Do You Hide Your Wine Stash For First Playdates?
I used to hide my wine drinking from my kids, sneaking it home in brown bags, putting wine in my purse (that should be a country song!) and pouring my obligatory "sip and cook dinner" Malbec into a coffee travel mug. Smh. Then I had an extremely liberating, highly intellectual, third-wave feminist (which wave are we up to, again?) realization--I pay the bills here and I can drink if I want to.
The only exception would be that unbelievably awful day that could only be properly concluded by grabbing the whole bottle of wine (it was nearly finished anyway, honest), climbing into bed and drinking it straight. However, even in my emotionally disheveled state, I remembered to put the empty bottle under my bed and not leave it on the nightstand, lest my children barge in in the morning to find it.
Glass of wine by bed says nightcap. Bottle of wine by bed says 12-step.
However, I recently had a first playdate with a child and mom that are new to our school. As part of my standard clean up routine--stuffing toys and unopened mail into the ottomans and dirty dishes into oven, I found myself trying to hide my alcohol stash.
I admit, it usually lives in the dark corner of the countertop. Not everything, but the things I need handy for daily emergencies (and let's face it, there are emergencies every day), specifically one bottle of red wine and one bottle of good vodka. (I used to hide them away in the upper cabinet but reaching for them constantly only led to frustration and backaches, so I capitulated to the countertop).
As I was scurrying to hide my alcohol like a squirrel burying acorns, I had to stop myself and ask why. Am I embarrassed by my drinking? Is this the first sign of a problem? Umm, no. I know the quantities are (relatively) small and (usually) not THAT frequent, but when people don't know you, they do make snap judgements.
And you know how moms can be. LOL.
Until us wine-friendly moms give a new mom the "all clear" signal, that is, we know that they are cool enough to understand that wine o' clock is a necessity not a judging moment--then we are cautious. It's like an exclusive wino mom club and until you say the secret password -- "Where's the bar?" we don't know if you are friend or foe.
We cocktail loving moms are protective. That is, until you show up tipsy at the playground then we will cut you off at the knees, immediately deny all associations and join the judging brigade. Loyalty is not our strong suit.
But the fact is, until we know, we don't know. So I like to vet any new moms or kids out before I give them the "all clear" signal. For example, if a kid doesn't know anything about his mom's "special cup," then this kid may not make the cut. Let's meet at the playground, because if I have to endure hours of a noisy playdate in my home without an adult beverage to numb the pain, this is NOT going to work. Or if I casually offer a mom a glass of wine and she responds, "No thanks. Not in front of the children," then I know this will be a limited engagement friendship.
Point is, I don't want "new kid" and "new mom" giving me the side-eye for the rest of the school year. I get enough of that from our over zealous, always-yelling school crossing guard.
Do you put away your alcohol for first playdates? What's the password for your cocktail or wine club?