Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Recollection, A Rant and an Apology

My mind is spinning in all directions today and I just can't quite decide whether I want this to be a blog about a fond recollection, a rant or an apology.  So I'm going to go off on all three tangents and try to tie them all together with one string.  Just pretend that you're the cap'n and you're trying to piece together the fragments of my random conversations and not say the wrong thing.

Recollection:  One Friday night when I was about 11 or 12, my godmother, Lucy, whose house was four doors down from ours (Poor Lucy didn't know when she agreed to stand up at my baptism that I was going to move in the next day, eat up all her ice cream and Hershey's syrup for eighteen years  and never go home until my wedding night.) came home from work with a bottle of wine and a new Roger Whittaker album.  Her daughter, Lisa, and I rolled our eyes and snorted.  Who did she think she was?  Some sophisticated jetsetter? (Yes, Whistling Roger Whittaker was considered high-brow for my neighborhood.  If you haven't heard of him, you'll have to youtube him.  I have few enough readers, I don't want to drive the rest of you off by posting a link.)  Lucy, recently divorced, when the word divorce was still whispered or spelled out, had always been our neighborhood's reluctant representative to the now archaic women's lib movement.  The first mother on our block to get a job.  The first divorcee.

And now she was drinking wine and listening to Roger Whittaker!

Little did we know, as Lisa and I snickered behind our cupped hands, that she was lifting a torch that we would so eagerly snatch up and run with into our womanhood.

(That's Lisa on the left and me on the right. I have no idea who the not-so-perky gal in the middle is, just some drunk that wandered by that we talked into becoming part of a threesome.  JUST KIDDING! I don't know any of these women.)

Rant:  I'm sure some of you have noticed the brilliant quotation at the top of this page  and sighed or exclaimed, "Really? I don't get enough of this shit on my facebook page?  Now, I'm being reminded of what an outcast I am on the sober blogs."  I hear ya!  I'm sick of the virtues of wine being forced down my throat.  I'm sick of seeing 50+ year old woman acting like twenty somethings, and calling themselves and their drinking biddies, uh, I mean buddies, by stupid little names like the "Sotted Sluts" or the "Bombed Out Barflies" (okay, I'm being mean, but you get my drift).  News alert ladies, you are not in high school anymore, this is not Grease, you are not a Pink Lady, and John Travolta isn't going to jump out of a car, swivel his hips and break into "Sandy."  Grow up.  Have a little more respect for yourself. (God, I hate how old that makes me sound.)  And quit trying to prove to me that your life is so much more exciting and colorful than mine.  I remember very well what good wine tastes like when it's hurling itself up from my bowels in techicolor pink and burgundy, thank you very much.

But what pisses me off more than anything else, is that I let these posts make me feel left out and sad.

Apology:  To my younger sisters-in-arms in this battle against booze, those in their thirties. I'm sorry, it was the women of my generation who made this mess you find yourself in.  See, we didn't grow up in a time when women took bottles of wine to baby showers, an iceberg of lime sherbet floating in a crystal punch bowl full of Hawaiian Punch was about as adventurous as our mothers got.  They didn't meet with the gals after work for a couple of shots or have Ladies' Nights Out.  They didn't even have bachelorette parties-they believed that at least one party of the wedding celebration should be dignified and sober.  That was the womans' role.

It was us, the women that came of drinking age in the late seventies and eighties, that thought we needed to breach one more male stronghold.  While our mothers made the first forays into the working world, we made the first forays into the drinking world.  Unlike our mothers, we didn't rush home from work to vacuum, put a load  of wash in and get supper started.  We headed for the bars. Then we came home, vacuumed, put a load of wash in and got supper started.  All this before we sat down, blurry-eyed and spent, to go through backpacks and help with homework.

Now we find ourselves, in the midst of our fifties and sixties, looking back and wondering where we lost ourselves.  Where the heck did  we put our dignity?

My younger sisters, you are so brave for tackling this in this day and age, but you can do it.  You've got to do it, for those that are following after you, your daughters.

Just like this blog, we've left a snarled mess behind us, and it's up to you to untangle it.

Stop the madness. Give us back our dignity.


