One of the scariest things about being newly sober is the prospect of socializing without alcohol. It’s hard to imagine because it’s been so ingrained in almost every adult activity from camping at the river, to seeing a baseball game, to mother’s day brunch. However, it seems that times are changing. People are finding ways to have fun without alcohol. In fact, I attended a fundraiser for the community recently and was surprised that wine and beer were being served. Ironically, there was a time when I would be appalled if alcohol was not on the menu.
Last month I was invited to a West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce networking event on Santa Monica Boulevard. It was an afternoon/evening affair attended by local business owners. The food was top-notch, the music was upbeat and spicy, and the bar was manned by two incredibly hot, scantily clad, bartenders serving beautiful refreshing and playful mocktails at the SoBAR. I enjoyed a little Sex on the Peach which made me feel a little giddy just from the name.
Everyone was mingling. New and old connections were made, and deep conversations could be overheard about politics, business, families, health, and yes, there was even some flirting going on. I met some very interesting people doing a lot of laughing. My biggest surprise was the number of people I met who were not alcoholics or addicts. They were attending the event because it was fun–not because it was sober. In fact, the subject only came up because I asked if they were in recovery.
RJ Houlan, the host of the event and the owner of My 12 Step Store, says that alcohol-free social events are on the rise and he wants to support this movement in the community. Being in recovery, it’s not unusual to have access to so many sober events. The sobering reality is that there are a lot of people who CAN drink, but don’t care if they do or don’t. So I’m with RJ, let’s start promoting and supporting more soberlizing events open to everyone.