Friday, 20 June 2014

Then and Now: Friday Night out with the Girls

I've not been out for what seems like ages and tonight, I am going out with the (boozy) girls. I thought I would always dread these nights now, or at least not enjoy them. I think I was wrong.

Friday morning. Wake up and hope not too hungover for day off. Go to gym and worry about eating pattern all day as going to be drinking lots tonight and need to move the calorie allocation around a little. End up over-restricting and bingeing. Stop this early enough so doesn't spoil going out.
The girls are all quite boozy so that's good. I will be able to have lots to drink and if anything daft happens to me (not through any fault of my own) it will just be 'such a laugh'.
Around 4pm declare myself off duty for home life and family affairs. OH and kids can fend for each other or themselves: I don't really care. It's my deserved night out and I'm making the most of it.
I pour a glass of wine as begin to get ready. This is a long drawn out process. The longer it takes, the more I drink, the more I drink, the longer it takes. I have to keep the bottle kind of out of sight, do not want OH seeing I've almost had the whole bottle before I leave. Try to persuade him to have a small glass so at least there will be some doubt about my consumption.
It seems vitally important that everything is just so: my hair, my fake tan, my make up, the correct things in my handbag.
I make plans for my return worse the wear. I only take cash and a single bank card, no purse with me (less to lose). I take my door key off my bunch and take it only (fewer to get confused over at door). Ensure have more than enough money as will be in no state to know if I get shortchanged at bar or overcharged by taxi driver. If I'm not too bad I would give him a huge tip because I would find him so amusing and chatty.
The next day I am hungover (understatement). The texts would fly between us girls about how fab the night was, asking 'what did I do?', 'Did you see it when..', 'I can't believe I did that'.
When asked by OH I would say I'd enjoyed catching up with the girls again. He would continue to ask about their news'
What, her new job? Oh I forgot to ask
Did she sell her house? I don't know, she did mention something about it though
Does she know our neighbour who works there too? Forgot to ask
does she like her new car? No idea
and so on.....
A night wasted ( in all manner of means). Nothing to show for the time or money spent. Saturday ruined.

I have not seen these girls for ages and I'm really looking forward to going out. I went shopping this week while feeling fat and miserable yet had one of those shopping trips where things fit, they have your size, it comes in petite, and yes, it's in the sale! I bought a royal blue dress which is amazingly flattering and made me feel good about myself. It will go with my tan bag and tan sandals (I don't ever have a 'tan' to speak of though).
I'm excited to be going to a new restaurant, to choose from the menu. I'm excited to hear their news: one has a new job, one has gone self employed, one is always on the look out for a boyfriend and the other is nuts, in a harmless way. We are a great mixture of professional and nots, married and nots, kids and nots and the four of us do have such a laugh. One of them is my walk and talk friend who knows I have still given up wine and now admires me for it. Another knows I have stopped and agrees it's a good thing and admits she has cut down a lot too.
I am making dinner in advance for my OH and kids. I will wear my feel good dress and whisk myself there in my car. I will come home at a sensible hour, high on laughter and girly feel good vibes and be able to take my kids to their parties tomorrow without complaint, tiredness, nausea or a headache. I will relate our many conversations to OH laughing, saying 'you had to be there' until he is bored of hearing the news!

I knew I would learn to cope with socialising without drinking. I never believed it could be enjoyable too.

Saturday, 14 June 2014


Malcontent is not a french word. I looked it up in the dictionary and it describes me to a tee today.
It means:
-a discontented person
-one who bears a grudge from a sense of grievance or thwarted ambition
-one who is in active opposition to an established order
-a rebel
I thought I had this alcohol thing kicked in to touch. For the last few months I've not given it too much thought. Rather than be defined as a none drinker, it just so happens that I, don't drink and it's not felt like a big deal.
However, in the last few days I've an overwhelming urge to get drunk. To have a glass or two of wine in full knowledge of what will follow. I have wanted to be drunk.
This has made me feel discontent and the fact that I feel that way about alcohol still, annoys me even more. As I've become more and more annoyed I've wanted more and more to get drunk, become oblivious , just forget about it all for a little while. Almost agreeing (with myself) that I would purposefully do this and then give up again.
I don't know what brought it on. I am busy just now with several balls in the air (aren't we all though?). The other night we were speaking about our retirement and that we'd spend 2-3 months at a time in Spain. I thought, yes, it would be nice to start drinking again then- there would be nothing to stop me.
Nice? Nice? What? Why? Now?
Why do I still think this would be a good thing to do? Is it that life would be relaxed and wound down and I could afford what, time?, to go around in a hazy state? I feel like a leopard who has not managed to change her spots.
Despite this, I won't drink just now. I'm too stubborn, but this itself leaves me feeling even more irritated that this is, and remains after 15 months, such a big deal.
(I don't moan much on the blog so forgive me this once) x

