Wine Is No Longer A Part of My Narrative

I remember the general time period when I started to question whether or not my husband and I were drinking too much, too often. It wasn’t one incident in particular, rather a group of them.

It was Easter Sunday several years ago when I walked into a back room at my in law’s home to find my husband had passed out, drunk, on fruit-infused vodkas.

It was a Monday when “Sunday dinner” had included more wine than food, and that day was a special hell of feeling too headache-y and nauseated to do much in the way of parenting. So I called a babysitter.

It was wine in a coffee mug, even though I don’t even drink coffee.

It was selecting restaurants based on whether or not we’d be able to have a drink with our meal.

I wouldn’t say that I had reached the point of interventions, Betty Ford clinic, and AA meetings for the rest of my life. But I could see it going there, quickly. I had no ability to moderate or regulate my drinking.

So I quit drinking, altogether. Wine is no longer a part of my narrative.

It is still a part of my husband’s, which is a little weird. Since I never got to the point of having an actual problem, I guess it seems innocuous.

But still, it’s weird because in the grand picture, deciding to no longer drink alcohol is a pretty big life decision; one that isn’t taken lightly and certainly requires support. Most of the time it doesn’t matter to me, though. I’m not – like – salivating at the thought of a glass of wine; and I still cook with wine or beer and vodka. I even occasionally take a drink and hold it politely to lessen having to explain myself at parties.

I get it. Drinking your way through the hardest years of parenting (or just adulting, in general) has always been a thing.

Ladies used to drink their martinis after serving dinner in the 50s; and they’d down wine coolers all day to get through the summer months in the 90s.

Alcohol is to motherhood as fish are to water.

And yet, to me, it seems more now than ever before.

Probably – at least in part – thanks to social media, just how much women drink to get through the trials and tribulations of motherhood is in your face. It’s everywhere, every day. Having a bad day? How about some rosé. Midweek got you down? WINESDAY! Stressed to the max just getting your kids out the door for school? It’s 5 o’clock, somewhere, right?

It’s everywhere.

Making matters worse is the attitude the general public takes when you stop drinking.

We don’t live in a society that supports quitting. Anything. Giving up alcohol in 2019 is like showing up for an AA meeting only to be greeted by shots of tequila and motivational handouts that say “it’s okay once in a while…”

It took me about 6 months to actually quit the sauce, altogether. Every time I told myself that this was it, I’d have another bad day and meme after meme on Facebook justified (in my head) that wine was the Land of Milk and Honey for mothers. Or we would go out to dinner with family that orders by the bottle, and that was all I needed to postpone my cutback another day.

Then, in 2016, I got pregnant, so wine was officially off the table. That’s when things got weird.

It’s either I was too tipsy to realize how weird things were before, or the result of me no longer drinking – when I used to be a regular partaker – was that things became uncomfortable between me and the general crowd in which I find myself often.

Nonetheless, uncomfortable.

There were the people that wanted to prove to me that it was perfectly safe to drink in pregnancy.

There were those that – after I was no longer pregnant – made a big deal about how I could drink again. And when I told them I was breastfeeding, they went into the prove-it’s-safe mode again.

Now they run the gamut.

There are the people that I never realized get sloppy drunk every. single. time. I. see. them.

And there are those that ask what I’m drinking, then joke that since there’s no alcohol in my cup I must be pregnant (again).

Then there are the people that ask stupid questions when I say I stopped drinking. Like “well what do you do to have fun?” (As if the only way to have fun as an adult is to get shit faced.)

And finally there are the people who use it as an opportunity to justify their own drinking (“oh I just couldn’t do that”) or even get outright hostile towards me. As if – at the end of the day – my personal choices with regards to my body and what I put in it have anything to do with anyone else but me.

If that makes other people uncomfortable, I guess that speaks more to them and their own issues than anything else.

Wine was such a prevalent part of my narrative for years. It no longer is anymore.


A Case For Never Returning to Las Vegas

Oh yes, I know you are all so offended by this; that I, your fearless blogger, would make a case against Vegas.  But given that the Sin City is home to the absolute worst humanity has to offer, are you really surprised?

Today I received in the mail a correspondence from the Flamingo Sports Book/Keno lounge stating that the ground rules had been changed for the bet I had placed on the Chicago Bulls making Best Record for regular season in the N.B.A.  They stated that “best now means the championship,” to which they attached my ticket (that stated “Best Regular Season Record”).  Seems unfair (dare I suggest, illegal?), but since I don’t know if that $20 is worth waging a war with a multimillion dollar casino over, I feel contented in just saying:  “I’m never going to Vegas again.”

And why would I?  With a crime rate of approximately 70,000 annual overall crimes (over 9,000 of which are violent), and a safety index of 0 (with 100 being the safest), Vegas seems to be the place to avoid.

The one friend I have that lives in Las Vegas spends a considerable amount of his time outside of Vegas, and has even gone as far as to complain about the people that live there.  As well he should.  From my summation of those  I have seen the few times I have been there, the majority seem to be:

Drunks

Gamble-aholics

and Prostitutes

And while I’m sure that not all of the people which live within the walls of the most scandal-ridden city in America fit into those three categories (I know my friend and his friends don’t), suffice it to say it’s around just about every corner.  And if none of those can be seen in the flesh, there are always fifty of these guys snapping their slut cards at you:

But moreover, it seems as if the obsession we all have with weekends in Vegas come from a deep desire to be one of those people.  We want to be so drunk we can’t remember a thing.  We feel exhilarated by the thrill of gambling (and often losing) money.  And what is the old adage?  “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

The truth, though, is that what happens in Vegas does not really stay in Vegas.  With such a high crime rate, incidences of sexually transmitted disease, the loss of money and property, and the very real problem of alcoholism in our nation, Vegas reaches well beyond its borders.  A friend of mine recently stated on his Facebook that he should design a t-shirt with a baby on it and the caption “Everything doesn’t stay in Vegas.”  Truer words were never spoken, my friends.

Now, I’m all for a good time, and letting loose just once in a great while.  For gambling urges, there’s always the lotto, the Indian casinos, or a local game of senior BINGO.  There are local watering holes in just about every town in the country as well.  But to contribute to such a degraded, degenerate, defiled city by letting them siphon off every dollar and ounce of dignity that comes within 100 miles of its borders needs to stop.  No more Vegas for me, baby.