Thursday, January 08, 2009

Et tu pater?

So I’m talking to my dad on the phone recently, and sans seqway he says, “did you see…what’s, he’s name, Dr. Goo, Gu…” (my dad is not good with languages).

“Dr. Gupta?” I say.

“Yeah, he was on Good Morning America talking about how two glasses of wine or more for women can cause problems.”

And I say, “Yes, I’m familiar with the research [hello, I’m a health writer!], and actually it’s interesting how different news outlets chose to present the research—alcohol BAD (irregular heartbeat risk with too much wine!) or alcohol OK (light drinking poses no heart risk to women).”

Besides, I don’t make a habit of drinking more than two glasses a wine a night. I won’t say I’ve never had more than two at a sitting, but it’s not common…”
“Still, it’s something to think about,” Dad says.

What I don't say is this: “Oh, Dad, not you too!!”
You see, for years, my mom has waged a not so subtle war against wine. My wine. To be fair, Mom has reason to be cautious about alcohol. My grandfather and at least three of his six siblings were alcoholics. So Mom has seen the havoc it can wreak. We even did a little two-person intervention with my grandfather once. So, I get it.

But biology doesn’t have to be destiny, Mom! I didn’t even start drinking until I was 19, remember? I was a band geek! In my early college years, instead of going to keggers I played Pictionary!

And even when I started drinking, it was pretty tame. Instead of swigging Mad Dog , I slummed by sipping from jugs of three-dollar Gallo Chablis (future wine snob alert). And drinking some concoction served from a garbage can? What is that about? Grain alcohol? Do I look like I want to go blind?

Granted, I did eventually discover shots of tequila. And that did lead to an unfortunate incident in which I induced a friend to do a shot of tequila after sharing a bottle of wine, causing her to vomit in the middle of a crowded bar. But hey, I did NOT tell her to drink the unsolicited spearmint schnapps shots presented to us by some random dude. And she is totally a barfer.

And we were also 23.

I mean really, Mom doesn’t regularly drink, but alcohol has passed her lips without undue incident.

As for me, I don’t drink when I’m depressed, don’t drink much during the week, don’t have a history of blacking out or even drunk-dialing, and when I drink too much, I end up on the floor, not some alley somewhere. And yes, red wine gives me migraines sometimes, but what is life without risk?

But Mom still comes up with not so subtle anti-wine/alcohol messages like these:

“You’d probably lose weight if you cut out the wine. You know alcohol really does have a lot of calories.”
“Drinking wine [any! at all! being the subtext] really raises your risk for breast cancer.”
“Wine-tasting [a hobby of mine] is linked to nose cancer. [OK, I made that one up].

But what set Dad off? He’s never made a fuss about my wine drinking – only smirked and offered some of his Reunite when I visit.

Could it have been all the empty wine bottles in my outside recycle bin? The recycle bin that I haven’t moved in 6 months? Or maybe it was that empty bottle or two on the dining room table? Those have been there forever!! I lost track of them among all the other crap on my table!

Today I noticed an empty bottle under the table. I’m fairly certain Houdini placed it there in an attempt to gaslight me.

Seriously, I like my wine. A lot. But I believe in moderation. In fact, the real substance abuse problem they should be worried about? My sugar habit! I’ve known for a long time that I liked dessert just a little too much. But I’ve been in denial about the true extent.

Until a visit with a hospital “health educator.”

I was in the ER in San Diego after my spectacular fall down the stairs of the convention center. They had checked me out and while I was waiting to be released, they sent in a “health educator”---just a little something they’ve started doing. Right. As my friend Priscilla pointed out, they had probably me tagged me as a drunk because I fell [I’d just like to point out that I have been stone cold sober for the majority of my falls.]. Sorry guys, I’m just a spazz.

But, as they gave me the “do you have an alcohol problem” quiz, I couldn’t help but think of sugar…..

Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking sugar? I once ate an entire bag of candy corn in one sitting. And it wasn’t even good candy corn. So, what do you think?

How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop eating dessert drinking once you had started? I’m virtually unable to sit down with a pint of ice cream and not eat all of it. So, the answer would be a lot.

Have you ever felt remorse after indulging drinking? As a child, I used to steal some of the really good candy from my YOUNGER sister’s trick-or-treat stash. I was like, 10 and she was 5. It doesn't get any lower than that.

Is there such a thing as “sugar” rehab?


Jonathan Tabbal said...

Rock on Laurie! Very entertaining!

Jonathan Tabbal said...

It's Jen (Uyak) - stupid Google thinks I'm my son. Or rather, stupid me can't figure out how to fix that :).

Sparky said...

Maybe your dad is just worried that you may poke yourself in the eye with one of those tiny drink umbrellas.

It could happen!

Karen Friday Randall said...

I'm officially in your fan club. It's all fun and games until somebody eats a whole Ben & Jerry's pint...or drinks Mad Dog 20/20...or something like that. You are great!