My neighbor recently borrowed my juicer. He often starts a new diet, and this time he decided on a juice diet. Being past my juicing phase, I gladly let him have a go. (I stopped juicing because it didn’t make sense to me to throw away all the fiber.) Shortly after he borrowed it, he said he’d decided not to use it after all, so I went by today to pick it up.
“Why no juicing?”
“I found this diet where I’m allowed two glasses of wine a night.”
“Yes, cutting out the alcohol is an easy way to knock out some empty calories.”
“Oh, I won’t stop drinking entirely,” he said. “It would put a damper on my social life. But I am down from five glasses a night to two. This diet works with my lifestyle.”
“You could drink sparkling water.”
I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink.”
I looked at him hard. He was dead serious.
“That’s the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.”
“In business,” he said, trying to explain himself.
“Some people you shouldn’t trust when they are drinking. And some people are alcoholics and don’t drink. They can’t. It’s a disease.”
“I suppose you’re going to tell me now obesity is a disease.”
He was standing in front of the door, blocking my exit.
“Okay, you’re really pissing me off,” I said. “Open the door.”
He let me out and I went home and dropped off my juicer and put on my running shoes. I was angry and I needed to think. I needed to run it off.
When I returned home, four miles later, I Googled “Never trust a man who doesn’t drink.” I didn’t understand his philosophy, and I wondered if it’s common amongst heavy drinkers. I thought it was just a line of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. But it’s not. Some people actually believe that if you don’t drink, you’re not willing to share who you really are. And if you’re not willing to take off your supposed mask by having a few, you therefore are untrustworthy. So my neighbor is more trustworthy after he’s had a few? He was more trustworthy when he got drunk at my place one night and suggested we have a neighborly roll in the hay?
I think his lack of trust in the non-drinker is asinine. Or as I said to him: the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.
I wish it had occurred to me to say at the time, “Mitt Romney doesn’t drink, and you voted for him.”
So how do non-drinkers deal with people like my neighbor? If you’re doing business with someone who ascribes to this philosophy, how do you handle it?
Personally, I’m beginning to think the guy is a total dick.