I was talking to a friend about this concept recently and realized it's really interesting.
In the United States at least, it's pretty commonly accepted that "everyone" drinks, unless they take medication that prevents it, are avoiding it because of alcoholism, are allergic, or are pregnant. It's basically so associated with adulthood that people use "grabbing a drink" as a shorthand for typical adult interaction.
I don't like drinking. I generally avoid it because I don't like being drunk and I don't care for the taste of most alcoholic beverages, though there are a couple wines I actively like or don't mind.
But since alcohol is typically more expensive than other beverages, is high-calorie, and can be bad for you, I don't really see the point of drinking it if you don't enjoy being drunk, don't like the taste, and don't have a social life that revolves around it.
And surprise, surprise:
My best friends Victor, Jeaux, and Meghan don't drink either.
In fact, all three of them drink LESS THAN ME. Jeaux didn't even want to drink the champagne at my sister's wedding (I drank his). Victor has tried alcoholic beverages here and there but mostly feels they taste horrible. Meghan does not like it.
And of course, all of us have had our lifestyles in general questioned with regard to our maturity. Not just because of alcohol, of course, but we've all been in social situations where people were SHOCKED that we don't drink and wanted to know why. People also demonstrated a surprising investment in getting us to drink.
Since drinking is considered a vice by some people, I wonder if that's part of the reason they really, really want us to participate? If my experience as an asexual woman is any indication, I've noticed that people who really love a thing but have also been made to feel that enjoying it is sinful and decadent tend to assume that anyone who abstains is trying to claim the moral high ground. If we don't drink, it must be a statement! And it's commentary on THEIR LIVES!
Honestly, I just don't like it, so leave me alone. That's where it should end.
It never does.
Humanity is really, really nosy, and acts in some unacceptable, embarrassing ways when it feels defensive.
Maybe they just think if we're ALL doing it, then nobody's judging them?
Would be cool if maybe they'd stop writing meaning into an abstention and stop judging US.