A Shock to the System

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.




8 thoughts on “A Shock to the System

    • Thanks, Amy. I think there may be something to the weather thing. I’ve been able to hibernate with my decaf coffee and my chocolate/graham crackers all winter. Warmer/sunny weather is bringing out all kinds of unexpected feelings and cravings. My craving was just so UNEXPECTED. Next time, I’ll be well armed with cranberry sodas and a steely resolve.

  1. WTF, indeed! I can smile about it now but last night when my husband left the room (and his wine) I wondered whether I could just take a sip – you know – just to see if I still liked it, or whether my tastebuds had changed. I didn’t, thankfully. After he’d finished his wine he went into the garage for something. I almost chased him in there. ‘Are you getting a beer?’ I demanded. (Because that’s what I’d have done after I’d finished a bottle of wine. No. He was just putting something away. Thinking back on it today reminds me how crazy wine makes me. It might have been hard at the time but we did it. We’re still where we should be. Well done Us!

    • Yes, I too would have followed up the wine with beer. Actually, I would have assessed the “wine situation” (amount currently available) before starting to drink and based on that would probably have had a beer or two before really settling down with the wine bottle. I had a very well developed system for drinking. I used to jokingly call it “my craft.” It was the thing I devoted the most time and thought to. …. All of this is more unsettling that I had anticipated. … But today, we are indeed where we should be. Well done Us!

      • ha ha ha. Sorry, it goes without saying. I would never had started drinking the wine straight away. I would have had a couple of beers first to allow the wine ‘to breathe’. I wonder what else we have in common?

  2. This is a reminder to me how important a daily practice is. I know I have to spend a little time every morning journaling or meditating so this kind of thing doesn’t creep up and catch me unaware. I certainly know the feeling and when it happens, it’s a shock. It’s also a reminder to me how easily I could get pulled back into that craziness all over again if I’m not in good spiritual and mental health. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. WTF is that it was unexpected. WTF is that you weren’t mentally prepared. WTF is that it is alcohol and we are addicted to it and we are trying to re-train our brains to live without it. WTF is that there is so much going on inside our minds that others can’t tell.. WTF is that you can identify you were feeling shaken and you are here telling us about it. WTF is that you didn’t drink! WTF IS THAT YOU ARE FABULOUS! Big use of caps to finish. Goodbye xxx

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