Last night was a girls night, which is something I must do frequently for my general wellbeing, and it was an especially fun one. My wine-y friend brought a fancy bottle of malbec to a nail salon while three of us beautified various protein deposits. I got glittery hot pink polish put on my fingernails. (Cue the giddy, little-girl excitement I haven’t felt in ages because I always go with neutral colors.) We dished about our days and caught up on Rosie and the Kardashians. It was the perfect melding of female community, honest chats, self-care and the rare pleasure of having someone else take care of me. And wine.
I do love to drink wine. It’s not so much about the buzz, although sometimes it is, and it’s not that I love the taste or that it helps me unwind, but rather it’s fun having a glass of wine in my hand, particularly while with girlfriends. There’s, like, something about it that says, “wow, she’s really enjoying life, having a great time; oh, and she deserves it.” Apparently I’ve bought into the catalog-living image of “the good life,” which almost always entails a sunset and a nice glass of wine. And a pashmina throw draped casually somewhere. However, sans sunset and expensive blanket, I had the friends and the wine and, being someone who has a hard time holding a glass and not drinking it, I drank a lot.
It was a delightful buzz and, when we arrived at our favorite neighborhood BYO Italian restaurant, I kept the wine flowing, which felt like a fun-me, once-in-a-while choice. I wasn’t drunk, but I wasn’t not drunk. As I ate pasta and stole bites of pizza from my friends’ plates, I felt content about a fun evening of letting loose with women I love. But, as sometimes happens, at the end of the night, something nagged me.
I don’t really like the person I become when I’m drunk or tipsy.
Suddenly I morph into a sass-talking, super critical, gossip-dishing know-it-all who speaks louder than everyone else and takes the opportunity to unload every potentially outrageous thought that crosses my mind in hopes I’ll inspire some gasps and giggles. I think I’m funny, engaging, charming and ultra wise when, in fact, I’m none of the above. And so, quite often, I feel exposed the next day. Even though, in the context of a girls night, it’s perfectly acceptable to let your hair down and cop a little bit of attitude, I’m clear that I don’t want to be the insensitive, loudmouth, bossy, my-story-can-top-that chick, and I worry that consistently may be my wine-drinking alter ego.
To be fair, even in my soberest moments of the day, I’m a girl who over shares, self deprecates and proclaims to know certain things. So it follows that my chemically uninhibited self would be an extreme of my natural tendencies. Nonetheless, I recognize that, while I rightfully enjoy the act of girls-night-cocktailing, it doesn’t feel good in my heart to reach the sassy-Texas-oilman’s-housewife phase of my consciousness. Not that I’m beating myself up about having a great time last night—I’m just becoming aware of a behavioral trend I don’t love, and it’s something over which I actually have control, which is ever so exciting as a girl on a path to the best me.
Now I have some searching to do. How can I honor both my enjoyment of occasional grown-up drinks and my increasing desire to live within my higher self? Is there a magic amount of alcohol I can consume and still be a heart-centered person? I admit I often see only the black and white in things, but I can’t help but notice that the moment I get down to drinking, my connection to spirit blurs.