I have this fickle friend. She is okay in small doses – actually she can be quite a tonic after a long day. And she often makes me giggle because well, she’s quite a hoot. But here’s the thing – if I spend too much time with her she can be an absolute witch of a bitch.
Do you know her? Bit fruity, sometimes cold, and goes by the name of wine?
I was a bit late to the wine party, but I’ve made up for it in recent years. Always a bottle of beer type of girl, my Uni days and early twenties were spent clutching a Bud or even a Corona with a slice of lime in the top if I was feeling particularly posh.
Wine only came into my life after I struck gold with my first London flat share. The girls I moved in with were a sophisticated awesome bunch (still are). They not only drank wine, but were also quite discerning about it and said things like “I think Chardonnay is too oaky.” Epic times.
Fresh from the North, I decided it would be rude to not partake in the odd glass of Pinot Grigio whilst watching Brookside with my new gal gang. And hence, another wine drinker was born.
But I’ll let you in on a secret, me and wine we don’t rub along all that well. Friends and family have alas learnt this the harsh way. So in the same vein as the “don’t feed the gremlins after midnight” warning, I come with my own hazard alert.
Don’t let me have more than two glasses of wine. EVER.”
This is how it usually pans out for me glass by glass.
Glass one: the ‘warm, fuzzy adrenaline’ one
That lush, warm, relaxing wine hug. You know the one. This is why I love the odd glass on a wet Wednesday or after a rather turbulent Thursday when the bath/bed time routine has dragged on for eons. There is nothing nicer than slipping on your PJs and bedsocks then pouring a remedial glass of something cold and crisp before sinking into the sofa. Blissness. This is the only time that wine is my friend. THE ONLY TIME. Sometimes, she might let me chance a small one at Sunday lunch out and she usually stays sensible at the husband’s family get-togethers. But other than that if I start drinking wine on a night out, she moves in for the kill. And if I am going down, I tend to take everyone down with me.
Glass two: the ‘oh go on then what could possibly go wrong’ one
I always start off with the best of intentions, but then like childbirth I forget why I don’t drink wine out. The night is still young. One more can’t hurt. Everyone else is drinking it and the bottle is half full. It looks more classy than beer. It is just so gorgeous and I love it. I’ll be feeling quite buzzy on this second glass and you might catch me looking around smugly at all I survey. Because everything is perfect – the company, the venue, the outfit that I hated. The conversation is flowing and that fuzzy feeling bubbles up – the sense that something important could happen tonight. Something… truly amazing. It will be the best night ever. I must call everyone I’ve ever known and tell them to come out too.
Glass three: the ‘I’m going to talk the loudest’ one
This is the point of no return. The sip starts to resemble a swig, then a gulp. I start drinking wine like pop, but that’s okay because there is a WHOLE bar stocked full. Everyone is so fascinating and the talk topics are so interesting that I need to interject something every three seconds. My mate’s amusing story is very amusing, but I’ve got an even more amusing one. I could wait until she’s actually finished, but I might forget it, and boy, is it really amusing. She won’t mind. See! So hilarious. Now she can tell her one again. But hang on, I’ve just noticed that my other friends further down the table are debating The Walking Dead. I love that. I’ll just shout down over my mate’s head that I love it too and tell them all my fav bits. Because everyone will want to know what my fav bites are. Man alive – I am on fire. So witty and entertaining. Fist pump to me.
Glass four: the ‘let’s hear all your woes’ one
I then start feeling all wise and think perhaps I shouldn’t let this wisdom go to waste. At this stage, I’ll hone in on any friend with a vague medical issue – because four glasses in I love talking about medical problems [what is your specialist topic; insurance, potty training, shoes, computer games? We all have one. None as boring and intrusive as mine though I bet]. That poor friend may be dancing her cotton socks off to Taylor Swift and looking really happy, but it is imperative that I probe her until I unearth some ailment – it is for her own good. See she is now crying – I knew she was agonized deep down. It is good to talk.
Glass five: the ‘wounded and hurt’ one
This is always my finest hour. No matter the current debate, I will find some offence in it. My friend is talking about her diet, but I know it is just code for the fact she thinks I need to take Slimming World more seriously. What. A. Cow. Or we might be discussing painting my living room and a mate will mention she isn’t a fan of grey. My downstairs toilet in my last house was grey. How. Dare. She. I knew she always had an issue with me since I got the last half-price slippers in the Next sale. Just bloomin’ jealous that one.
Glass six: the ‘thank the gods she’s gone’ one
This is when the universe does me a favour and shuts me down before I can lose all my friends in a fisty cuff over Hollyoaks. Bam, the need to sleep hits and there is no stopping it. It might be at the table mid medical meditation or in the loo still sulking. A quick doze anywhere seems like an awesome idea. Hopefully though, I’ll get chance to jump in a cab home (with a quick wave over the shoulder to pals) and get some proper shut eye in bed. Because post-catnap there is always the chance of a second wind. And no one, but no one, wants or needs round two.
So there you have it – it has only taken me 12 years to reach this level of self awareness, but personal growth is always admirable in a person. Obviously, now you’ll never catch me on a night out with friends drinking wine, or indulging in medical
talks bores, or even being a grumpy drunk.
Well mostly never. Oh crap, that’s not even wine. Perhaps I should stick to water.
P.S. Anyone… erm… fancy going to the pub some time?
P.P.S. You look a bit peaky.