For work this week we had a series of business meetings with people gathered from across the country. As part of the team-building activities, we met for dinner afterward. As a Mormon, a major focus of the practice of the religion is refraining from alcohol. It’s almost as bad to drink as it is to commit adultery, at least in the way that you are accepted socially in the church. But since I no longer believe in the church, I also no longer believe that a prohibition on drinking is the will of God.
So I had a perfect opportunity to choose what I wanted in contrast to what I was taught was expected of me.
The guys (yes, it was a group of all males) went out to the restaurant at about 4:30 for a dinner reservation set for 6:30. I didn’t arrive until 6:30, so I can only surmise that they spent the two hours talking with each other over a few beers at the bar. I got there, joined them at their table, and shortly a waitress came up to me and asked if she could get me a drink. The moment of truth had arrived.
“Could I get a water, please?” I asked her.
Yes. Free of all restraints, I ordered a water.
What does the Partial Perspective Vortex have to say about that? Am I still captive to the powers of Mormonism?
I’m actually not sure. I haven’t decided yet what I want. I don’t really have a good reason not to drink at this point, but I also don’t want to drink just because everybody else does. I don’t want to make a decision by default. I want to choose. And I just don’t know at this point.
I’m actually a little scared. I still sense a bit of the tug of my upbringing not to drink. Like maybe when I do, I will feel a secret little thrill, like I know I’m doing something I “shouldn’t.” I don’t know if I can combat that feeling or not, but I’m not ready for it yet. Maybe someday. I actually expect that someday I’ll at least sample a glass of wine or something. But at the same time, I can’t picture myself actually doing it, actually ordering an alcoholic beverage, actually waiting for it to arrive, actually raising it to my lips. Maybe someday.
But it wasn’t today.