Hey little sister who's your Superman?


Cross-posted from my Facebook page.

I have two types of friends/acquaintances who are in recovery — the first type is the type that you can go out with and who will not only NOT have a problem with you having a cocktail in front of them, but who will actually be perfectly fine with offering to buy a round of drinks in spite of the fact that all they’re drinking is diet soda or iced tea.

The second type is the type who, when you order a cocktail in front of them, will get a thoughtful/concerned look on his or her face and ask you, “Has alcoholism run in your family?” Or, even more directly, “Would you like to go to a meeting with me?” Both of which I’ve been asked at one time or another by a person in recovery and both times the question was prompted solely by my having ordered a cocktail at a cocktail appropriate time and place.

The latter are people to whom I refer as the Misery Loves Company Crowd and who tend to believe that it is simply impossible for another human being to enjoy an alcoholic beverage from time to time without also being an alcoholic just like them.

Needless to say; the latter are people with whom I tend to limit my social activities. Not because I drink so much — but because I can’t stand their sense of smug superiority/feigned concern when confronted with people who like to drink but who actually don’t have a drinking problem.


  1. Bill Says:

    I’ve been meaning to talk to you….

  2. Todd in DC Says:

    The latter people you describe, Scott, are people desperate to feel as though they accomplished something superior, relative to the average Joe.

    THe fact that they had to work for months/years to accomplish something that you or I do without a thought – being able to drink without being a mess the next day, is a huge ding on their ego.

    It basically says that they have to work hard at being functional, whereas you merely have to get up in the morning. Add to that with a bout of low self esteem, since they may have wasted years of their lives in the bottle, and you get someone wanting to show how much better they are than you, because they had to fight an addiction.

    The first type of person you mentioned, takes pride in his accomplishment of becoming sober for his own benefit, not to impress others.

  3. Scott Says:

    Trust me, Bill — I was thinking of you when I wrote this.

    Although I did forget to include your classic line — and the one that permanently enshrined you in the Misery Loves Company crowd — “Scotty, you do know you’re an alcoholic, right?

  4. hjpowell Says:

    Both types are better than a ‘Dry Drunk”!

  5. Bill Says:

    Oh, for god’s sake, Scott. That was 1991. Let it go, missy. Mwah!

  6. jdw Says:

    I belong to the one is too many a million is not enough so I just don’t do it period.
    I’m not critical of those who drink but if I’m drinking diet soda I’m not gonna buy call brands for anybody. In addition to not holding my liquor , I am also cheap. Lol!

  7. e.c. Says:

    Almost as bad as the Misery Loves Company crowd are the Never Haves. They are the ones who always have to announce that they’ve NEVER had a drink and are NEVER going to because they have NEVER wanted to. I always find them to be a little tightly wound and frankly the people in the room most in need of having a drink or two.

  8. dazzer Says:

    So anyway, I’m just going to try posting this.

    The thing is that alcoholism and alcohol tolerance are individual things based on your own biology.

    I know people don’t get this, but a human being’s ability to tolerate and process alcohol is a majorly genetic concept.

    If you and your best friend sit down at a bar and drink exactly the same amount of booze – having had exactly the same amount of stomach-coating food – but one of you gets drunk while the other only has a mild hangover, it doesn’t mean one of you is an alcoholic and the other isn’t.

    Usually, what it means is that one of you has the biological ability to process alcohol better than the other

    As as far as I’m concerned, my best friend is an alcoholic with problems.

    We start drinking at the same time, and I always end up blacking out or throwing up before he does. But he drinks far more than I do. I’m not trying to justify myself here – I just don’t drink as much as he does.. But alcohol – as a chemical component in my body – does more damage to me than it does to him.

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