Life without alcohol doesn’t have to be a bore!
A lifestyle that is dry in name only
People often ask what the word “dry” in DryScene means. It certainly doesn’t mean “dull” or “boring,” because the people coming to our events are anything but that. Life without alcohol doesn’t mean you have to wave goodbye to social events, DryScene are here to make sure of that.
The word actually dates back to the Prohibition era in the U.S. (1920-1933) when the government banned the production and sale of alcohol. Those who supported the ban were teetotalers called “Drys”, they supported life without alcohol. The ban spawned a whole underbelly of bootleggers who supplied liquor on the black market to secret nightclubs called “speakeasies.” (Think “Boardwalk Empire.”) These clubs were constantly being busted by government agents but would reopen quickly in new locations.
The most famous (or infamous) hostess of the Prohibition speakeasies was ironically my cousin, Texas Guinan, a silent film star who was known as “Queen of the Nightclubs” after starring in a movie by that name.
She was a brassy businesswoman who staged boisterous, entertaining (albeit illegal) shows that lured politicians, journalists, movie stars and the wealthy alike. She came onto the stage every night atop a piano with the greeting “Hello, Suckers” because she knew her guests would spend hundreds of dollars (a lot of money in those days) on bootleg liquor during her shows.
Last month I started reading her biography (written by her attorney’s granddaughter, Louise Berliner) and almost fell off my chair when I read that the most famous female nightclub impresario during Prohibition never drank alcohol. She was actually a “dry,” but thumbed her nose at Prohibition and didn’t think that life without alcohol should be forced, because she felt that banning alcohol — and thereby banning “fun” — wasn’t the answer to reducing crime.
We had more in common than I ever thought: Texas Guinan was the original DryChick.
Like Tex, I always loved a good party, and I knew that a really good party had nothing to do with whether alcohol was served. So shortly after I became “dry,” I took my savings and launched DryScene because I was passionate about changing the dialogue in this country from “Let’s go for a drink” to “Let’s go out and have a good time.” (I use the “DryChick” pseudonym because I have a day job that I love and want to keep.)
I preferred using the word “dry” to “sober” because I felt the latter carries a stigma, meaning someone who had a drinking problem and now doesn’t drink, or someone who never drank alcohol and doesn’t particularly like people who do. Life without alcohol doesn’t have to attach to these common misjudgements.
The people coming to our events are neither, confirming that there’s a need for a new label. It also reinforces my reasons for wanting to start a group for people who like going to bars, clubs and pubs to enjoy alcohol-free drinks. There’s no other sober social group out there like it.
The new “drys” coming to DryScene events hail from all walks of life, from bankers and consultants to teachers and actors. We even have a bartender who doesn’t drink. There’s always a number of countries represented and we’ve even had a few drop-ins from abroad, including a striking Brazilian businesswoman visiting London from Australia for a few days and a retired American on his first European vacation. At one event I was the only non-Muslim and we had a lively and frank discussion about religion, media bias and belly dancing. The conversation is always good because these people know how to have a good time without booze. So far I’ve been the only former-drinker-turned-teetotaler, which has surprised me most of all!
DryScene is for everyone – drinkers and non-drinkers alike – who want to enjoy a night out without alcohol, or even a life without alcohol. But remember: DryChick isn’t your mother, your therapist or your sober coach – she wants you to talk about everything and anything except alcohol.
So join us for an event. You may have so much fun that you forget what’s in your glass.
DryChick lives in London. She started DryScene to show people that they can have fun without alcohol. She wants to promote a healthy lifestyle and connect like-minded people through her events, where the focus is on the fun and not what’s in your glass. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.Tags: alcohol, bars, clubs, Dry, drys, Prohibition, pubs, teetotal, Texas Guinan
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