I'm a Recovering Alcoholic Mormon

Q I’m a fairly new but older associate in a large firm. I’m also a recovering alcoholic Mormon. Recently, a well-positioned partner invited me and my wife to a small holiday dinner party (“intimate and casual” are the words he used). He’s probably not aware I’m in the program but likely knows I’m Mormon and don’t drink. I’m sure most of the guests plan to bring a bottle of wine as a small gift for the host—there are at least two other partners and their SO’s coming.

I’m wondering if you have suggestions for a non-alcoholic appropriate gift. And what to say to others present when the subject of a drink comes up. Mormon? Recovering alcoholic? A simple “no thanks.”

A I don’t often hear from “recovering alcoholic Mormons.” Like never. But props for staying in the program and being honest (if this really is the truth, though I have some serious doubts).

That said, I have one question: seriously? What do you usually do? Stay home? Tell an elaborate tale involving allergens and a 200 pound man’s metabolic response to fermented grapes? Quote from the Book of Mormon? In other words, I doubt it’s the first time you’ve been confronted with this. And if you are in AA—as I’m assuming from your status—then ask your sponsor or another AA member, not some washed up BigLaw blogging lawyer like me. Because I’d just advise a simple “no, thanks” and leave it at that. In other words, no need to lie or to lay out your life story, however fascinating it may be. In the end, no one really cares if you sip water instead of wine.

As for a “non-alcoholic appropriate gift,” be ironic and offer up a gift basket of locally roasted coffee.

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  • James

    I’d be more worried about being a Mormon than an alcoholic. I mean vast civilizations in North America for which there is no archaeological evidence? Magic underewear? Secret church meetings that require an admission card for entrance?