I am lucky to live a lovely neighborhood with many wonderful friends just a door or two down/across the way. The proximity is wonderful. We stop by and drop in, sometimes unannounced and always welcomed. The “Pop In” is one of my favorite things.
This evening, across the street, many of the dudes on the block gathered to watch the basketball game. The kids were running amuck in everyone’s yards, armed with Nerf guns and swords. I was sitting on my couch, window shopping on the Internet.
Pretty much perfect.
And then my dear friend/neighbor Popped In. With her wine. An unstemmed glass of merlot.
And I was really taken aback. Totally not prepared. Shocked at my reaction of shock.
We sat on the couch and I pretended not to be noticing her drink. She seemed totally unaware of its presence on the coffee table. Every now and then she would pick it up and maybe take a sip or maybe not. She would start to bring it up to her lips and then forget about it as she started talking again.
I vacillated between noticing the drink and screaming at myself (in my head) for noticing her drink.
The entire thing was ridiculous and pathetic and totally unexpectedly sad. I’ve gone to dinners. I’ve gone to parties. I’ve gone to dinner parties. Sure, sometimes I have moments of self-pity or doubt, but I have never had such a shaky moment in the presence of alcohol since I quit drinking it.