Blog: The Chicks Uncorked
A Facebook friend recently asked what I was most proud of in 2020. After much deliberation I decided the fact that murder – neither as perpetrator nor victim – was avoided in my seemingly locked household ranked pretty high on my list. And the main reason we were able to avoid the criminal justice system the entire year? The answer can be summed up in one word: wine. Just a couple of glasses every evening starting at 5:00 pm sharp was enough to give me something to look forward to during the creeping hours of daylight and something to savor once the sun set.
My ever-deepening relationship with fermented grapes these past 10 months may not be something about which I’m especially proud, but I’ve come to realize that on the scale of debauchery possible in a global pandemic, getting a tad tipsy on a somewhat regular basis ranks pretty low (at least in my opinion).
I wasn’t always so cavalier about my indulgence; at first I felt extremely guilty. Was there a chance I’d develop a problem? Would I always drink this much? In fact, my thoughts and attitudes about my nightly sips have evolved over the minutes, days, weeks and eons of quarantining. In retrospect, I realize I traveled through the five stages of grief while sparring with my liquid crutch, so I thought I’d share my journey with those who find themselves tempted by the CVS liquor ad way before the front-page headlines.
The first stage I experienced was DENIAL. I told myself, “This is nothing. I just need a little something to take the edge off.” A ‘little something’ just happened to be the equivalent of a chocoholic discovering a key to Willy Wonka’s factory.
The next stage was ANGER. It wasn’t my fault I was drinking every day. It was the $&%$@^% pandemic’s fault!
Third came BARGAINING. If the coronavirus would disappear tomorrow, I promised I would never touch a glass of wine the rest of my life. But even as the words came out of my mouth, I knew this stage wasn’t going to last long . . . I’ve never been a good liar.
Next came DEPRESSION. I was definitely disappointed in myself. Why wasn’t I one of those industrious pandemic people baking bread, starting businesses or showering every day? The melancholy of COVID spilled over (no pun intended) to my feelings about wine consumption. Luckily, this stage didn’t last very long — mainly because it was putting a major wet blanket on my nightly buzz.
Finally, I arrived at ACCEPTANCE. This stage came relatively quickly once I started looking at the benefits of my wine love affair. I mean, the French drink wine daily, and they look fabulous. No one wants to know a Parisian’s blood alcohol count; we just want to be more like them. And think of all the antioxidants I’m consuming. The resveratrol found in red wine has been shown in some studies to lower risk of heart disease and inflammation. Who am I not to embrace health benefits when they’re so much more enticing than a pea smoothie?
I know when the vaccines start making their way into millions of arms, my wine consumption will go back to a few times a week and on special occasions. But for now, it’s 5:00 somewhere, and that’s OK. I’m still a good person.