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.


If I Dress Like A Hipster, Will I Like PBR?

I don’t know what’s more disturbing:  the fact that I accidentally got drunk on beer before the afternoon was even over (ewww gross – beer!); or, the fact that it was so easy for me to find clothing and accessories in my house that fit the hipster milieu.

 In any event, for some reason I got this crazy idea that if I surrounded myself with hipster accessories, and even went as far as to dress like one, that I would somehow magically begin to like PBR as well.  I thought this would be the best way to test my hypothesis that it is being a hipster that makes you actually enjoy Pabst Blue Ribbon.  The only other possibility is that being a hillbilly will influence your actual enjoyment of PBR, and since we have already established that hipsters are just hillbillies in vintage, it seems pointless to test both.  (Not to mention, I would have to dress in overalls and take serial photographs of myself sitting on the toilet:  the former I am unable to do for I own no overalls; the latter I am sure you all do not really want to see…)

Here are the results (you will note I have added the typical, hipster photo effects to get the true feeling that – for this day only – I really became a hipster):

I decided to only sample four beers, because really I hate beer.  PBR was to be included as one of the four; my photographer and beer sampling administer (thanks dad!) chose these:  Tecate, Corona Extra, Coors Light, and PBR

As I said, I surrounded myself with everything-hipster.  That was to test my hypothesis that it is being a hipster that makes you actually enjoy Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Included in my surroundings, I had:  an unreasonable amount of Apple products, a pile of scarves (ready for wear if needed, despite the fact that it was 90 degrees out), colored sunglasses, a ridiculous hat (the only thing that would have been worse would be a vintage fedora … but the hipsters do love their retarded beanies), and an oversized and unmatched outfit … disturbingly put together from my very own closet.  The drinks were hidden behind a black box and a wall of the extra cans of PBR.

It was rough for me to choke down that beer, but I’ve had enough in my hey day to guess at 75% correctness.  This blogger hasn’t had beer in a long time, though, so obviously I felt a little rusty drinking it.

I got Tecate right!  I’ve had Tecate a lot in my life – and I still do enjoy the taste.

Coors Light was wrong.  I didn’t like it and never have, so it is no wonder I guessed it was Rolling Rock.  I’m not the biggest fan of American beers on the rare occasions that I do drink them, so it is no surprise that I had no clue (really) what I was drinking on the second round.

Obviously a little tipsy at this point, I got Corona Extra correct!  And I’m still a fan …

I was given a few different samples of the Tecate and the Coors Light before we moved on to the PBR, just for the sake of making sure I didn’t figure out what I was drinking.  Obviously the level of hatred I have towards hipsters would have skewed the results; nonetheless, when PBR came up I did guess it correctly and I still hated it.

This leaves us to a few possibilities:

  1. My hypothesis that it is being a hipster that makes you actually enjoy Pabst Blue Ribbon was just proved wrong.  This is quite obvious.
  2. You could further hypothesize that just surrounding yourself with hipster-esque things does not actually make you be a hipster.  This is a pretty big possibility and is an entire blog altogether, for that would mean that being a hipster is not about the material manifestations of it, but rather an inner state of being.  (I shudder to think that is the case.)
  3. What I really believe this proves is the idea that hipsters will do whatever to conform to the social standards of being a hipster.  It has been cited before on a number of different blogs, websites, and even news articles on Time and various weekly papers.  Hipsters want so badly to be against the grain of social norms that they conform to their own … social norm of (ironic) nonconformity.  
Back to my normal self …
… I am reminded that my real obsession with the hipsters is not that they like certain things or act in a certain way, but that they are complete hypocrites.  They will spend hundreds of dollars on things that look vintage.  They claim a nonconformist attitude by going at great lengths to conform.  They argue for individual rights and respect, while letting their parents pay for everything well into middle age.  They will even go as far as to drink a drink that really does taste like it came from a toilet bowl, merely for the sake of saying “we like cheap.”  But the Pabst Blue Ribbon wasn’t even really that cheap – it was comparable in price to all of the other beers I sampled.  A friend from Chicago even told me yesterday that at bars out there a pint of it will cost you about $6.50 – more than I have ever seen a person pay for a pint of beer.  Hipsters are one of my biggest pet peeves merely because in hoards they are creating even more stupidity and hypocrisy in American society, something I really think we already have enough of.
Special thanks to my dad, Raymond Schmidt, for setting up the beer tasting and taking the photographs.  He’s a writer too … you can find him on Amazon by clicking here.

