Wine used to be my friend. We used to get on famously. She’d be the first person I’d speak to when I got home from work. We’d stare lovingly at each other, caress each other and then slowly move closer until we were one. She made me happy. Without me, she had no purpose. Without her the nights were so long. But things have changed. Suddenly she tires me, almost instantly. I feel a little nauseous when our lips meet. But I still feel as though I need her and even though I know I’m going to feel a little ill. I continue to test myself though, just to make sure I haven’t made a mistake, I haven’t just dreamed it. Slurp. Cold. Fruity. Dry. Delish. The evening looks better already…
Five minutes later, and the novelty has died off. WTF?! When did that start to happen? And more importantly, why? Who said that could happen? Why deny me that one small pleasure? It’s not like I treat myself to anything else. I’m not an alcoholic. I’m a social drinker. This is what I do to slide into the evening, to shake off the day, to go from Manager to Mum. I know that strictly speaking children and alcohol should not go together, but nor should caramel and salt and hey – look how well that works.
Sod it, I’m going to persevere. Life without wine – what would be the point? Some of the most romantic evenings I’ve had with, my husband have been fueled by copious amounts of wine. Some of the bravest conversations I’ve had with my boss have been triggered by several bottles of vino. She is my friend and it doesn’t matter how sleepy she makes me I am going to continue to try and rekindle that old, familiar relationship.
Also, she often makes me more tolerant. For years I have been cooking fish pie. For years I have been putting capers and egg in it. For years my family has loved it and eaten it. All of it. And then tonight, “Why is there egg in my fish pie?”
“There is always egg in your fish pie.”
“I don’t like it.”
“Because it’s good for you.”
“But I don’t like it.”
“You’ve always eaten it, eat it now.”
“There’s been egg in my fish pie all this time?”
“How could you? Why didn’t you tell me? You tricked me! I hate it!”
He leaves the table and runs upstairs.
Normally I’d shout, run after him, tell him off, drag him back to the table, threaten him with locking him in the cupboard. (Joke.) And make him eat his dinner. I am in charge for God’s sake. He’s five, he needs to know this. Instead, I take a long sip, gaze out of the window and watch the soft rain falling on the decking and the magpies eating the last of the stale hot cross buns on the lawn; I turn to my ten year old and ask “How was your day today Sweetie?” And all is well with life.
He’ll come down eventually and eat the last of his cold fish pie WITH egg. And me, I’ll be on the sofa watching some drivel on TV before I put them both to bed, maybe on my second glass. Relaxed. Calm. Smiling. Catastrophe avoided. And all is well with life.