The pleasures of drinking

A thread update on I Love Everything and the recent posting of the planet’s worst cocktails inspired this post. Alcohol forms an integral part of my life. I’m lucky I lack the alcoholism gene and am such a tight-ass. Oblivion doesn’t satisfy me – mild enhancement does. Plus, I love the taste of drinks. I’Il mix cocktails a couple times a week. Wine with dinner is as essential as a fork and napkin; it’s impossible not to have it, usually a couple glasses. When I eat out for lunch on Saturdays, I’ll order white wine or a cocktail. For dinner out, forget it: cocktails and wine. Aging has fucked with my metabolism enough that I know when I’ve had enough; as a result hangovers are rare but formidable. I’m too much a creature of routine, too besotted with self-control, to pass my limits. I told a friend last week that these days when I drink with lunch and smoke a cigarette, I get sad – I have nothing to look forward to later in the day! This would infuriate Kinsgley Amis, an expert on slim perfect comic fiction and tippling. “If you want to behave better and feel better, the only absolutely certain method is drinking less, he once wrote. “But to find out how to do that, you will have to find a more expert expert than I shall ever be.”

This self-control manifests itself on occasions that demand a binge. I spent six days last week at Sanibel. Barring two glasses of white wine and, on the first day, a beer (more on this later), I drank no alcohol before 5 p.m. Again, if I’m drunk at 2 p.m. what is there to look forward to? Cookouts, Mother’s and Father’s Day parties, Saturday afternoon pool days at my place coax out the teetotaler in me.

Other notes:

(a) I’ve almost lost my taste for beer. Even on Sanibel trip, I drank a beer after a grueling hour kayaking because It’s What You Do. I was so bloated after half a pint that I poured it down the drain.

(b) Bringing a book to a bar in the middle of the day to have lunch and chatting with the bartender is one of the single lifes least accounted for pleasures. However, customers and some bartenders are inclined to give me suspicious glances when I read. As if staring and thumbing your phone wasn’t weird!

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