I know what you’re thinking, is there such a thing? I’m pondering the topic in lieu of yesterday’s festivities, with a luscious red blend in hand – courtesy of Trader Joe’s (I’m no connoisseur), because, hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere, right? Yesterday was #NationalDrinkWineDay, aka another Tequila Tuesday, Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, weekend, or holiday. Ultimately, it was just another excuse to fill our glasses and blur reality.
The truth of the matter is that life’s hard. Sure, we are young – the envy of the aging population above 35 – but with our wrinkle-free, glowing skin come a ton of side-effects. Most of us are either lost or confused about what life path to take, broke from under-paying first or second jobs, or from those pesky student loans (shoutout to Bernie!), struggling with a situationship, dealing with roommates from hell, dodging our parent’s prying questions, etc, etc, etc. Cue first world sob stories of breaking iPhones and catfishing Tinder dates.
So yeah, things can be tough for a 20-something out there, in the “real” world. Solution? Drink about it. And drink we do. So often, and so much that we, millennials (born between the early 1980s and early 2000s), consumed 159.6 million cases, or 42 percent of all wine sold in the U.S. last year! That’s a lot of Bachelor nights.
Why do we drink so damn much? That’s easy, it’s fun, duh! And of course, it’s the perfect escape – from stress, responsibility, and the day-to-day reminders that our reckless behavior needs to be reigned in, to eventually a mere reminiscence of “when I was young…,” ugh the horror.
But, are our daily, “I’ll just have two glasses with dinner,” or “I had such a hard day at work, I need some wine asap” excuses becoming a problem? Has our drinking, God forbid, become, excessive?
I’m no sober sally or saint, I love wine…and cocktails, and mimosas, and champagne, and even liquored up chocolates wrapped in flashy, festive foil. I do not think I drink too much, because it’s not too much at once (unless its Friday or Saturday night at a bar, lounge, club, show, etc), and it’s not everyday. That’s my reasoning, and I’ve heard the same BS from countless friends, on countless occasions.
It seems, that although binge drinking is a “no no” and frowned upon by even one’s closest, wildest college bestie, a glass or two of wine is far more acceptable and pretty much the new norm. Wine has that je ne sais quoi, you know? It’s like, classy as f*ck and an “adult” drink! So as we learn to do our own taxes, transition to an affinity for rich dark chocolate, and stop making out with strangers at the bar (or not, do you loves), we adopt a passion for wine (wine is LIFE). It softens our bad decisions. You know those tipsy Wine Wednesday-induced calls to your non-BF, but also not-fuck buddy? It’s O.K. because you weren’t out boozing it up on a work night, you had a “sophisticated” adult beverage, that’s all!
Numerous memes, gifs, and celebrity endorsed jokes glorifying over-indulging on wine are just part of the issue. Another factor, possibly affecting our normalization of over-drinking the grape wonder, are studies and articles claiming that red wine has crazy health benefits like anti-aging (thanks to anti-oxidants), weight loss, better sleep, heart disease prevention, and the list goes on, and on. What most of us fail to acknowledge or blatantly ignore, is the one glass per night recommendation. This is not a situation where “the more the merrier” applies…actually it totally does, but not to health. Between everyone doing it, social media enticing us all day (while at work) with wine-related images, and doctors/scientists practically wineboarding us, it’s no wonder our generation is on the road to functioning alcoholism.
So, since we finally admit that there may be a slight, ever so small, possible problem with our behavior, the next logical step is to figure when and why, we exhibit such folly. Why must all our rough days end in drowning our sorrows in booze? Why must our good days come to the same ending? Why must every celebratory occasion be met with overflowing gargantuan glasses of a godly refreshment? Can’t we just talk out our problems over tea, or a smoothie? Can we congratulate one another’s success with a hug, instead of a hefty pour? How do we change our habits? Do we have to change them?
Is our “excessive” wine drinking in fact an issue? Or, are we just socially drinking, and the standard of that has simply evolved to an extra glass…or three?
Honestly, who’s to say?! All this deep thought is stressing me out, plus it’s Friday, so I’m off to happy hour, for some, you guessed it, WINE!