Reasons for Avoiding the 4th of July

I’m a real negative-nelly sometimes, I know… I am constantly posting about things I hate and reasons I’m annoyed.  But this is a B(itch)Log, right?  Right.  Plus, as painful as it may sometimes be for you, faithful blog followers, to tolerate my rants day after day, after day, you know that (in at least most cases), I’m right.  As much as it may seem a bit complain-y, and a bit over-the-top at times, all I’m doing is saying things I know you all are thinking.  Here’s one of those  things that I know I’m right about, that I’m sure at least some of you are thinking:  reasons for avoiding the 4th of July.

REASON #1 FOR AVOIDING THE 4TH OF JULY:  DRUNK DRIVERS KILL

Unless you want to die prematurely by either (a) being t-boned by a drunk driver; or (b) crashing into flames, drunk yourself, going out for the 4th of July should be avoided.

No matter how much self-control you have, you cannot avoid a can of Coors, or a red-white-and-blue martini, if you go out of the house.  And even if you don’t drink, you still cannot avoid the affects of such drinks, since 8 out of 10 people driving the weekend of the 4th will have at least one alcoholic beverage flowing through their veins.

REASON #2 FOR AVOIDING THE 4TH OF JULY:  FIREWORKS ARE FOR HILLBILLIES

While there is something spectacular about fireworks over Lake Michigan in Chicago, or the nightly show at Disneyland, there is absolutely nothing spectacular about a bunch of hillbillies shooting off bottle rockets and M80s in their front yard, sometimes pointing them at each other.

True story:  a few years ago the neighbors down the street from my father’s house were shooting so many fireworks at the neighbor’s cars and each other that the police were called.  When the police got out of their car, they were chased away by a large band of drunken, illegal fireworks-users.  Two hours later, someone was shot in the eye with a firework and she was blinded in that eye permanently.  There is absolutely nothing beautiful about explosives that are set off by anyone other than a professional.

REASON #3 FOR AVOIDING THE 4TH OF JULY:  BEER GUZZLING, ILLEGAL FIREWORKS, BAR-B-QUEING, AND SCREAMING “WOOOOOOO!  AMERICA, F**K YEAH!!” WAS NOT WHERE OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WERE GOING

As fun as it might be to imagine Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin doing beer bongs and shooting explosives at each other, while George Washington throws some burgers and snausages on the grill, this really is not what our founding fathers were going for.

While the freedom to explode our arms off if we want to, and to guzzle booze until we slip into a comma, might be a necessary consequence of our freedom from the British powers that once were, this is really not what the 4th of July is about.  Strikingly, Associated Press reported a few years ago that only 74% of Americans polled knew what the 4th of July is actually about, with an astonishing 6% of the remaining people thinking we separated from a power other than the British.  Possibly those snausages are clogging our brain power too.

So you see, it really is better if we all just avoid the 4th of July altogether.  Rather than risk your life and limbs, stay in and have a nice, healthy meal and a glass of wine.  Watch a special on what the founding fathers were actually fighting for on the History Channel.  Enjoy the extra day off work to catch up on housework, your Tivo, or that good book you’ve been meaning to read.  Since I know most of you won’t take heed of this advise, have a safe 4th of July … if you have enough fingers left to log onto your computer come Tuesday, I’ll see you then!