Saturday, May 1, 2010

Scared Sober by 20/20

Did anyone else watch last night? Pretty sad and scary stuff. It’s easy to joke about your kids getting on your nerves so bad that you need to knock back a cocktail or five, but on the other hand, imagine trying to maintain all of your parental responsibilities while almost constantly under the influence. Yeah, I guess if you were half in the bag all of the time you’d cease to be stressed by the more irritating of your kids’ behaviors, but you’d also never be able to keep track of anything. I can barely remember which day it is and I’m sober…is it show-and-tell day? Is there a permission slip I’m supposed to send back? Did I forget to pick her up somewhere?

I’ve been a non-drinker my whole life, and have only just recently begun to enjoy an occasional (half) glass of wine. On the show last night, they said that for most of these mothers wine was their drink of choice. Uh oh. I’d better rein in my out-of-control drinking habit before I start hiding bottles in boots.

I feel like I've been explaining my non-drinking for my whole life. Which goes to show you how much everyone else drinks if I'm always the one having to explain myself.
When I was in high school, I had to pretend that I was drinking and that I enjoyed it. I remember one time pretending to swig from a bottle of Boone’s Farm and my friend Suellen busting me on it. She was so pissed that I was diluting her ghetto wine with my backwash.
During college and the rest of my twenties, I stopped caring what anyone thought and, if asked why I didn’t drink, I just said that I didn’t like it. I thought of it as my cool alternative lifestyle.
Beginning in my thirties, people started assuming that I was a recovering alcoholic. Especially the half of my thirties that were spent living in Amsterdam. The Europeans could not fathom any other reason for not drinking. They would give me a pitying look, a supportive pat on the shoulder, and helpfully inform me that they had 12-step programs over there too.
Now in my forties, if asked I say, “If I started now, I would never stop.” And no further explanation is necessary. I get a knowing smile and a “tell me about it”. Some things are better with age...and Boone's Farm isn't one of them.

1 comment:

  1. Again, great writing Lynn. I have a confession to make: I sometimes drink because of the way other people raise their children...see your earlier posts/experiences about those "people". My neighbors would make great subjects for your insightful analysis!