There are two things you should keep in mind for this blog. The first one is that I am an only child. The second is that this is my opinion, and that I speak for myself alone and no one else. If you have a drinking problem, I suggest you get help, as I would suggest for anyone who has any addictive behavioral issues.
I once saw a meme that had a drawing of a woman wearing a fifties looking dress, holding a martini glass, smiling broadly, and the caption read, “It may just be the booze talking, but I got to tell you, I love booze!” This, to a large degree, describes me. I really, really like booze.
On the lightest end of the booze scale, I enjoy sipping moscato d’asti wines, sweet and slightly carbonated — containing just a titch of alcohol — a pale golden color, like a captured early-summer morning in a glass. I also love the even sweeter kosher Manischewitz-type wines — a deep burgundy color, and so cloying that people who really like “good” wine shudder. And I like beer — Stella Artois and Heineken, Fat Tire, Killian’s Red, or even good ol’ Budweiser, cold and refreshing. And on the heavier end of the scale, I have a passion for mixed drinks: margaritas, Bloody Marys, Whiskey or Amaretto Sours, Long Island Ice Teas, dirty Martinis (with vodka, and many green olives please), Manhattans. The list goes on and on.
And because I love my booze — really, really love my booze — I recently decided to drastically cut down on it. I know, it doesn’t make any sense. But remember, how in the beginning I have mentioned that I was an only child? This is where it comes into play.
I have trouble saying no to myself. I wouldn’t say I was particularly spoiled growing up, but I pretty much got everything I asked for. I was not a brat, asking for ridiculously expensive extravagances, but I did want books, pens, journals, and more books, and since the only people who read as much as I did were my parents, I was rarely denied. My parents paid for (unwanted) piano lessons, bought us trips to Mexico, bought me a car, and paid my undergrad tuition.
Therefore, as an adult, wanting something, and getting it immediately, was a natural progression. When I want a drink, I help myself. And I like being in control, of myself and the situation. I cannot abide to feel powerless. So, I have been tipsy, and even quite tipsy, on occasion. But, I never drink to excess — I have never been drunk enough to throw up, never once have I had a black out, and I never experienced a real hangover (not even as a teenager).
Finally, I have recently read an article that explained that quitting alcohol will do wonders for all sorts of things — it will clear up your skin, reduce chances of cancer, stroke and diabetes, increase your libido, help with your sleep, increase mental acuity, help at your job, help you lose weight, etc., etc., etc. It sounded like something that I should try. And I have decided to try saying “no” to myself more, especially to something that I love as much as I love booze.
Please do not get me wrong. I still intend to drink occasionally. For example, there is no way in hell or on this earth that I will go through dinner with my parents completely sober. I did that for many years, and for many years it was much more …. let’s just say …. stressful …. than it ever had to be. However, the other days do not call for alcohol, except for fun, and I have decided to test my mettle. I am diving into the deep end of semi-sobriety and seeing if I can float. I know, my arm is getting a bit sore from patting myself on the back. To many people this will not appear a big deal. But to me this will be huge. This may be a wimpy challenge, but it’s a challenge nonetheless. To paraphrase Leonard Cohen, some of my demons are middle class and tame, but they are still mine to fight.