate, even if it's a food designed for sharing (see wings, spinach artichoke dip, etc). So maybe I'm thinking that if I order two of something (everything), then I can have one for myself and one for everyone else to share. Or maybe it's just because I think that if I order two orders of potato skins, one will male and the other will be female, and then they'll procreate on the table and create even more potato skins, or at least some tater tots. After reading this last paragraph, I'm not sure which would be worse - being unable to share with others, or actually believing that my appetizers could create baby appetizers. I'd say it's a tie.
So there you go. It's not the alcohol itself, but the food that often (always) comes with it. Yes, I know there aren't many calories in a beer and yes and I know that I'm way more fun after a couple of beers; but I'm not drinking. Unless of course I get bumped up to the front of the plane...then all bets are off...the drinks are free up there.