Last night was dinner with my partner's parents. I'm slow to warm to people, but I've known them for 3 years now, and they are nice, engaging people with interesting things to say, so at this point I'm slowly letting down my guard, but we're not there yet, so sometimes I get a bit antsy at visiting with them so often (we see them on average every second week, whereas I see my family once or twice a year) but it's always a good time.
They are a family with deeply ingrained rituals, and one of those rituals is wine with supper. I stopped drinking back in October, but they still, without fail, offer me wine every single time I come for dinner. I suppose this is where telling them that I am a recovering alcoholic would be useful, because I feel like they would ultimately be respectful of that. But not right away, and that's why I'm not comfortable telling them that. So my not drinking is a resolution, to be examined and renewed next January.
Thing is, I haven't figured out what the polite exchange for someone choosing not to drink and for others not to press the issue is. It's bad enough that the temptation is there, but typically I get offered alcohol two or three times right away. I have to say "no thanks" two or three times before they stop. It's frustrating and embarassing to me.
I don't want to tell them that I have a drinking problem, because, stigma and shame aside, I don't want to hear another person tell me I don't have a problem. This also happens all the time: "I can't drink because I have a drinking problem," "Oh, Marc, you're fine! I've never seen you get out of hand. Here, just have a beer!"
If you read this and you are a drinker, please do not say this to anyone. It is incredibly awkward and the person you are telling it to should not be required to share with you the embarassing, shameful, tragic, and just plain sad experiences that have led them to stop drinking.
Anyway, with my partner's parents, I think I'm going to start bringing "fancy" flavoured soda water to dinner, and hopefully that will satisfy tradition enough that they don't feel obligated to ask me to drink wine.