Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Red, red wine, stay away from me...

I have a problem with red wine. I like it too much. Maybe it’s the sugar in it, or maybe it’s the particular type of “buzz” it gives me. Or maybe I’m actually an alcoholic. Whatever the reason, it’s red wine over which I have less control than other beverages. After the first speculative glass, I begin pouring and quaffing it like it was grape juice. Which it is, only fermented. I down it like I’d down handfuls of salty peanuts--absent-mindedly--but of course the effects are slightly more obvious.

Social situations make me uneasy, although I do love socializing with even vaguely like-minded people. I must have residual self-consciousness; a feeling of not being good enough; a feeling of having to play a role in order to be liked. These feelings are somewhat stressful. Wine brings relief. Unfortunately, wine comes in bottles bigger than a bottle of beer. Once opened, a bottle of wine is, for all practical purposes, gone. And often, it’s gone into me.

Sometimes I don’t realize I’ve had too much until I knock something over or bump into something with more than my habitual clumsiness. My intellectual capacities feel the same as usual (which could be illusory). The ability to express my ideas might diminish, but that is not always noticeable to others. Or is it? I cherish the notion that I can express things well, so that a reduction of quality in MY expression merely brings it down to average level. What hubris and denial, eh?

No, I’m not having wine now. I’m having a beer.

But, seriously, I need to curtail my inclinations when it comes to that red wine. The merlots, the cabernets, the shirazes, and especially, the red zinfandels, so light and playful and deceptive. Oh, and the pinot noirs, brought to public attention by the film, “Sideways.” At least I’m not as bad as either of those guys!

Has anyone ever noticed that they might have a weekly alcohol quota? I think I do. If I skip a drink of wine or beer on one night, I seem to make up for it on another. I should measure carefully for a month. I’ll bet my weekly consumption is quite regular. The question is, is it increasing? Let’s hope not. I know it’s increased in the past, but at the moment, I intuit that it is decreasing, as my DVD-watching, exercise, and clarinet practicing increase. Nothing can replace oblivion, but that’s what sleep is for. Let us toast to a good night’s sleep!