Our boss likes to take all of her store managers in her district out for a wine night once a month. It's really a lovely gesture and a chance for us to be out of the stores and get to know each other and form relationships.
This all sounds great, except I'm sober. To my fault, I haven't been comfortable saying that because I don't want to share that part of my life with the management team, so I normally make up an excuse like I have yoga afterwards or have not been feeling well. When I say I don't play on drinking that night due to other obligations, she still encourages me to join them, but it's always awkward being the only one in the wine bar drinking sparkling water, and while they are all cutting loose. I usually always end up leaving early, but I also then miss out on building those relationships.
I've suggested we try other things for team bonding/celebrations, but the rest of the management team loves these wine nights and this is how they like to engage, and I'm just the girl who always has something else going on. We also work in a retail environment where none of us make great money, and our boss always picks up the tab, which is a bonus for them.
Should I even address this? I don't know how many more excuses I have left in me before someone asks me why I always have an excuse not to drink.