My kids are home this weekend and the coming storm means we’ll be home. That makes them happy and it means I can lounge in pajamas and maybe bake some comfort. This coming kid free weekend I will be working up to the idea of relaxing inebriation, but I’m learning it’s not just my comfort zone that needs stretching. My family is used to seeing me as the designated driver because I put my ex’s wants first. They’re used to seeing me sip a soda or water or anything non-alcoholic because I needed to be ready to Mom through a situation without worrying if I need a driver. I’ve written about my relationship with Drinking in the past, but I’m fleshing things out a bit today.
Kid3 was with me last night and asked for soda. We rarely have it in the house and I gave in to a 12 pack of Coca-Cola for my boys because a once in awhile splurge should feel like a splurge. I picked up a purple bottle of Viniq. I used to love Alize and Moscato d’Asti was my favorite wine until I had a reaction that required Benadryl. I think it might be a good thing to try. Over ice. With a splash of club soda. I have a great drunken memory of drinking Alize on the floor of Pro’s Billiards and telling my friends they were beautiful and asking if I could kiss them on the nose. I was loads of fun until I ended the night calling the boy I was nuts about and asking him why he was such an unfeeling asshole. (I’m so not kidding about not being able to handle my liquor.)
Kid3 didn’t like the idea of me drinking and didn’t want me to buy the bottle of Viniq. A few months ago he said his Dad drinks a lot when they aren’t around, but I never prodded. We’re grown ups. We can pay taxes, vote and buy our own booze and cigarettes. I wasn’t planning on drinking in front of my kids, but he was determined to let me know he doesn’t want me drinking. I promised him I wouldn’t drink it in front of him because I wasn’t going to drink in front of my kids anyway, and I wanted it because of the pretty shimmery swirls. It was on clearance and cheaper than his lava lamp. We got home and kid1 had a problem with it too. He pointed out that nothing good comes out of drinking. My pretty bottle may remain a pretty bottle for a while. I have other bottles that have gotten far less attention and no one will notice a dip in their levels. This morning I told my sister about the bottle of Viniq and she said, “wow, you’re going all balls out.” That made me giggle, and yes, we talk like that. I very rarely write like that but spend enough time with me that I feel comfortable telling you the many things that I don’t write about and I will talk like the teenage mom that doesn’t want to grow up. My walls come down and my censor is silenced. When I’m comfortable enough, I talk with my inner child more than I talk to my inner porn star and my inner porn star has made a few appearances on this blog. I’m very in touch with who I am and what makes me special.
Right out of high school the start of my week was about pizza, beer, cigars and Monday night football. Sometimes alone, but often with friends. A normal gathering included one to three 18 packs of beer for a group of 4 or 5 . Back then it was MGD or Corona and sometimes Heineken and Mickey’s. It took a while to decide I wasn’t nuts about beer, and when alone, I would experiment with a bartender’s bible in one hand and a jigger in the other. I loved peach schnapps and would often drink Sex on the Beach when home alone. At bars, I ordered a Cape Cod because back then I was often in dive bars where the drink was different depending on who made it and people rarely got cranberry juice and vodka wrong. I liked apple martinis that tasted like blow pops, and not at all sour. I don’t remember how to make these anymore and I misplaced that bible many years ago.
With family, we used to drink Hennessy and it was my late grandmother’s favorite. The one from Thailand would drink it straight up with a can of Pepsi next to her. I have no idea if my grandmother in Houston drank. The family shifted the shared bottle of Hennessy to Courvoisier. Drinking with my family is fun and funny and not every time I’ve had a few drinks was scary, even if my last drinking post gave you that impression. I had plenty of scary moments that I could never reconcile with being who I want to be as a person and as a mom but they were nights when I wanted to drink alone in public. It’s not the drinks I had, but the choices surrounding those drinks that aligned with the path to self-destruction I was determined to walk on. I’m not afraid to drink or drink alone.
Alcohol never left my home. I make coq au vin with red wine and cognac. I add too many capers and a little white wine to my chicken picatta. My beef stew starts with beer and the darker the better, but I’m not picky. I deglaze pans with dry red wine when I make pot roast. Pork chops glazed in peach schnapps with shallots will always be a favorite. I make hot buttered rum batter every Christmas and use spiced rum and whipped cream if a can survives the day with kids around after they’ve gone to sleep. My kids still freak out a bit when they see me cook with alcohol, but then they taste what is familiar and see it’s okay.
Every holiday we gather at my mom’s house and there’s drinking. The holidays are a time for love and silliness and just enjoying each other. I rarely join in on the drinks but I plan on changing that when I am kid free and don’t have to worry about rushing out in the face of a sudden meltdown or ER visit. I know I can hang around, grazing on too much food until I’m sober and not going to endanger the general public. I know I’m safe with family and that no one will judge me for not being able to talk without giggling or being overly affectionate. I’m not a binge drinker. Not anymore. Once I feel warm, I stop sipping and just enjoy the relaxed haze of intoxication. When it comes to drinking, I’m past testing my limits because we’re well acquainted and I have nothing to prove.