[Note: The first several posts will be back-dated, as they were written before we were telling people we were pregnant]
We found out we were pregnant right before Christmas, which threw into sharp relief the fact that
everyone’s an alcoholic during the holidays.
The majority of both our extended families live in town, meaning from Thanksgiving to New Year’s we’re doing something with family or friends almost every night. Our families being good Catholics, there’s ALWAYS beer around. And our friends being, well, our friends, there weren’t a lot of nights that didn’t involve a drink or two. This means Jen and I had to become masters of stealth and deception. It was way too early to tell people we’re pregnant, but Jen couldn’t exactly throw them back like she used to. We developed a deep playbook for subtly avoiding alcohol, and I thought I’d share a few of our tactics here.
She’s not feeling well tonight. This is your basic strategy; your 1.e4. For extra flair, blame it on going out too hard the night before. It also fits perfectly if she’s dealing with morning sickness. The downside is that it only works so many times in a row before people start getting suspicious.
We’re doing a cleanse. Juice cleanses and the like are really popular right now. Tell everyone that you’re having nothing but organic artisanal de-ionized cauliflower juice over the weekend. It works great if people are just out for drinks, but at a holiday party there’s usually too much good food to make this desirable. Besides, nobody wants to be Juice Cleanse Guy.
Fill an empty with water. This is a high-risk, high-reward option. If you can get the bottle full without anyone seeing it, then you’re golden. If someone catches you, though, you might as well be holding a pregnancy test.
Fake mixed drinks. Simple but effective if people are having mixed drinks. Bring the ingredients for a vodka cranberry, but, you know... just make a cranberry.
Swap bottles. Drink half your beer, swap. Drink half her beer, swap. Finish your beer, swap. Finish her beer, repeat. Using me as a wet-vac for alcohol was our go-to. It doesn’t really work if everyone’s around a table, but it’s great if you want to get hammered.
Of course 90% of this is unjustified paranoia, but it’s fun to run the whole cloak and dagger scene. As much as I’m excited to tell people, I’m also enjoying having a secret. Any way I can make this feel fun and adventurous, I will.