I married into a family of wine connoisseurs. My sister-in-law wins medals for her wines. During visits to Douglas’s family, wine is on the table and everyone is partaking of them and complimenting the different qualities of the reds or the whites,discussing the bouquet or the level of dryness. I never have a clue what they are talking about, because when I used to drank wine, all I tasted was the alcohol. In my poor neighborhood, the only wines available sold for less than $2 (I am telling my age!), and it was not a good thing to drink too much of the blush-colored wines, believe me.
In fact, it was an over-indulgence in Catawba Pink that caused me to stop drinking alcohol all together. It was a good night of fun and friends, at least the parts that I remember. I had promised myself that I would go easy on drinking, still believing that I had some control over my drinking. But then, I found myself drinking vodka, and the only other drink to use as a chaser was the blush wine, so I mixed them, vodka and wine, and, guess what? It’s hard to remain sober with such a combination!
When I woke up the next day not remembering even going home, I knew that my life had to change. Spending all day sick and thoroughly abhorred at what people were telling me that I did, I came to understand that as a Christian, there had to be limits to how I defined “fun.” But when I tried to explain this to other people who drank in my church, they would say,” Even Jesus drunk wine!” or “Jesus turned water into wine.” I did not argue with them on the point, knowing that I could not control anyone’s behavior but my own. I stopped drinking because I did not want to become a stumbling block for unbelievers or young Christians.
The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 8: 9 warns, “But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.” I worried that people watching me drink and seeing the abysmal consequences of my drinking, would have their faith shaken. Also, how could I teach a person struggling with problems with alcohol that they must stop drinking for their health, when they saw me drinking. Don’t get me wrong, I do not condemn people who drink, and I do not think that drinking wine is a sin.
But, I had to redefine a good night for me to exclude any form of alcohol, including wine, whether red, white, or blush. As I have written before, I have no sense of moderation, whatsoever. My body does not contain that necessary something that warns me that I have had enough of whatever and that I need to stop drinking or eating. For example, just last week, Douglas finally hid the Double-Stuff Oreos because I ate over half the bag in one day, and I am diabetic! I know better, but I seem to lose control. So there’s another thing off my list of can haves.
It took a complete life overall for me to stay away from alcohol, especially when friends insisted on telling me that one small glass of wine would not hurt me, and indeed, one glass of red wine a day would help my heart problems. That may be true for others, but it is not true for me with my addictive nature. Thankfully, my in-laws understand the issue and do not take offense when I do not drink with them, and they never try to entice me to drink with them.
So now when I am around my in-laws and everyone is drinking the Pinot Noir or the Tempranillo, and discussing how one year is better than the other years, I stick with the only blush-colored drink that I can have: pink lemonade. This way, I am able to participate freely in the event, and there is no chance that I will embarrass myself in front of people so dear to me by passing out or saying outrageous things that I would be ashamed to know the next day. But, it also ensures that there is plenty of wine left for the true connoisseurs of the grape.