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Forever Debating That Glass of Wine




I woke up with a headache and the feeling that leaving my bed today would be ambitious. It could be from the pressure changes; it’s raining hard today, something my part of California doesn’t often do, and it could be the last remnants of the sinus thing my family has been passing around, but really, I know it’s the wine I drank last night.


I’m doing ‘Dry January,’ so it was twenty-some odd days since I’d had any booze. I knew that bottle of wine was still in the wine rack above my kitchen counter, waiting on me. It didn’t exactly call my name, but it kind of cleared its throat, making itself known whenever I was in the kitchen, which was a lot. 


I had just talked to a sober friend about how great I felt not drinking- mentally clearer and more optimistic, physically a little lighter, maybe even tighter abs? Was it true that staying fit and active was easier without those ethanol-soaked calories?


Then tonight, a not sober friend from grade school came over to catch up for the first time in fifteen years and it would have been rude not to offer that bottle from the rack, would have been rude to decline to join her, would have been weird to explain. My head aches too much to get into how often in my life I’ve made choices that weren’t the best for me for the sake of politeness or avoiding being seen as weird. And I’m bloated and stuck in bed. 


Anyway, that’s the longest stretch I’ve not drank in a long while. A few years ago, I went a whole year and was really glad I did. It was interesting, what I learned in that year. But, still, I went back to drinking. Not heavy, not daily, not hard liquor, but wine, and often. So do I have a problem? I don’t have physical dependency and booze hasn’t fucked with my life, but is it a problem that I keep choosing this thing that hurts my head and makes it hard to focus on the goals I had set out for myself for today? I don’t know that alcohol is a problem for me but it's definitely not a solution. 


Now I have to decide if I wash the last glass-worth of 2020 Tempranillo down the sink and go back to counting days, or if I drink it tonight when the kids are fighting me on bathing and homework and I can justify saying, “It’s been a really long day.”


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