Tetra Pak® – Couple on beach with Tetra Classic® packages, 1960s (Photo credit: Tetra Pak)
I think I AM probably one of those happy people in denial about their drinking.
The last time I went for a medical and was asked about how many units I consumed on average in a week and answered ‘thirteen’, the doctor replied ‘that’s honest of you’.
It wasn’t. I might have taken the lower end of my ‘average’.
But what was he implying by that comment?
I took it to mean that maybe I wasn’t an alcoholic after all and then persecuted myself for turning into such a lightweight.
You probably know that I’ve been trying out this new-wave dieting healthy eating and exercise fad recently. I’ve found that I have absolutely no problem with eating less but my biggest challenge is not being able to pour myself a liberal glass of wine to make everything seem better at the end of the day.
And when you torture your body with exercise for the first time since high school, it tells you in no uncertain terms that you deserve a drink a treat afterwards. And that treat isn’t a salad.
Apparently, it’s the sugar addiction talking.
No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to eradicate the mirage of wine completely. So instead of going Cold Turkey and being completely fucking suicidal, I have been trying to cut back to just one sad, lonely glass per night to make way for the calorific extravagance of my mega binging session at the weekend.
Because I’m responsible like that.
But my body still doth protest. It likes its 1-2 glasses a night, it’s what it’s used to, and as I can’t compensate with any culinary naughtiness either, it feels un-sated and dejected in the evening. I felt particularly defeated last night when I watched the Oscars without my customary glass of fizz strapped to my hand, because I’d foolishly used up my allowance in a ‘discussion’ with Kurt about homework.
I’m sorry, but real women just don’t drink herbal tea after 6pm.
And science is on my side. A recent study proved that continuing to drink like a fish in middle age is good for relationships and that the relationships of couples who get shitfaced drink together have a better chance of survival.
This scientific evidence appears to have some credibility in my experience.
Drinking Your Way Through Menopause (Photo credit: RickC)
The old man and I have always been pissheads had a Friday night routine of drinking copiously together and putting the world (and obviously our relationship) to rights – a habit passed down from generation to generation by our own parents.
In fact, I could blame some recent turbulent patches in our relationship on the fact that in middle age, since I have acquired the alcoholic tolerance of a fly, those fabulous evenings are a rarity now. We have to synch our drinking carefully these days, stagger our start and then meet majestically like synchronised swimmers somewhere in the middle.
Another more serious consideration, which could alter the stats of other successful relationships based on alcohol, too, is that we are role models to two impressionable teenagers.
With this in mind, we always take the precaution of thanking them profusely these days when they get our wine and beer from the fridge. As responsible parents, we take the over-consumption of alcohol very seriously and know that drinking has taken a bad rap of late due to the issues with the younger generations not knowing how to handle it.
Personally, I believe that if abused correctly and with experience, alcohol can in fact benefit a relationship by distorting reality for those few precious hours in a long week.
A few glasses into the evening and once the drinking goggles are firmly back in place, the old man begins to look almost attractive again, his dad jokes sound funny and he can even look happy to be in my company.
What is your relationship with alcohol?