There are people who don’t understand drinking at all. You can tell who they are because they say things like,”Isn’t it kind of cold for beer?” or “I guess it’s okay, as long as you don’t feel like you depend on it” or “Yes, I had a Bahama Mama last weekend, and it was yummy!”
These people are drinkers in the same way as Thomas Kinkade is a painter: there are enough superficial similarities to the real thing that the casual observer might be taken in — and yet, at the heart, there is this gulf which is vast. Vast.
I think what people don’t understand is that your relationship with alcohol develops over time, just like in a good marriage. At first it’s all infatuation and fireworks and throwing up. But it’s only later, after many years of fidelity and forgiveness, missteps and recovery, that you and your drink can look each other in the eye and say, “Yes, I need you, and you need me. And I’m all right with that. Oh, I could live without you — I wouldn’t drop dead if you walked out of my life forever, and I know I could even learn to be happy without you. But why would I want to? You’ve been there with me through all the best times of my life, and all the worst, too. Even when you couldn’t be there, like when the nurse was all, ‘You are 80% effaced; it is time to put that bottle down!’, you were notable by your absence. Oh alcohol, I am a part of you; and you, pound by blubbery pound, are becoming more and more a part of me.”
What non-drinkers don’t understand is that the city of Boozopolis is a beautiful and variegated place. Got a few hours to burn? This bottle of gin looks open and accommodating, willing to let you take the lead, and no hard feelings if it’s just a quickie. Bourbon is there to take your hand and let you enjoy your misery for a while. Tequila is a great way to find out whether or not you’ve grown up in the last ten years. Red wine becomes a river of conversation which appears insightful at the time, and makes room in your heart for all the terrible Irish music you’ve been denied all your sober life. Or maybe you’re just thirsty? Well, then, my friend, it is time to have a beer.
I’m not trying to preach, and I’m not trying to nag. I’m just trying to say that an awful lot of you could be doing a lot more to pick up that glass from time to time, you know? I try my hardest, but I’m only one woman.
Well, what did you do on your weekend?