Sunday, January 12, 2014


     I did not intend to post this essay, as I thought it might be too personal. During a Blogging workshop Friday, I learned that it is good to occasionally show our vulnerability. So here it is--the raw facts about Fifi and the grape. 

                                                  Sans Alcool - Not Cool

     I can only be charming for 2.43 hours when I’m sober. Since the doc told me I can no longer indulge in the magic formula that keeps me sane, calm, unbitchy and glib, our social life has taken on a whole new persona, and it’s not pretty.

     Most people don’t ask themselves why they drink. Why would they? They’re too busy enjoying it. Analzying it requires thought, and part of why we drink is so we don’t have to think. We do that all day. By the time the party begins, we want to shut down the brain and chill. If, however, the truth be told about why most people drink socially, my guess would be that they want to relax, taste something good and try on a tiny buzz before bed. Some people, like yours truly, really taste the drink and like it. I not only taste it and love it, I relish the scent, the color, the texture, the afterglow, and I even cherish the moments swirling the velvet liquid and caressing the contour of the glass. It’s all part of the experience for me--the one I can only painfully recall.

     A friend of mine told me she doesn’t drink much--just two glasses of wine each night before dinner. Two glasses of wine per night? I would die to have two sips per night. After our discussion, I came home and found myself licking the rim of the Pinot and inhaling the 3-week-old scent. Oh, Lord, how I miss that buttery warmth on my tongue. How I long for just one teeny-weeny swallow.

     Going to a party knowing you can’t drink is like going to a pet store in handcuffs.
It’s like dry lettuce, four-day-old pasta, sunburn on the French Riviera, meeting Bradley Cooper after a Mexican dinner.

     So, anyway, we go to these parties, all dressed up ready to do something, I don’t know what. What do you do at parties when you don’t drink, anyway? I never really thought about it until I stopped drinking. I guess you just stand around, act cool and pretend you’re  stewed enough not to care, and then you watch other people do what you wish you could.

     People are very forgiving if you’ve had too much to drink. They simply quip the next day, “Oh, you know, Jack. He can’t always hold his liquor.” Instant forgiveness. If I leave early because I am no longer charming, and I’m bored watching people act stupid and say the same thing 48 times, people say, “What happened to you? You disappeared. What’s wrong with you? Didn’t you have fun?” Hello.

     So, I may live longer than the social sippers. I may be healthier and thinner and I may have better recall as my brain cells have not disintegrated from the poison, but who cares? It will say on my tombstone, “Here lies a lithe lady who whined for wine and died sip-less.”