Saturday, 7 June 2014

It's all about perspective….

I entered the kitchen the other evening and stopped short, in surprise. There was OH making his sandwiches for the next day and DRINKING A GLASS OF WINE!!
The reason for the capital letters is that this is an unusual event. Before I stopped, I was the main protagonist, suggesting wine, buying wine, planning for wine, and he went along with whatever I decided. Never a big drinker, he joined me to be 'sociable'. 
Since then, he has drank very little, only A pint at night when we are on holiday. At home no-one encourages him to have more and he has defaulted to his usual none. This is a huge help to me and I have great sympathy for those who have partners who continue to drink regularly and suggest you join in too. In the early days I know I would not have been able to say 'no'. 
Would I be able to say 'No' now?
'Your having a glass of wine?' I asked, sounding surprised yet stating the obvious
'Yep, just fancied one, would you like one?' (he still doesn't understand that I have given up wine.)
A quick glance and I noted it was one of our smaller glasses, half filled, the sophisticated way they do in restaurants as opposed to my way of 'fill it to the brim, take a large gulp of it, top it up again before sitting down' with 'a' glass of wine. I also noted it looked chilled, beautiful, innocent.
I looked in the fridge. He had opened one of the 12 bottles we had received as a gift at Christmas time. 
The wine looked inviting and oh, so familiar. The green glass bottle standing proud, first in line on the door of the fridge,  condensation on the outside, a comforting fluid level nice and high inside. 
'I don't drink wine anymore remember?' I laughed and added 'I'm free from it now!'
I quickly closed the fridge and left the kitchen reminding myself I was free from it. Just seeing it had brought back a lot of feelings and emotions I thought I had left behind. I felt an overwhelming need to block them out straight away, not to even think about how I felt, that was somewhere I didn't want to risk going.
I stopped thinking, busied myself on the computer in the lounge and when OH joined me I did not look at his wine, did not ask if it was nice, did not watch his drinking pattern. I just ignored it until 9pm. 9pm was always my 'I'm safe now' time. I would never start drinking at home at that time. 
As I went to bed I looked again in the fridge. The level was still the same. No more had been taken. I had a fleeting thought of the waste: opening a 'nice'(?) bottle and only having one glass- it wouldn't be the same the next day, and smiled at this old thought. It wasn't a waste. It was a waste of money buying it in the first place.
Several days later Wine still sits in the fridge door. (a spare 'drinks' fridge, not in the kitchen-I couldn't cope with seeing it every time I wanted the milk out!) I imagine her feeling sad- no one wants her anymore, she wasn't even used for a second glass! She used to be so popular and never hung around for long in the fridge. Now she looks forlorn, no longer inviting, no longer the centre of attention and wonders what she has done to cause this? She can accept that Diet Coke cans were always popular, but Diet Ginger Beer? Surely, she can't be less popular than Ginger Beer? Maybe she will ask Becks what's going on. But Becks has changed too. Now he's Becks Blue and he doesn't seem so popular either: he's been hanging around for ages too.
Wine knows she shouldn't have told all those lies. Ever since she got found out she has been battling for fridge space with all those big 2L bottles of fizzy water. They're lying on shelves, standing up in the door, occasionally rolling around bumping into poor old bottle of wine. They're taking over.
Wine is gratefully lifted from the door, poured down the sink before being tossed into the re-cycling box. She is dismayed not to find her friends there. Instead she shares the box with empty jars of beetroot, mustard and jam. They smell awful, yet are looking at her as if she is the cause of the rancid smell.
She realises she doesn't fit in here anymore and looks forward to Friday when the big lorry will come. Hopefully she will find some old friends there.
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