The choice of what we put into our bodies is not a committee decision.
Whether it’s food, drink or other, this is a boundary that seems to get a whole lot of attention from all sides.
So what are you to do when someone decides that this boundary you’ve set for yourself is inappropriate and tries hard to tear it down?
This was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) tzrip237 when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for being ‘too honest’ about why I don’t drink?”
OP began with some history.
“I’m 33 and I had a serious drinking problem since a young age.”
“My dad was an alcoholic so booze never lacked in our house.”
“It nearly killed me when I was only 27 and was in the ER for alcohol poisoning.”
Before sharing fantastic news.
“It was too close a call and after that things had to change. With my wife’s support, I went to rehab and proud to say I’ve been sober 5 1/2yrs.”
“My flatmate invited our friends over yesterday.”
“It was 7 of us in total, including his friend, ‘Mark.’ I’ve met Mark maybe 3-4 times over the last 2 years and while we’re ‘friendly’ I honestly don’t know him that well.”
“But you can tell he’s a party-guy. Likes to get loud, take shots, makes gross comments sometimes, etc.”
“Mark brought several cases of beer and a bottle of tequila with him so everyone was drinking and having a good time.”
Everything was fine, until…
“Mark kept offering me drinks the entire night, which I’d politely decline.”
“It’s like he made it his personal mission to get me to drink by egging me on, saying everytime he sees me I’m either drinking a soda/water and it’s okay to let loose sometimes.”
“He resorted to teasing me into drinking, calling me ‘princess’; I don’t know what that had to do with not wanting to drink.”
“All my friends there knew what I was like before, how bad my drinking was so they kept trying to steer the conversation so he’d forget about me.”
“But every now and then he’d hand me a shot glass or a beer and would not let it go even after telling him yet again that I didn’t want to drink.”
“My wife became uncomfortable with his behavior (I think she was worried I’d actually drink).”
“She grabbed the shot glass from me, dumped it in the sink and told him to stop it already. He looked between us and grinned like he ‘understood now'”.
“Mark joked that maybe we should get my wife drunk first, then that’ll get her to loosen up the leash she has on me.”
“I’ll admit, that made me see red.”
“I got in his face and told him, ‘actually I don’t drink because last time I did I almost f*cking died so unless you want me puking everywhere and having seizures you should shut up and leave my wife out of this.”’
“Wiped the smile off him real quick and he apologized. The rest of night went on and he finally left me alone.”
“Our flatmate did confront me in the morning because he thinks I was too honest with Mark and it wasn’t his fault he didn’t know; he was just joking around and I made him feel bad.”
“Our other friends agree he was being too pushy and deserved being told off, my wife agrees so he’s the only one right now that’s taking Mark’s side.”
“He said I could’ve ignored him until he gave up instead of bringing up an uncomfortable truth from my past.”
“Now yes I could’ve just told Mark the truth without full details but felt that’s none of his business and a ‘no’ should’ve been enough.”
“I only got carried away when he decided to include my wife in his jokes.”
OP was left to wonder,
“So yes I am wondering if I was a bit of an a-hole for what I told him instead of keeping the peace.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed out that Mark’s embarrassment was his own fault.
“The only person who made Mark look bad was Mark, and he should be embarrassed by his behaviour.”
“My partner is an ex alcoholic and I have never heard her have to explain more than, no thanks I don’t drink.”
“It’s common decency to just back off if someone says no to alcohol/cigarettes/drugs/anything.” ~ rachel1991spi
“OP’s flatmate said he could have just ignored Mark. But that’s exactly what OP did, repeatedly, and Mark kept pushing it. OP’s response was completely reasonable.” ~ watanabelover69
Others wondered where all these friends were during the confrontations.
“You are absolutely right, and the conflict avoidance of the others in this situation baffle me.”
“After the first few times, they should have helped quickly shut him down.”
“I dont understand ‘gently guiding the convo away from Marks harrassment. Or ignoring the stupid princess nickname. The guy sounds annoying af.” ~ wittyisland
“Mark was embarrassed and apologized. It’s the flatmate the one that doesn’t seem to grasp the extend of misbehavior of Mark. That’s what amazes me the most” ~ Lamia_91
Commenters pointed out that “No” is a complete sentence.