  1. Oh God, yes, Apart from the odd coffee morning, I can't remember my mum going on "girl's nights out" or heading to the bar after work. She used to get home from work and put the kettle on. I used to get home from work and pour a large glass of wine - even if I had already been to the bar.
    Now, I watch the next generation, who are starting to have babies, still needing their "me" time, still hitting the bars/bottle almost ALL the time, and it's no good being judgmental - THEY just followed OUR example - holy shit, it's like trying to squish back toothpaste into the tube, trying to reverse the trend, and stop the madness.
    Pretty certain that women suffragettes and Gloria Steinmen didn't have this in mind when they were fighting for our rights.

  2. I remember my mother going out for one "Ladies' Night Out," how apologetic she was to my dad, insisting that she didn't have a good time. She was probably in her late forties or fifties, talk about a fish out of water. Now women of that age are laying on bars and doing belly shots. God, I sound so stodgy, but I guess it's because I've been there and done that and the whole time I was doing it, I was trying so hard to convince myself I was having fun, fitting in. I'd eventually drink enough to feel that way, but then comes the morning.

  3. Yes, yes and yes.
    I am now 62, and I was the one who wouldn't be caught cleaning after teaching all day like my mom.
    I wouldn't be making dinner for hubby like my mom.
    No, I'd be out having drinks with friends.
    You and Wine Bitch have it right!

  4. I am so amazed by the young women who are out there blogging or on the message boards trying already to get their drinking under control. If they can only turn it around by showing their contemporaries that they are better mothers, wives, friends, and people by not drinking. That they don't need to drink.

  5. Oh yes, I remember going out to lunch with my mother in my early twenties and ordering a wine and she looked at me like I was some kind of hussy.I wish I'd listened to her when she told me I was drinking too much.

  6. My mom passed away when I was 27, even though I drank heavily before that, keeping it hidden from her kept it somewhat in check. After she died, I lost that balance. For years, I couldn't even let thoughts of my mom in my head, because I knew if she got her chance to talk, she was going to give me an earful. I wasn't the daughter she raised. Now, I'll just say we're back on speaking terms. Funny, how our moms still rule us, even when they're no longer here.

  7. My mother couldn't drink. If she got more than one margherita in her (her favorite) or vodka martini (her other favorite) about 30 minutes later it was back...and not in a good way. I don't remember any of her friends drinking either. Gambling? Yes. Drinking? Nope.

    I remember about a year before she died, she came to me and said, "I think you're drinking too much." Man was I PISSED! How dare this woman who was such a rotten mom say something like that to me.

    Damn I hate it that she was right. ;-)

    Love you girl.

    1. How did our mom's get so smart? They're proud of us now, amiga.

  8. My grandmother is one of those who can have one drink and call it a night. My mother is just like grandmother. And then there is me... A problem daughter. My mother called me an alcoholic so many times I can't count. She even said once I will drink myself to death. It was a quite painful conversation. I am 42.

    1. Do the conversations come from a caring place? If so, they were probably has difficult for her as they were for you. If not, I'm glad you're active in the sober community where we are more kind with our words.

  9. With regards to your rant about older women still acting like they're in their 20's, we're you referring to social media? I personally avoid facebook as much as possible at the minute it just pissed me off. People use this to make their lives look shiny and great, use it to spite others. I have a particular friend on there that constantly goes on about vino, catching up with the girlie's and crazy holidays in places that are mainly frequented by club 18 -30. She is in her 50 's is it me? Am I too serious or boring? Personally I think they're still searching for something they've never found!!

    1. I think they're trying to prove to everyone that they are happy. Personally, I cringed whenever I saw anything posted about me when I was drinking, these woman don't seem to have that same shame. I always looked on in bemusement at people who could come into work on Monday morning and laugh and joke about how drunk they got, I could never do that. Maybe that's a symptom of when it's gone too far, when you can no longer laugh about it.

  10. I think drinking as a culture has to change. It is acceptable and expected that people drink excessively on a regular basis.
    How did we equate down time with boozing?
    No wonder we are all tired and depressed and lonely.

  11. I'm with you on the rant. I have at least 2 distinct old friends who like to post the photo of the 6-foot-high wine glass with the women drinking out of it and saying 'I'm just having 1 glass!'. These are women in their 50s and 60s who, yeah, drink to excess. I agree, grow up already.


    1. I hear ya! An acquaintance of mine just posted pictures of the gourmet jello shots they are sucking down at the rehearsal dinner for her daughter's wedding. As someone whose hands shook so bad the day of her son's wedding that when I went up to light the unity candle with bride's mother, the bride's mother had to reach over and steady my hands, I empathize with her today.