I’m unloading my little red hand basket in the check out line at the grocery store – well, it’s not really a grocery store because I hate the grocery store. Filling up a big cart with lots of food is just a precursor to the looming reality that I must cook a meal and cooking sends me to my dark place.
So no, I’m not at the grocery store.
I’m actually at our local market, a family owned place with delicious fresh fruit and baguettes, gourmet cheeses cubed up and out to sample, yummy desserts, ready made mini-meals and milk, eggs, juice and bread. It’s Friday afternoon and I’ve got the brie cheese and rosemary crackers, the bake at home chocolate chip cookies, several peaches and plums and nectarines, arugula, some fresh pasta and a container of pesto. This and the seven boxes of open cereal in the pantry should hold us over until Sunday night when we usually have take out.
“No wine today, miss?” says Mauricio, the check out clerk. If anyone in this world knows about me and my wine, it’s Mauricio. He’s seen me at my bedraggled worst with a Tcho chocolate bar and already chilled sauvignon blanc in hand. He’s seen me buy not one bottle, but two and three bottles of wine at a time and not because I’m having a party.
I look at my humble haul. “No,” I say. “No wine.” He gives me a look like, “What’s up with that?” but says nothing and continues swiping my items.
There was a time not long ago when I couldn’t do without my wine. I felt like I needed the wine, deserved the wine, could be saved by the wine. I’d watch the clock on my oven, waiting for the little digital numbers to flash to 5:00. There’s something magical about that hour, a sort of allowing. Having young kids, this magical hour usually coincided with the dreaded witching hour during which my kids became demon possessed monsters hell-bent on making life miserable for the next two hours. While they were melting down about bath time or homework, I’d be mellowing out with my wine, carting it with me from kitchen to bathroom to bedroom. This was the routine on and off for years.
Until something strange happened: my body started rebelling. At least I think it was my body, but it was also probably my brain. Years ago, before I turned 40, a friend of mine warned me of the drastic physical changes to come, namely unwanted weight gain and a slowed down metabolism to rival that of the giant tortoise. No way, I thought, not me.
Granted, it didn’t really start until this year when I turned 46, but it’s definitely happening. Along with this new inability to eat copious amounts of pasta, I’ve also developed a bit of an aversion to alcohol. This is not by choice. It’s not my fault that I no longer sleep well after a glass or two of wine (thanks a lot slower metabolism) or that drinking makes me feel bloated instead of sexy and sparkling. It also messes with my skin, which is fast becoming one of my more valued possessions because at least I can slather cream made out of crushed caviar and UVA repellant teflon on my face to slow down the damage.
Don’t worry, I do still drink, but it’s usually in the middle of the day when out for the occasional celebratory lunch (Pimms with a shot of gin anyone?) and maybe one night on the weekend if I’m out and about. I don’t really miss drinking all that much – my buzz these days comes in the form of sleep, no bloat and clear skin. Now if I could just find a kid-friendly remedy for the witching hour at my local market, I’d be set. Maybe I’ll ask Mauricio.
This is a Finish the Sentence Friday post, inspired by the prompt, “It started in the line at the grocery store…” Hosted by Kristi from Finding Ninee, and co-hosted by Dawn (this week’s sentence thinker-upper), and Nicki from Red Boots.