[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]
It’s been a long day and normally, on long days, I’d do that thing we all do when we’ve had a long day: open a bottle of wine. We like to pretend that wine will make us happy or less tired or special or funny or however you feel when you drink a glass (or bottle) of wine. Drinking wine (or anything else for that matter) doesn’t especially make a long, tiring day less long or less tiring. In fact, alcohol makes us more tired, but who’s throwing stones at glass houses? (me).
Wine, or whiskey, or beer, or tequila, makes us feel cool or sophisticated or whatever, but only because we’ve collectively agreed that drinking wine/whiskey/beer/tequila is a cool, sophisticated thing to do, which seems incredibly stupid if applied to most other things. If we all ate our own shit and thought it was cool and sophisticated, we’d all be dead or, at the very least, very gross. To draw a less disgusting comparison, if we all agreed that eating a head of lettuce were a cool and sophisticated way to wind down after a “long day” then there would likely be a lettuce shortage or a salmonella outbreak which I believe is caused by shit. At the very least, we'd all be five pounds lighter and much more hydrated.
What I’m trying (badly) to say is that wine/whiskey/beer/tequila isn’t that cool or sophisticated and it’s kind of funny how we’ve romanticized alcohol while demonizing 99.9% of other drugs, but I digress. I’d had a “long” and “tiring” day doing all of thing things I normally do: work, boil an egg, work, urinate, work, snuggle the cat, work, workout, work, pay the electric bill, work, chat on the tele with mum, work, vacuum up the cat litter, work, coordinate weekend plans, work, watch the sunset, work, write a bit, work, dump Draino down the tub, work, file an insurance claim, work, eat a taco while standing over the sink, work, feed my cat, work, shower, work, sleep.
When I was younger and considerably stupider, I thought I knew everything about anything, and I thought it was cool to drink expensive wine and pretend to know stuff about it. Now that I’m older and only slightly less stupid, I buy canned wine from Trader Joe’s and regularly wrestle with the existential angst of how much I don’t know. One thing I have learned though, in my wee but mighty 28 years, is that it’s gross to drink every day. It’s unbecoming to be the guy or gal who needs a drink to “wind down.” It’s sad to be the family that needs alcohol to have a good time together. It’s expensive to buy alcohol and therefore wasteful to imbibe too often. And finally, I’ve learned that at the end of a long, tiring day doing normal life things, alcohol doesn’t really do anything but provide a temporary escape, which is only necessary if life is bad or boring or otherwise unfulfilling. If life is good, you probably aren’t looking for an escape, and if you are looking for an escape from your happy life, wine/whiskey/beer/tequila isn’t a very good one.
So instead of opening a bottle of wine, I tried to sit with my thoughts. “Maybe I’ll mediate,” I thought to me, and sat cross-legged, closed my eyes, and remained still for a total of 12 seconds. When I grew tired of meditating, I began engaging in a series of yoga positions: down dog, up dog, pigeon, warriors 1-2-3, and finally, savasana, which is also called corpse pose, which seems more gruesome than necessary. After 9 minutes of yoga-stretching, I decided that the best way to unwind after a long day would be to take a warm bath, so I began filling my tub but soon grew distracted by my neighbors three doors down, who decided that Tuesday night would be the perfect time to engage in an epic couple battle. By the time I remembered my bath was running, it was overflowing. As I sopped up bathwater and unplugged the drain, I recalled pouring Draino down the tub earlier, in between working and working. I might have said, “Fuck,” but I’m not sure.
Apparently, Draino isn’t cut out for big, bad, hairy clogs, because it was no less than 45 minutes later that the tub was fully drained. This, I thought to myself, is why people drink. But instead of pouring a glass of wine, I made a cup of sleepy-time tea, burned my tongue, and went to bed with the vague hope that tomorrow would be slightly less long and less tiring but knowing full well it would, at the very least, be just as mundane.
P.S. For a healthy soda or alcohol alternative, try Olipop, Spindrift sparkling water, or Health-Ade Kombucha. For stubborn clogged drains, call your maintenance man like I do, or invest in a drain snake. If you're like me and enjoy cans of wine, check out Trader Joe's selection here, uniquely curated to appeal to both a verklempt housewife and privileged-but-broke college student.