Friday, August 13, 2010

The Wine Whine

Barbara: Okay, so I’ve never been a big drinker, a drunk, a souse, or a lush. Nor am I a beverage aficionado. But I do like my glass of wine. I like the thought of it, the look, the bouquet, the taste (oh, yes, the taste!), the sensuous feel of the glass in my hand, and the slightly cock-eyed buzz, especially after a day-from-hell (and I’ve had my fair share of those). I was one of the first to join the legions who bowed in deference to the genius doctors who proclaimed a glass of wine a day a prescription for good health.

But the truth is: wine doesn’t frickin’ like me. Not anymore anyway. It’s like that smart, cool girl I covet to be my new buddy with all her sassy talk and “We have so much in common”, only to have her punch me in the guts when I am least prepared, taking me down, making me regret my rash rush to love and trust. I drink down that burgundy libation, enjoying every sip, savouring the flavours, the effect, and then BAM!—either a few hours later or the next morning—I feel nauseous or crampy or both. It isn’t fair!!! I mean, I’m such a responsible drinker! I like it and I want it! I frickin’ DESERVE it! And it could not give a shit. Love ‘em and leave ‘em. (I told you this was going to be a whine.)

So, I don’t know what to do. Or where we stand, wine and I, in our tortured relationship. I continue to lust after it and it continues to bait me with the occasional happy experience and then sideline me with its wrath. I swear off it for a while, but then I miss it. Or there’s a special event that begs for some chinking of glasses and swilling of booze…. Like a Friday.

It makes me think of a conversation Deb and I had a while ago. We were observing that it seemed like so many of our older female friends seemed to drink more than they used to—or at the very least, seemed to be more affected by alcohol, turning into the moony, drunken cougars of the ugly clichés. So is it that they/we can simply no longer handle our booze like we used to? Or am I alone in my whino-troubles?

Behind every older woman, is there a glass of wine that’s sick of her?

Deb: OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH BARB! I am sick for you. As sick as you are yourself. I am here to assure you all that Barb is the most responsible drinker! I have never even seen her drunk. Tipsy maybe on a few (very few) evenings. How HOW can you be punished this way? Why has the grape turned on you, my dear? Why the hell can’t it be a cantaloupe reaction? I would be despairing myself. Not that I have a problem, as truly I do not. But I love my red wine. Look forward to it. Don’t over do it, but love it. Don’t drink hard liquor, but oy, the wine. We MUST fix this, Barb. Off to the Mayo Clinic with you. Do you think they will see it as the priority it is????????


  1. I can't drink yet I am one year away from being 21 so right now I can't drink. I have how ever tasted a little bit of white wine and I hated it.I can't even take the smell of it. It is just not me. I have friends though that love to drink and could drink all night if you would let them, me I would perfer just something else like water or something not anything else like alcohol. When I turn 21 I may have one or two drinks on my Birthday but nothing strong.

  2. Oh Barb.....I am so distressed about this. I mean, that's like becoming allergic to sex or something. This is really awful. I mean, I kind of understand because I can't eat ice cream anymore, and that makes me really, really sad...but at least there are soy substitutes.
    But there is no substitute for wine!
    We must all get on the internet and research this for Barb!
    This is a crisis!

  3. Lyndsie -- it's probably best not to go down that road. It is a slippery slope.

    But Deb and Justice Grrrl, thank you for treating this as the medical emergency it feels like it is. I knew you'd have my back :)

  4. Hi Barb and Deb, I have had the same issues, in fact I was just telling a friend that I have not had any wine since the end of May..the last few times I had a glass or two, I got real shaky and kind of felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. I love a glass of wine now and then dangit.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and I would also like to say how sorry I am about Deb's pup..we havebeen down that road several times and its soo hard..God bless..


  5. I have the same problem with booze as you do, Barb. One day, a glass of wine presents no problem. Next time, one glass means a hangover, or, in my case, a migraine (six of one, half a dozen of the other). It really pisses me off because I'm not willing to give up the odd drink "just in case." Yet.

    I make sure I don't drink that glass of whatever on an empty stomach; that helps some. But not 100%.
    If you figure it out, be sure to announce!

  6. Barbara and Deb....
    Well Barbara I do understand.... I also would love a glass of wine. I agree that sexy red velvet in a Waterford Wine Glass. But I am allergic to sulfites and wine and I just do not get alone. I prefer water... seltzer..... not much for alcohol(liquor) but can polish off tequila with no problem.. now go figure. Cheers:)

  7. Is this the case of any kind of wine? My mother used to get this way for red wine - after a few years of research she discovered it only applied to certain types of red wine, even - but she was always fine after white, rose or any other kind of wine. With time she learned that a lot of other women of her age had the same problem, and it turned out that what they were allerigic of was tannic acid. Any wine that has been stored in oak, for instance, will have more tannic acid, and thus these types of wine makes them more sick.

    The happy news is - my mom got rid of this particular allergy when she reached menopause.

    Good luck!

  8. I am a young lissom gent in his early twenties, but from what I have observed, wine is the mainstay of middle-aged life. In the same way young people drink to forget the fact they are teensy maggots in a world of chomping rabid adults, grownups drink to forget they are no longer teensy maggots starting out afresh. It is a paradox that doesn't warrant too much thought. So let's just have some claret instead. :)

  9. M.J., I'll drink to that (I miss those maggoty days...).

    And, Cruella, you may have offered some meagre hope to women like Katrinka and lifewaves and me. Maybe it's the TYPE of red wine. And maybe that's why it happens sometimes but not always. Thanks to one of our resident youngsters for shedding some "medical" middle-ager light!

  10. "We were observing that it seemed like so many of our older female friends seemed to drink more than they used to—or at the very least, seemed to be more affected by alcohol, turning into the moony, drunken cougars of the ugly clichés."

    Oh you were, were you? You bitches with your 'observing' - of course when you drink less it looks like all us old cougars are drinking more. That's not "moony" it's pensive. And who are you calling ugly? Furthermore, what's more cliche than the old "I'm peri-menopausal and can't drink like I used to."? Get a two-fisted grip Barbara - right around the vodka bottle!

  11. Ooooh, Anon! You and your anonymous comments. Pulling out the big guns, are you?! First of all, we weren't talking about YOU -- we were talking about distant acquaintance "friends". You know -- not friend-friends. The kind you talk ABOUT, not TO. So take another drink, missy. And furthermore... Nah, I got nuthin'. You're right. Of course, all our friends are gonna think I was talking about them. But I'm not, I swear. Anyway... I think I need a drink...hmmm... tequila or wine...

  12. Oh, yes, and how I am affected by all booze these days, but especially a glass of red wine. Over the course of a three hour book party last night, I had two (count 'em, TWO) HALF (er, that's right, half) glasses of red wine and was plastered. You heard me. Plastered.

    An excellent plastered it was for about, oh, say, twenty minutes (you can see my red apple cheeks in the photo I posted of the book launch) and then what did I do? Came home and crashed. Don't remember a thing after 9:48. Suffice it to say, my husband was very disappointed. Those twenty minutes were oh so promising.


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