Wine is my weakness. White wine. Pinot Grigio given the choice, but I will guzzle Chardonnay in a pinch. Even Sauvignon Blanc though I really dislike the taste. Wine is my weakness. This has been the case for a long time. Too long. Like many of you I suppose, I had my first drink in high school. I was a sophomore. It was soccer season and homecoming and Id scored the winning goal. I went to a party that night at my friends house. Her parents werent home and we helped ourselves to their vodka. (We replaced the imbibed Absolut with water, water that of course froze. This detail makes me smile to this day.) We drank it from fancy shot glasses, I think. I remember licking salt and biting into a lemon and laughing deeply.
If memory serves me, it was a fun and happy night. It was my first buzz and I rode the rebellion well. I dont think I was even hungover the next morning.
I continued to drink a bit in high school, but not much and not too often. I do remember being drunk, really drunk, on a few occasions. I remember people puking on living room carpets. I remember one night senior year after getting accepted early to college when we went out to an underground club and the drinks were flowing and my friend and I ended up kissing the very same boy. I thought it was hilarious. Honestly? I felt like I was living.
College, of course, was soaked with booze and I welcomed this. I worked hard and played hard, graduated Magna Cum Laude and then went on my merry way to law school where I continued to study and sip, to mix achievement with escape.
But here I am. Thirty-three years old. A wife and mother of three. A writer. A thinker. Suddenly, alcohol doesnt seem quite as happy, or hilarious. Suddenly, I am curious and concerned about things, big things. Things that never before kept me up at night: Health, Happiness, Legacy, Presence.
I want to be healthy for my children. And for me.
I want to find happiness whatever it is, whatever that means. I want to teach my kids how to find it.
I want to write books. Books that people read, and remember.
I want to be here. Awake and aware. For my family and for myself.
Heres the thing. And maybe you will read my words and my stories and disagree, maybe I will read my words and my stories and disagree, but I dont think I have a Problem. Not yet, at least. But I do think I have a problem. I think many of us, maybe all of us, do. I think adult life is hard and complicated any way we slice it. I think our days are riddled with existential and emotional cracks and complexities. I think we are constantly struggling and juggling and I think each of us copes with these struggles and juggles in different ways.
My way has been wine.
And so. At the age of thirty-three, I am taking a step back, trying something new. Its an experiment and, for me, a profoundly scary one. I am not sure what life looks like, or feels like, without a periodic primer of Pinot.
Honestly? I am not sure who I am without wine.
But Im going to find out. And so are you.