Parties: Jeers! I'm just trying to beat that drinking feeling

With a clear head, Lindsey Calder has turned to Perrier. But after the party, she ended up with Mr Muscle in Tesco. And has nothing to regret ...

What is it about people? Why are they so mean-spirited? The minute you tell anyone that you're not drinking, they hate you. The fact that you've decided to give up drinking just drives people crazy. They use the tactics of sneering and sarcasm. They try to entice you with an array of liquors. They almost almost spit at you in disdain, as if you were the most heinous of perverts.

For three weeks now I have been pressured by members of the alco-cult. A sort of Christmas Party sub-section of the Moonies, the Boozies want to carry you to the portals of bars and clubs, and make you join their quest for the ultimate goal - mass hangover.

I've just been saying "no". It's a rare word from me in this context but at the moment I choose Aqua Libra. I have chosen lucidity. And it's been pretty good. Why? Two words really: "No regrets". To wake up in the morning to those two petits mots is a joy - oh what a joy. For starters - look in the mirror: eh, I don't look so bad. Next: breakfast - wow I've got an appetite. Then, inside handbag - no drunken-scrawled dates in diary. Even better: full Technicolor/ Dictaphone-accurate recall of all conversations. And best of all, knowing that I haven't given my telephone number to an ill-chosen recipient. Almost worth celebrating, isn't it?

It's not easy though. Take the office party. You're wearing a little see-through number and high heels, and you're all lipsticked up, then as your male colleagues get drunker and friendlier and you remain of sound mind, boy do you start feeling self-conscious. Marilyn Monroe and Shelley Winters used to talk about their "Fuck-me shoes". Why is it only at lam that you realise you are wearing a "Fuck-me dress" as well?

So, while everyone else is on their fifth pint of Chardonnay, you are sip-sipping away on Perrier. This is especially good for concentrating on your flirting technique. Your selection process is stronger, and you are, of course, going to avoid a skirmish. Office Christmas party skirmishes always seem to take on historic proportions. Eg: on the floor of the office with the risk of being caught by security cameras or in the office car park, definitely caught on camera (videos probably still available) whilst polishing up the bonnet of somebody else's car. Both allegedly, and nothing to do with me, I might add.

But if skirmishing is out, and you are full-faculty-endowed, quoi faire apres? That's when it all becomes rather surreal. It's late - you've done Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Chamba Wamba with a particularly ebullient chap who has a propensity for swinging you in the air. He's giving you a better work-out than your gym instructor. You (naturally) excuse yourself for the slow dance - sobriety having reminded you that the rubbing of loins and meeting of perspirations is not always wise in the workplace. Then the coach arrives, Cinderella-style for carriage to central London.

So what did I gain from this evening of admirable abstinence you might ask? Well I picked up my car in the West End and gave a lift to a health freak who told me about a new diet of eating according to your blood type. Still buzzing from my Chamba Wamba, I wasn't quite ready to go to bed, so what next? Well, how about my 24-hour Tesco? Then, as I am stocking up on salad bags, cat food and Mr Muscle when I see coming towards me, down the frozen food aisle, a camera crew. I cannot have people I know see me supermarket shopping like some sad insomniac at 3am so I bend over a display of baguettes until I am sure film crew have departed.

Maybe being on the wagon isn't so hot. Being filmed with Mr Muscle in Tesco at 3am or being filmed with Mr X in a post-party skirmish. Which is the more "Je ne regrette rien"?

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

    £65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

    Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

    £27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas