DRY January lasts just one month, but the things you learn while not drinking will stay with you forever. Prepare yourself for these grim truths about your existence.
Your friends are extremely boring
This sounds arrogant, but without alcohol you’ll really notice that Emma is talking about work again, and it’s not like her job is ‘Navy SEAL’ or ‘high-class prostitute’, so it’s pretty tedious. Meanwhile Steve is telling everyone about fitting a new bike chain. Mate, DO YOU HONESTLY THINK ANYONE GIVES A F**K ABOUT THIS? All you can do is sip your Coke and pray you’re not like this too after two pints.
Pubs really are shit
In a haze of alcohol, pubs are a homely, welcoming wonderland. Sober, you notice the toilets f**king reek and the landlord regards the words ‘Two pints of Kronenbourg, please’ as a hostile gesture. As for your surroundings, is there any chance of a non-sticky table, and why are there completely random historical prints on the walls? Most of the clientele struggle with the free copy of The Sun, so they’re not about to tackle The Origin of Species.
You’re a lot uglier than you thought
Booze gives you a definite confidence boost, especially if it’s just a swift glance at yourself in a pub mirror. Conversely, a proper look at yourself sober reveals a hideous jowly bloke with sunken eyes and acne-scarred skin staring back from the mirror like a horror movie cliche. How on earth do people think they look better after doing Dry January?
Most telly is unwatchable
Without the mindlessness engendered by booze, you quickly become jaded with TV. Can’t everyone see that Tommy Shelby’s safety is guaranteed by the next series? God, those smug panel show comedians are really having an unfunny love-in, aren’t they? I’m a Celebrity isn’t a lowbrow guilty pleasure, it’s just witless. You start to feel as if you’re trapped in They Live. Consume. Conform. Obey. You try to tell your partner but they tell you to shush because you’re ruining Amanda Abbington’s performance on Strictly.
Just how f**king rude people are
For example: in the pub you venture your opinion on Rebel Moon, having seen it the night before. A friend is not interested – which is absolutely fair enough, it sucks – but what they do is abruptly switch topic completely, eg. ‘My boiler is knackered.’ No attempt to wrap up the previous conversation, or politely move on to another topic, just ‘This is my thing we’re talking about now’. Still, it’s not as bad as the surprisingly common practice of simply turning around and talking to someone else.
You’ve been using alcohol as a crutch
You realise now alcohol has been your crutch when dealing with everything from genuine heartbreak to mild boredom. Thank God it’s only a week and a half until February, because you love your alcoholic crutch and can’t wait to start metaphorically hobbling along again.
You’re not sure how much longer you can tolerate your partner
It’s surprisingly easy to spend a large proportion of your time together at least mildly pissed, especially if you’re a crack-open-the-wine-immediately-after-work couple. Without booze you quickly start to notice the annoying habits, the repetitive conversations, the minor acts of selfishness. Maybe the key to a happy relationship is being rat-arsed all the time, but relationship experts daren’t say so. You soon suspect this is why Dry January only lasts a month, because any longer and the divorce rate would be 97.5 per cent.