Grown Up Life

I Hate the Grocery Store and Why I Gave Up Wine

Yes, that is a retainer case and a plastic container of left over pasta next to my wine. Oh, and a bowl of pretty fruit.

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.

31 comments on “I Hate the Grocery Store and Why I Gave Up Wine

  1. I love your blog Lisa and how you describe the witching hour. My boys are 6 and 9 now, so it’s fine these days, but my mind goes to a dark place in the witching hour, and something that was fine at 10 AM is now something dire. And I love your honesty about wine. I didn’t drink very much when my husband was deployed (if there is only one adult in the house she should be sober!) but now that he’s been home, 2 glasses a night is normal. But I’ve been thinking that it might not be in my best interests over the long haul. I love this gentle and not puritanical reminder to listen to ourselves and to handle the 5 o clock hour with a good sense of humor!!


    • Thank you so much Pamela! Oh, the witching hour…I wish I could say it gets better as they get older, but it does NOT. It just gets different 🙂


  2. I’m feeling it at 38! (Also might be the cookies.) But seriously, there’s no question that every splurge is felt immediately in my clothes. I hate it.


  3. I’ve never been a drinker (and couldn’t now even if I wanted to), but I have a dear friend whose “routine” is similar to your past one. She loves a good red, a bath, and some prayer…all to make it through another day.

    Blessings to you, Lisa, and your lovely face (with or without the caviar 😉 ).

    With heart,


  4. Kristi Campbell - findingninee

    I feel like wine affects me differently than it used to as well, Lisa, although I still give into having some almost each night. Not always but often. I could use clearer skin though so maybe I’ll need to think of Pimms and Gin during lunch! Yum! Also, I love the local market feel so much better than the grocery store, too. Thanks so much for linking up with Finish the Sentence Friday!


  5. This reminds me of my son’s announcement to his entire preschool class that his mother drinks “vats of wine. ” I, too, no longer drink as much of it. However, I’ve not gone off it entirely. I enjoy the odd glass with family and friends. However should I overindulge, I, too am awake at 3:00 until 4:30 or 5:00. And Pimms? Had my first sip in LA last year. Delish.


  6. Can’t say the wine was really a witching hour thing for me (although there are days…). In a house full of ADHD,, mine included, I need to stay on my toes! But that metabolism thing? Please. I’m about to turn 45 and this is total BS. Really wish I could find that happy place of maintaining some kind of normal instead of wondering why the heck I can’t eat anything that doesn’t appear to go immediately to my butt! And when I do have that glass of wine? There had better be a bed nearby because I go from “ooh nice wine” to “zzzzz” almost instantly. Punishment for laughing at my Mother when she did it, I suppose. 😀


    • I’m so with you on the metabolism BS — it’s the worst! Depressing even. Not sure what “normal” is for me anymore. I love that image of going from “nice wine” to fast asleep almost instantly. Happened to me last night at a party. One little drink and I literally wanted to put my head down on the table and sleep!


  7. OMG this is so hilarious and I so relate! I’ve never had much of a tolerance for alcohol, even in my younger years. Now, I tend to start feeling hungover about an hour after my first drink; my stomach gets upset, my head hurts, and I just want to sleep, except when I try to I can’t. So I totally get this. So I’ve just almost completely given up on it. But I love wine, love cocktails, LOVE PIMMS (oh how I love Pimms!). And I wish for that slightly mellow buzz that would just help me get through yet another story my son is telling me about his friend’s cousin’s dog’s mom while I try desperately to come up with something most of us will eat for dinner.


    • Totally forgot about the almost instant hangover! What is that? If I knew how to make myself a good Pimms I probably would, every night. As for dinner: cereal people, cereal. xx


  8. Yep, wine doesn’t affect me in exactly the same delightful way as it used to. I’ve found that I appreciate the taste more, and the alcohol less. Also, I’ve come to realize that I’m not nearly as charming and witty as I thought that I was when tipsy. Sadly, I don’t have much of a solution for the witching hour to share — it happens at my house as well. It’s a pretty abrupt change. The clock strikes 4:50 PM, and my children turn feral. The consistency and magnitude of the change is something quite remarkable!!


