Random Guilt

When I checked my wallet yesterday I had thirty quid in there. That in itself is not overly shocking, however it was the same thrity quid I'd taken out on Friday

, just before heading off to a friends birthday in a bar. That I still had it would indicate that I managed to not only survive the night, but the entire weekend, without spending any cash.

It sort of highlights that there are 2 pre-conceptions about non-drinkers;

  • They are exempt from round buying
  • Non-alcoholic drinks are cheap

Literally every time I went to the bar someone else would wander by, and insist on buying my drink with the round they were getting in, despite my protests. When I suggested I got a round in typically everyone got a vaguely confused look (as if I'd just suggested I levitate 3 feet off the floor for a while) before saying they were fine. It's not even like soft drinks are cheap in UK pubs...a cola will typically set you back a couple of quid, and J20 (aka posh squash), which is the current tee-totallers preference (mainly as it is deemed more acceptable to drink a bottle at the moment) is not exactly a Value brand either. I'm not exactly sure where this un-spoken set of rules comes from, but its endemic. Maybe its some archaic throw-back to the (des)ignated driver concept, however with just Matilda at my beck and call I'm hardly the worlds best taxi service. I know everyone is just being nice and friendly, however its a slightly strange thing when you're incapable of buying yourself a drink, and I feel a little bad that I was getting free drinks all night at someone elses party...

My other moment of guilt this weekend came on Sunday. I've recently joined a roleplay group (for those who care about such things D&D 3rd ed) with some new players, where the GM wanted an experienced player to help demonstrate some of the concepts. The session is held at a couples house, and we get dinner cooked for us. Now, as you may be aware, I eat like a horse (well, more like a carnivorus horse). The dinner served was lovely...chicken and mushroom in a cream sauce, with snap peas and pasta, and I wolfed it down while making all the right appreciation noises...

...and then I realise I demolished it, and am wiping up the sauce with bread, in about half the time of everyone else...and I'm still fairly peckish. Peckish enough that when I got home I had another full meal...and dessert. I then had random guilt that I hadn't appreciated the food I'd been given enough. Logically I know that right now my metabolism is screaming along like a freight train, and I need to eat volumes of food most people would find gluttonous, but I must have looked like a right gannet hoovering up the meal! Its even worse the the lad who lives in the house is on a diet at the moment, and hes had to watch me snacking thoughout the afternoon, then fly through dinner before eyeing up the place mat appraisingly, and trying to work out its nutritional value.

I think next time I'll have a bigger lunch beforehand, and try to hold back the bulldozer like instinct to eating...


I took £400 out of a cash machine last week, I didn't mean to withdraw that much I pushed the wrong button on the way to Akido. I now have £115 left, money and I seem to have a love hate relationship.

Dwain's picture

I think the non-drinker-not-expected-to-buy-a-round-itude also harks back to the day when a pint of coke was the traditional non-drinker beverage. As there's a physical limit to the amount of carbonated beverage they could consume it was generally the case that they would only need a drink every few rounds.

Having said that, I do know what you mean. It always strikes me as slightly odd when a non-drinker buys a round. For some reason it seems like because we're in a pub, the prime purpose is drinking. As they aren't drinking, they must be humouring us as we do, and deserve compensating.

Also, don't foget to count the effects of alcohol itself. After a few people tend to become more enthusiastic about more drinks...

It probably harks back to the sort of attitude to drinking a lot of people have at uni, in that it is an activity in itself...

On the food front, if it helps I felt fairly guilty turning up on Saturday and being fed a lovely chicken and chips meal, only to metagame in a confrontational and arsey manner during Settlers...

byrn's picture

On the beverage front, it all depends on atitude, my atitude towards money is just to spend it, some people are more cautious, some people even budget. I don't mind whom I buy a drink for if I getting one for me it seems rude not to get one for someone else.

Dwain's picture

Until you've mentioned it, it would never had occurred to me. You'd be hard pushed to beat me to the bar upon pub entry and I love getting the rounds in. You have certainly bought booze for me before down the Turks, so it's not like you're a freeloader or anything. Or are you? FREELOADER!

More seriously, don't worry about eating quickly or slowly. There is nothing you can do bu be yourself. You're a high-calorie kind of person and that's cool. If you do want to slow do, do what I do when faced with a dinner with the Fang, make conversation about anything and nothing. That way, you can slow yourself down.

I can see why you're feeling guilty but you shouldn't.

brainwipe's picture

I have the same problem, being a non-drinker, I'd often be beaten back from the bar as I attempted to pay. The few times I have paid for a round, the people with me have insisted I get the first round before 'all the others turn up and the round is more expensive'.

edit: Suppose it doesn't help me also being a student, so people probably feel bad if the non-drinker student buys the drinks...

Sparky Marky's picture

Well lads, if the guilt ever gets too much feel free to ply me with guilt booze.

Nibbles's picture