Friday night I drank a whole 750ml bottle of cheap pinot noir.
Beer tends to give me a headache before I get much of a buzz going so I usually stop after a couple. Wine, however, affords me a nice long of a window of “buzzed but essentially functional”. It takes me to that wonderful loose place where life is essentially good, everyone is at least entertaining if not downright lovely, and dancing doesn’t seem like entirely the worst idea ever. I can string words together more effectively, I become a creative genius in the kitchen, and I often become prone to small to medium sized philosophical epiphanies. All things seem possible when I’m half a bottle in. Of COURSE I’d like another glass! This highly enjoyable state of mind must be preserved for as long as possible! Bring me more happy juice!
Except…eventually I have to sleep, and be able to drive and go to work and, you know, not be drunk. Which is kind of a bummer.
I don’t drink entire bottles of wine in one go very often anymore. In my early 20’s it was nothing for me to drink a 750ml bottle of an evening, and I used to fairly frequently consume the majority of 1.5L bottles when the mood struck. This was not done during a party, mind you. This was just me sitting at home on a Saturday night, knitting and watching PBS, getting tanked on cheap wine and staggering up to bed. I didn’t mind the feeling of being out of control at that point because there wasn’t anyone around to call me on it and frankly, I often didn’t realize quite how shit-faced I had actually gotten until the next morning when I looked back on the things I had done the night before.
That’s what I mean about wine making me “buzzed but essentially functional”. If I sit at a table and drink three shots of tequila or a couple of Dark & Stormy’s in rapid succession then stand up, I will FEEL drunk, and I will not especially enjoy that feeling. If I sit there and drink three glasses of wine, even very quickly, then stand up, I’ll feel cheerful and loose…but I won’t feel what my body and brain recognize as drunk. I won’t feel like I can’t do certain things or like I should switch to drinking water. I’ll feel excellent and want to keep drinking to keep the excellence flowing.
What bothers me more than my actual drinking habits (because like I said, I really don’t drink all that much anymore. I might have a couple glasses of wine or a beer after work, maybe three nights a week on average), is the fact that I actively miss the wine feeling when it’s gone. I miss feeling like all is right with the world and like I am capable of most things. I know that to seek wine out regularly in an attempt to continue those feelings is to flirt with functional alcoholism, so I try very much to keep myself in check in that regard…but it makes me wish very much that there was a way to achieve that level of contentedness without having to subject myself to possibly addictive substances and irresponsible behaviors.
If you have any suggestions on that front, I’m all ears.