How To Resist Reaching For The Wine Tonight

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Catherine Gray is one of our favorite voices. The author of "The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober," has done some great work flipping the script of the alcohol-as-lifestyle narrative on its head. In particular, these "ads" turn the story upside down. 

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Her new piece, "How To Resist Reaching For The Wine Tonight,"  for The Pool had us nodding our heads:

"To relax, we don't need to slide down a corkscrew and splish into a bottle of wine. To unbutton, we don't need to swirl ourselves into a martini glass like Dita Von Teese. The reason we think we do is because we're told that wine is equal to relief 100 times a day. At the risk of sounding like Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory, I tell you, it's everywhere. Once you see it, you can't un-see it.

The “wine on the lips, baby on the hips” agenda pushed at mothers; gyms telling us that we need to detox and retox (my spin instructor mentioned post-class prosecco three times last night); memes saying “I can't wait to get home and pour myself some dinner”; and watching Olivia Pope in Scandal, Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife, Marcella in, er, Marcella or Jean Holloway in Gypsy all hopping on the wine waterslide on a nightly basis. Their hangovers are not televised. This gets inside our heads. It burrows into our brains.

But is drinking really relaxing? Damn straight it is! The first glass feels like finally breathing, having held your breath all day long. However, like any other drug, alcohol has a comedown – we just call it by a different name. Short-term, it works, but long-term, it makes us less able to cope with stress. The next day, there's a nasty surprise inside the Trojan horse waiting to plunder us. We wake up less capable, less cheerful, less clear-headed. Meditating in a candlelit bath may now be a self-care cliché, but heck, meditation and baths don't make our stresses bigger and blacker the next day. They deserve to be relaxation clichés. Drinking doesn't."

Amen. Read the whole piece here. And if you're interested, Catherine is doing a "sober spring sabbatical." You can find out more about that via @unexpectedjoyof.