It seems there’s now a Hallmark section devoted to women and wine. You’ve seen them. A Donna Reed type in pearls or a mom with a stroller — either covertly drinking or clutching an urn like wine glass. I was recently given a pair of socks with the caption, “If you can read this, bring me wine.”
And I do love my red wine. I cradle my glass as one would a delicate heirloom. I’m part of a monthly (sophisticated) wine group where I lay low on comments but imbibe with relish. Lately, I’ve become an everyday drinker, vowing to wait until 5pm but sometimes 4 is the new 5.
Is it time to reel it in? My liver would advocate some balance at least. My internist told me that she was not waving a red flag, but she had a pink one held high. In other words, watch it.
As an introvert, alcohol has been my rescue. My mother was a NYC socialite who hosted extravagant parties. To my horror, she would occasionally begin a sentence, “Now Barclay, tell us about…” I’d slump in my chair and start gulping. Then I’d slur a response. There would be feigned interest before Mom would change the subject. Or turn her attention to my entertaining, extrovert sibling. I became keenly aware that I was not funny enough; I couldn’t tell stories; and small talk was painful.
So I smiled, asked questions, and used wine to get me through.
What does the Bible say about drinking? On the one hand, Jesus’s first miracle was turning water into (expensive) wine. And Paul advised Timothy, “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, “Drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.” And Psalm 104 speaks of wine as gladdening the human heart.
But has my heart been gladdened too much lately? The Bible clearly says to not be drunk on wine.
And how about this for a sobering verse (pun intended)? “Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine…do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent.” Proverbs 23
So lest I get bitten, here’s what I’m telling myself in 2018.
- Make a plan. 2 glasses max. The 5 oz size.
- Be ready to switch to a virgin mary or LaCroix type of drink.
- Designate non-drinking days.
- Buy more complex wine and sip it.
- Try a dry January. Or February. Or March.
- Forget non alcoholic wine; I tried it; Yuck.
I’m also reminding myself of Colossians 3:17. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
So may I thank God for my 5 oz glass of complex Cabernet, sipping not slurping, and know that God is my shelter, my real source of confidence in an extroverted world.