  9. You wooed me with your title, commiseration for part 1 (oh I hate grocery shopping!) and curiosity about part 2. I do enjoy wine – but more in theory lately than reality. When I drink that glass during witching hour (of course) it does take the edge off but it also makes me more impatient and short tempered as the buzz wears off, and forget doing any work after the kids finally pass out.

    Not looking forward to my slowed down metabolism…oh wait, it already started !


    • When the buzz wears off, oh that’s the worst. I also started wondering if my little one would have memories of me tucking her in with wine breath…! Better to have chocolate breath I think.


  10. That is so true, that it feels different and dare I say pleasant (!) at the local market rather than the grocery store. I admit I read the title of your post and my first thought was, I hope she means ONLY wine. So relieved the Pimms and gin get to stay :). (What is this caviar skin cream you have? Sounds divine!) Wine-free days feel clearer for me too lately, but I still hang on to the notion that it’ll save me somehow.


    • Oh no, I cannot give up the gin, even if it is only once in a while! I think it’s the company we keep while enjoying our drink that saves us 😉 The cream is a fantasy of mine because I won’t actually spend $400+ on the cream that’s considered caviar-like. I suppose I’ll have to embrace at least SOME of these wrinkles..


  11. Loved this Lisa! How great to have someone like Mauricio in your life. Let me know if he comes up with that kid-friendly witching hour remedy! I’m jealous your changes are only coming now at 46. I’m turning 40 this fall, and already those changes I was warned about are upon me. Plus, I just learned there’s a shortage on Prosecco right now, my latest favorite go to drink. Sigh. Glad I have wonderful words like yours to escape to when needed. Thanks for this!


    • Thanks Mimi! Yes, those shifts are alarming and are definitely shaking me up a bit. I always thought my life would be like that Alphaville song Forever Young! A shortage of Prosecco is quite concerning. I would feel the same way about gin. Excited to see you posted for FTSF!


      • Thanks! I’m excited to be part of this wonderful group!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ruth Hoffman Lach

        Oh, the dreaded metabolism shift. It’s killing me. Anyone else suddenly become casein intolerant on top of the wine rebound nightmare? My acupuncturist gave me a terrific probiotic, which helps…. when I remember to take it. Luckily, my youngest is now 16, so I’m not facing the witching hour without the wine. Bless your heart!

        I survived the witching hour with water — in the summers, at least. Of course, now we are trying to conserve water (unless you live in Houston, where we are busy trying to figure out how to export the literally BILLIONS of gallons we got yesterday to California….Honestly, with all of the folks chomping at the bit to install pipelines, can’t we just put WATER in them, instead? Everyone wins!!). Playing in water is generally soothing for kids, and tires them out enough that they’ll go to bed. We did running through the sprinkler and going to the local pool. Parental units can watch from the sidelines, keeping dry towels handy, and enjoying a glass of wine, (unless the dreaded metabolism wine rebound has begun, in which case flavored fizzy water will have to do). Finger food is perfectly acceptable for summer suppers, and is easily dispensed to frolicking children who drive by for a bite in between splash fights. A slice of watermellon here, a quarter of a grilled cheese sandwich there…. Presto! If water is not a choice, perhaps audiobooks? My kids loved them on long car rides. I bet you could make a blanket fort, cue the Chronicles of Narnia, and off they go to the land of Nod. Of course you might have monitor what chapter is playing as they drift off — or face the terrifying visitation of the White Witch and her wand that turns errant children to stone in the night…..

        Also — forget about pajamas. Who cares what they sleep in? It’s just more laundry, and one more thing to trigger a meltdown (I CAN’T wear the frog pajamas tonight, it isn’t Friday! Frogs on Friday!!) I honestly can’t remember the last pair of pj’s my kids owned. And in the summer, who wants to put on more clothes, anyway? Grab a t-shirt (or not) and call it a night.

        Most of all, hang in there ! I promise this will not last…. sigh…. Before you know it, you’ll be waving good bye and reminding them of curfew as they head out the door with your car keys.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I love this! It’s a short story unto itself 🙂 These witching hour ideas are awesome, especially the audiobooks. Water’s not an option here in CA. My oldest will turn 13 tomorrow and I’m already feeling that sadness over these crazy days ending too soon.


  12. Hehehe ohboy! I guess I can count most of these experiences as silver linings, though I don’t drink often, and it’s been a while since I felt like I needed to drink, I do worry about the calories and the effect on my already lackadaisical metabolism…


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