I’ve never consumed an alcoholic beverage in my entire life. I’ve never smoked a cigarette, joint, pipe, hookah, or taken a hit off a bong. Second hand smoke? Probably. First hand experimentation of the chemical variety? Nope!

We can get into the whys and what fors if you’d like: I didn’t grow up in much of a drinking, smoking household, and it was pretty strict. I had taken Prozac for a couple of months to try to alleviate my teenage OCD, but quit when I realized I could become dependent on it. Cigarettes smell like death, and lots o’ (drunk) people annoy me.

Maybe I have control issues. Maybe I feel the need to go against the status quo. Maybe I’d rather spend my money on clothes and breakfast. Maybe I’m just the most uncool person you’ll ever meet.

It’s OK, you can tell me I’m uptight — I’ve heard it before. Go ahead, become the millionth person who’d “love to see [me] get drunk for the first time”. Gaze into my eyes with bewilderment when, instead of hitting you with a heavy tale of rehab and broken dreams, I relay the history of a life devoid of cool.

I’ve lost so-called friendships over my choice to live the non-alcoholic life. The time these “friends” wanted to spend in my sober company decreased in proportion to the growing quantities of alcohol they were consuming on a now daily basis. In retrospect, these individuals did me a favor, but at the time it hurt. Alas, the only thing I had to drown my sorrows in after each parting of ways was a carton of unsweetened almond milk.


Even more pressing than the question “Why doesn’t Andrea drink?” is the question “Why is Andrea discussing this on The Young Thumbs?”


I opened my own little one-person day spa in February, and I am working hard to make it successful. I’m tickled to report that Feetish Spa Parlor is the center of my existence, is truly my happy place, and that cash money is slowly — but steadily — flowing into my bank account.

Obviously, marketing is on my mind every day. Spotting opportunities to meet new people, injecting myself into new social settings, taking advantage of the countless free events that take place in my community; you’ll see me out and about more now than ever before. And I enjoy it! It’s new, unfamiliar, and actually really fun! I have made some interesting new friends, and I don’t give a shit if they fall asleep each night spooning a six pack (of Coors Light).

But there are certain events that revolve around the availability of free alcohol that I just haven’t been able to bring myself to attend. And I feel like maybe I’m missing out on something by ignoring the siren’s promise of free whiskey on the rocks: Not to drink, but to surround myself with normal social behavior, an uncool anchor in a sea of libidinous lubricated linguists.

I watched “Blood Into Wine” on Netflix with an appreciation for Maynard James Keenan’s drive to get grapes to grow on the side of a mountain in Arizona, however I have no interest whatsoever in going on a Napa Valley wine tour. But what if I knew the tour bus would be full of wealthy wine snobs looking for a new spa experience in Downtown Las Vegas? Would I stuff my pockets with business cards and board the drunk bus to Napa?

You’re über cool, but let’s pretend you’re me.

What would you do?


Andrea Lipomi is a licensed massage therapist and esthetician who lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada. She also peddles massage therapy ebooks and NCBTMB-approved continuing education courses at, will travel hundreds of miles for a fantastic spa experience, and craves dark chocolate and Depeche Mode’s upcoming tour dates on an almost daily basis.

28 thoughts on “Cool/Uncool

  1. MEEEE TOOOOO! I’ve also never had a drink or a cigarette, and it makes things interesting. I’ve heard all kinds of speculations on what I’d be like drunk, including from my supposedly more mature family members. But I’ve gotten much better at the social drinking situations lately. What helps me is:

    1. Offering to be designated driver. Instant love from established friends!
    2. At events where people get tickets for drinks, I pass mine on to people I’ve just met. Instant love from new friends!
    3. Club soda with lime. Free in many bars, not full of sugar, and pretty darn tasty. As long as I have *something* in my hand, most people don’t seem to care what it is.

      • I’m with you Andrea! Spent my life alcohol free. Would have sprite and cranberry juice. Only recently in my 50’s do I sip an occasion glass of wine. Never smoked, YUK, never did drugs, Not interested.
        Interesting, I haven’t been invited to many parties that even my colleagues throw. I often felt left out. Then I thought, oh well guess they don’t want to be around a person who can witness their drunken state. I don’t think it’s control. I’ve looked at that. I think we are fortunate that we don’t have the desire. While others might struggle, we have been blessed. I prefer to spend my money on travel and clothes too or artsy stuff. As a ‘sensitive’ it is also a challenge Andrea to be in some chaotic public places with so much drinking. So you are not alone. I quite frankly think this is probably the main reason my spirit has avoided any chemicals etc. I’ve learned just say NO at a very young age. I don’t regret it. I did grow up with some drinking around me and watching how people turned into rude idiots at times (and not happy drunks) was not a pleasing site. Why would I want to do the same. I like to think I honor my body, mind and spirit. Kudos to you Andrea!

