I sound like a bigger lush than I am. I would say I am low to medium in the world of 45 – 55 year old women who love wine. I feel like wine ranks in the top ten list of things necessary to a good life, but not in the top 5. I think most women my age feel wine is what KEEPS trouble from happening. I’m sure that during those scary mid-winter evenings, when my child announced he had a project due the next day, his father was working late and our printer was out of ink, a small tipple is what kept me from committing a harmful crime upon a child. I have no doubt the Wright Brothers mother, after watching her children take to the skies, turned to her best friend and said, “well, I think I need a little something”. I feel certain the reason so many marriages stayed together in the 50s is surely because of that golden slice of time, “the cocktail hour”. How many women would have made it through visits from mother-in-laws without a little help?
That said, it HAS caused problems.
The Goose’s and my favorite thing is the crime blotter from the little paper from the town near our lake house. Each and every one of these brilliant crimes is alcohol fueled and causes us no end of mirth.
Here is just a sampling of some police blotter incidents, not all from our town:
- Man said ex-girlfriend broke into home when he was not home and stole all the sheetrock from his house.
- Police responded to a report of a drunk man who had broken into a store. Upon entering the store, the officer shouted out “Marco”, to which the suspect, who was hiding, responded “Polo”.
- Police responded to a man who claimed someone was in his bedroom, standing in the corner and looking at him. When officers turned on the light, it was discovered that it was a cardboard cutout of Arnold Schwartzenegger.
- Surveillance cameras showed a man weaving through the pet store and shoving a baby alligator down his shirt.
And my favorite of all time:
5. A woman on 37th street called 911 and reported that her boyfriend refused to BRING HER A CASSEROLE.
Okay, we’ve all been hungry and number 5 might be understandable. I once cried because The Goose would not leave work to bring me dumplings when I was pregnant. Clearly, though, each of these perps was out of his mind, most likely on MD 20/20, that low rent standby.
It’s true that alcohol does make some people fight more (not me, I love everyone and by that I mean, everyone) and it has caused countless mad bouts of slurring karaoke at office parties that has made millions call in sick to work to avoid embarrassment the next day. But, on the flip side, it has caused billions and billions of mothers, throughout history, to glance at the clock while toddlers drool on their pants leg, puppies poo on their floor and husbands call to say they’ll be late shudder with glee that 5:00 has come again and they can sit quietly and sip a glass while Mr. Rogers plays softly in the background.
It prompts stories to be retold, year after year because someone does something stupid involving jello or shaving cream. It allows us to know deep dark secrets because someone belts out their inner desires at a party. Someone I know, but will not name, once went back into a bar, at closing time, went into the bathroom and fell asleep on the toilet not to awaken until she was found locked in the next morning. That’s a good story, years later, that wouldn’t have happened if she’d been pounding diet Coke. She grew up and became, guess what, a fabulous, stylish and respectable attorney. See? It all turned out just fine.
Yes, it does give false courage and cause self respecting women to pour dish soap into neighbor’s tacky fountains. Okay, it pushes some women to call up ex-husbands while their good friends egg them on. (I’m sorry.) It whispers to some idiotic ladies, while lingering over a glass at dinner, to tell their children that one of them was conceived in their grandparents’ swimming pool. Geez. It’s possible The Goose had something there.
Like the saying goes, no good story ever started with “hey y’all, want a salad?”. I’m not promoting booze, and I’m not talking to folks that truly have a problem. I’m just musing about it and repeating the conversation I had with The Goose when he uttered his proclamation. I agree, it’s not for everyone. It causes beaucoup problems for many, but most of us keep it in its place and in perspective. I’m sharing with those women who call each other up right in the middle of helping with math homework and say “Hey, wanna come over for a quick glass?” and the response is “Oh, thank the Lord in Heaven!”. Speaking to those of us who have sometimes wrapped a waiter in a snuggly hug when he arrives and announces that he has La Crema by the glass”.
In any tee-totaling argument I always pull out the trump card when I whip out this doozy: The first miracle was water into…what’s that? Oh, yeah, wine.