“How has Mark and your flatmate not realized that ‘no means no’?”
“You should not have had to keep declining once you said no the first time, and you didn’t owe him or anyone else an explanation.”
“He crossed several lines and you responded by being blunt, which was the obviously only way to get him to stop.” ~ MandaDian
“It creeped me out to hear him “joke” about getting his wife drunk to “loosen her up”. Made me think he’s probably used alcohol to try change the choices of other women who have denied him something.” ~ Rainasface
“Definitely getting the creepy “a no is just a yes that needs convincing” type vibes off this Mark guy.”
“OP is NTA.”
“Mark however is definitely an AH.” ~ The_Techie_Chef
“No is a full sentence.”
“Mark was being pushy and an a**hole.”
“Peer pressure isn’t cute when your teenagers and its especially ridiculous as adults.”
“He disrespected you by badgering you to drink and he disrespected your wife.”
“No one needs a reason to not do something but since Mark clearly wasn’t going to stop pushing you you were well within the right to tell him exactly why you didn’t want to drink.” ~ fannydogmonster
Some felt that Mark had deeper issues.
“Makes me think it’s Mark who is the alcoholic.”
“I’ve met many addicts who crave validation, and find the idea of others willingly choosing not to partake as threatening the fantasy that it’s the best possible way of life.” ~ clickygirl
“A someone who doesn’t drink and never has, I get this a LOT. The amount of people who seem to feel threatened or judged simply because I chose not to drink and they do is astounding.”
“I’ve had people get openly upset with me over the fact that I don’t drink. I’ve had family members pressure me for years to drink ‘just this one time'”.
“They can’t comprehend that I have no desire to drink.”
“They assume I’m resisting some kind of temptation. They can’t reason that I don’t need alcohol to lower my hibitions. That if I want to do something, I’ll do it without the crutch of being drunk.” ~ JDK002
There were also personal stories.
“It’s why I stopped going to the bar. Like, I’m out here to dance and have a good time, but somehow me not getting blackout drunk is upsetting for some people.”
“But they’re still better than the people who would just assume that I was happy to babysit their drunk ass every single time.” ~ SJ_Barbarian
“I’m someone who does drink and still gets shit on for the times I don’t.”
“One time I went to brunch with some family and they all got bloody marys and mimosas while I really just wanted coffee.”
“They straight up interrogated me about it, like, ‘Why don’t you want a drink? What’s wrong? Come on, just one mimosa!'”
“I had to make a comment like ‘No wonder my dad is in AA with family like this.'”
“That did make them consider what the fuck they were doing and they apologized but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place!” ~ StarFruitCrepe
“I don’t drink alcohol mostly because I don’t like the taste.”
“Beer tastes like yeasty raw bread dough. Other liquors have a horrible taste, even mixed in with fruity or minty things to make them taste good.”
“I don’t even like wine because it has a bitter taste.”
“This has annoyed people to no end throughout my adult life.”
“When I politely decline a drink and have a soft drink or water instead, it’s like everyone else has to question or have an opinion on my choice.”
‘”What!? Why not?’…’Oh come on, just one beer/glass/drink won’t hurt you’…’It’s ok to loosen up a bit!”‘
“And now I’m the talk of the gathering because everyone has a personal goal to get Scarlett to drink alcohol.”
“I get the same thing with my food choices. I have several food sensitivities related to my seasonal allergies, plus I’m very picky.”
“When I’m offered a food I’m supposed to avoid or don’t like, I politely decline…and then starts the same discussion.”
‘”What?! Why not?’…’What do you mean you don’t like <insert xyz food>?!?’…’Just try a bite, you’ll love it!”‘
“Irritation ensues and then increases the more I decline, and a previous non-issue is now a huge issue that involves everyone.”
“Why do people get so offended when others decline to eat or drink something they don’t like?” ~ OBNurseScarlett
Boundaries and bodily autonomy arent just about intimacy.
What clothes we wear, the way we cut our hair and a thousand other decisions we make about our own bodies are our choices alone.
Be kind, but be you.