  2. You are proof that you do not need to join in the activities of others, just to be friends, market, or collaborate with others. Anyone who has looked into your eyes can clearly see there is no need for drunken delusions. The sparkle of enthusiasm, unaltered by mind-twisting substance is clear, and welcoming. You are a success, and will continue to grow because you are true to yourself, PLUS Genuinely interested in how other humans think, feel, and interact… even if that intereraction is often intermingled with the imbibing of their choosing. I am sure I do not stand alone in the applauding you for who you are… but even if I stand alone… know I stand also with clear eyes. ~=:-)

  3. OMG, you are a fabulous writer, Andrea! I’m thinking…how uncomfortable I’d be on a bus with wine “snobs,” especially AFTER the wine tasting. However, I am grateful for the many of my very wealthy clients who drink expensive bottles of wine. I just found them through other channels. That’s it for now…off to a client.

  4. My husband hasn’t taken a drink in 23 years. I play music in bars. He is right there at every show having a great time, drinking iced tea or coffee. When we attend networking events (and we attend many, I am on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce) where alcohol is served, it doesn’t faze him in the least to have whatever non-alcoholic beverage is available. And as Katherine said above, he is super-popular as a designated driver and he hands over his drink tickets, too. There’s no need to socialize with a bunch of boozed-up people if you don’t want to, but there is also no reason to skip good networking events just because alcohol is there (an exception would be a newly recovering alcoholic who might not feel strong enough in their sobriety to resist temptation).

    • Champ is a special guy! :) I do well in activity-based situations when there’s casual drinking involved; it’s the crossing over into booze-centric gatherings that gives me pause. These gatherings also tend to have a prominent sausage fest quality to them (as in a 1:10 girl/guy ratio). I guess I’ll never know if I don’t try though, right? 😉

      • Actually, reading all of this again a few days after posting has clarified a few things for me: It boils down to this — I have little patience for crowds, rude behavior, and stupid behavior. I think it just so happens that these things often go hand-in-hand with booze-centric shenanigans. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

  5. For me who has drunk and smoked cigarettes, it ain’t that great! the hangovers get worse as you get older! If I have over indulged on a drink’s night out I always get the booze blues the next day (wondering if I have upset someone, did I say something I shouldn’t have etc). So I am starting to wonder is it worth it! also as you most probably know drunk people can be tw*ts!

    So don’t feel that you have missed out by not drinking, the only things missed are – memory loss, liver damage and not making a wally of yourself or falling over and showing your knickers (that is from experience :)).

    Good luck with the spa and I will definitely book in the next time I am in Vegas!!!

  6. Well, I drink booze (though not to excess) and frankly, I don’t give a flying leap what you’re drinking. Also, I hate booze-guzzling sausage festivals as much as you.

    My advice, go to events. Have a club soda with cranberry juice & a lime (because it’s pink, dammit). But go earlier in the event rather than later and leave if you hate it. That’s pretty much the advice I give about all marketing events, regardless of the booze factor.

    Also, if you simply hate that shit, like I hate cold-visiting other health practitioner’s offices, stop feeling crappy about not going. You’ll grow your business in other ways. By being a badass with great people skills and some serious spa talent. You don’t have to be a rockstar at every type of marketing.

    Lastly, you are the coolest fucking person I know.

    • I like this early bird special way of thinking. Smaller crowds, less chaos, fewer drinks spilled on my shoes. It also beats yelling “WHAT?!?” when I can’t hear business contact X’s voice over the bad music and noise.

      To your last point: Coming from you, that is a HUGE compliment! <3

  7. I would tell them I’d love some wine…but I would hate to waste all of those antioxidants on my inner tissues when they work so well to give you a healthy glow when used in a facial. By the way, here’s my card. At least, that is what my alter-ego who wears a monocle and hangs out on wine tasting trains would say.

  8. Andrea!! I really feel like I am the older version of you! When I first met you on-line, I was thrilled someone massaged feet the same way I do. I also have a one woman spa and love it. And now to top it off I find we have the same “nonhistory” of smoking, drinking, and drugs.
    Congrats on opening your Feetish Spa, I hope it becomes as successful as you want it to be!

  9. I know you’re hesitant to get stuck around drunk idiotic people. We all know that there are certain scenes(bars, festivals,parties) where that behavior often happens. However, there are classier places, maybe charity events, wine bars, etc., where there may be alcohol present, but people aren’t there to get drunk and won’t act like an idiot. I think the trick would be to not avoid places where there is any alcohol present, but just choose your networking outings wisely.

  10. Totally get what you are saying. But, the opposite holds true as well. There is noreason to assume that all who participate in such jaunts as Napa Valley tours are there just to get shitfaced. I would def. Do something like that to entice those who May be future clients, as well as to enjoy the atmosphere. Water is a beverage.

    • True!

      Or maybe I could follow the bus in my car, singing along (horribly) to New Order’s “World”, Radiohead’s “Creep”, and Minor Threat’s “Out of Step”. 😉

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