We all know what sobriety used to be: sober, in all meanings of the word.
It was a seltzer with lime instead of Bordeaux with a Michelin-starred meal; a trip to the gym on Friday evenings while everyone else hit happy hour. For those with a serious alcohol problem, it was a worthy decision, maybe even a lifesaving one. It could even be fun, when it wasn’t all amends and affirmations. But it had an air of privacy and quiet.
Well, my friend, this has changed. It seems not even sobriety will be saved from enjoying a made-for-Instagram moment, with new hashtaggable terms like “mindful drinking” and “sober curious.” No longer do you have to feel left out or uncool for being sober. You maybe don’t even have to completely stop drinking alcoholic beverages?
This is according to a new generation of kinda-sorta temporary temperance crusaders, whose attitudes toward the hooch is somewhere between Carrie Nation’s and Carrie Bradshaw’s. To them, sobriety is something less (and more) than a practice relevant only to clinically determined alcohol abusers. Now it can also just be something cool and healthful to try, like going vegan, or taking an Iyengar yoga class.