Something that made me go “hmmmmm”

While surfing to avoid doing anything productive (like catching up on some work on a Sunday night), I happened on this article in the Post-Gazette about women — moms in particular — and alcohol: Namely, are moms drinking too much now, and is it dangerous?

Yes, I had heard of the terrible accident in New York in which a drunk, high woman killed several people by driving the wrong way on the highway. What I didn’t know is that this had become a bellwether for the issue of women and drinking.

It made me think.

I don’t downplay how awful alcoholism is, or how it devastates children growing up with alcoholic parents. I didn’t grow up in a house of big drinkers — occasionally my parents would have beer or a mixed drink (most often, whiskey & ginger ale with a maraschino cherry — I’d always ask for the cherry) — like on a holiday or at the rare party. I was allowed to taste beer when I was a kid, and of course, found it disgusting. I didn’t drink until college.

Now, Mike and I go out for a beer on Friday nights, and occasionally have wine or beer with dinner. We have friends who don’t drink, and friends we love drinking with. We and our drinking friends often lament the demise of “social drinking” and socializing in general. People don’t get dressed up and have cocktail parties (at least my friends don’t). A dinner party? What’s that? Parents don’t leave the kids with a sitter and go out and unwind with friends — the lives of the parents I know revolve around the kids. When I was working in an office, after-work happy hours all but disappeared once we hit 30. When I read in the article about mommy bloggers with names like, I laughed. Yeah, that would probably be me, I thought.

I’m talking about SOCIAL drinking, not getting wasted. I’m not advocating people (mommies, daddies, or anyone else) going out, getting trashed, and getting in the car. I’m talking about responsible adults, having a couple of drinks and “laughing and scratching.”  Darren and Samantha having Larry and Louise over for dinner and martinis. In my experience, that doesn’t happen much anymore.

But the article made me think — I guess it is happening and I’m just missing out.

And you know what? I wish I wasn’t.

I’d love it if my girlfriends lived close enough and were available enough to have regular “wine and unwind” dates (like those Desperate Housewives and their poker games). I’d love it if Mike and I had a friends to rotate dinner parties and try out cocktail concoctions. (Martha’s always sharing drink recipes — is it a lifestyle of the rich & famous thing?)

So, where am I going with this? Maybe I’m just lamenting that Mike and I don’t have much of a social life ;). But really, I think I’m lamenting how modern life and its excesses has turned so many things sour and made everything so serious. Have a couple drinks with friends and you’re one step away from alcoholism. Indulge in buttery appetizers or decadent desserts instead of raw vegetables and fresh fruit and you better have the heart paddles charging. Sleep late on a weekend? But what about soccer practice and spinning class and painting the house and mowing the lawn?

Where’s the fun in life?

I, for one, would love a glass of wine right now. And I’d love it if you were here to drink one, too.

We have the tendency to obscure the forest of
simple joys with the trees of problems.
~ Christiane Collange