9 Reasons Why Dry January Doesn’t Work For Me

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What is Dry January?

For those of you who don’t know, it is the sacrificing of alcohol for the month of January. According to many “challenges” and articles on the subject, omitting alcohol for a month can have numerous health benefits. 

I am sure that it is so good for your body, as is joining a gym, getting a new job and being a kinder and gentler person. “New Year, new you” way of thinking. Good for you, I say to all of those participating in healthy, dry, dieting, kindness January. I just can’t join you, particularly on the dry month journey and here is why:

  1. Studies show that January is the longest month of the year. It feels like there are 8 or 9 weeks in the first month of the year (according to many memes on social media.) If I am going to give up anything, it sure as hell isn’t going to be during the longest (and most boring) month of the year.
  2. I live in New England. It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s icy. No one leaves their home after 4 pm or after work. If I am going to spend all 9 weeks of January in my pjs, there should be a glass of tequila and a baguette with cheese in front of me making me happy.
  3. I once had kids home from college in January, nearing the tail end of their vacation. Messy rooms, coming home at all hours, with dishes everywhere. Anyone who suggests giving up a glass of wine during the tumult isn’t a parent.
  4. If I make it out of the house and to a restaurant with a tablecloth (and I’m not wearing snow boots), I am going to want a drink. Again, it’s January. No Valentine’s Day, no St. Paddy’s Day, not even an ‘it’s almost spring’ day. If I am able to get out of my driveway, wear nice pants and decent shoes, it’s a miracle. And if there is a waiter or a bartender, I would feel badly not giving them the challenge of my drink order.
  5. My girls’ birthdays are in January. We always celebrate together. Ok, I can hear all of you judgy people — you can’t drink with your kids! Well they are 24 and yes, I can. I haven’t been blotto since I was in college and I don’t plan on it ever again. Nothing fun about that. I just want to clink a glass of champagne in honor of my birthing two babies at once.
  6. Why can’t we move it to September? I am game for giving it a try after a fun summer of rosé and toes in the sand. Kids are going back to school, we have days that still feel like summer and I’m basking in the glow of the beautiful late summer light. This isn’t really a reason, more like a question. Can we take it to a vote?
  7. I’m not big on deprivation. I’ve been there and done that in my life. It never works. Taking something away means I replace it with another vice of sorts.  I am afraid that I would plow through 20 bags of Cool Ranch Doritos if you told me I couldn’t have a drink.
  8. I workout so I can eat and drink. I go to the gym 12 months a year, not just on January 1. I put in the time and the effort. I am strong and, despite the fun rollercoaster of menopause and a few cranky body issues, I still feel good from my later-in-life athletic accomplishments.  Eating a burger and drinking a beer is a my kind of reward. Not for everyone I know, but it makes me happy.
  9. Everything is OK in moderation. As long as we all drink responsibly and don’t get behind the wheel of a car, there is no need to cut joy out of our lives. If you are looking for me twenty Januarys from now, I will be at the bar.

Tell me your thoughts. Do you “Dry January”? Maybe you can convince me that it is a good idea.

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  1. I’ve looked at the “Dry January” idea for the last couple of years – and rejected the idea. I enjoy wine. I am not a “wino” or someone else with an addictive type of personality. For all the reasons you give, and more, I want to live my life fully, with all of the pleasures and enjoyments available to me. I applaud those who find meaning in sacrifice – but I’m more interested in the delights of a fine Cabarnet at the end of the day.

  2. Betsey Weintraub on

    Great article, Mimi! I with you! I’m not a fan of dry January…or diets. Balance is what it’s all about.

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