Every once in a while, I over-share.
This might be one of those times.
Against the advice of counsel, I submit to you a recent conversation I had with my BFF JoDee, in which I make a confession, and she reassures me that I am not so special, after all.
Me: You know when you break an unwritten rule and suddenly you feel like anything could happen? Like all bets are off because you did the thing you’ve never done? That happened to me just now.
JD: What was the thing?
Me: Well, you know those little single servings of wine? The ones in the grocery store that come in little separate jars?
Me: I bought one and I’m drinking it in the parking lot while C. is at basketball practice. (she laughs) It’s the driving that’s eating me alive, JoDee. I drove, like, 87 miles today and I’m not even done yet. I had two hours to kill here in suburbia, and I just wanted it.
JD: Maggie, that’s not a big deal.
Me: It’s not?
Me: I was worried the cashier at the store could smell my desperation. It was like when I bought condoms at eighteen, or tampons at thirteen. I had to fill my basket with all this other stuff: cheese, crackers, salami, so it would be like, “oh, look at the nice lady, she must be going on a romantic picnic or something.”
JD: Except that wine totally sucks. No one drinks that stuff on purpose.
Me: Yeah, that’s the giveaway.
JD: But it’s not like you were driving someplace anytime soon.
Me: No, I was parked. Plus, I only drank one. The other little serving I threw in the trash so I wouldn’t be tempted. That’s the new line, I guess— only one plastic cup of crap wine in my car.
JD: I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Me: Have you ever crossed the line?
JD: Sure. One time I was traveling for work and I got back to my hotel room and ordered a whole pizza and, since I didn’t want to drink an entire bottle of wine, I got a four pack of those little stackable wines. I tossed the pizza but I drank three of those bad boys and had to throw the fourth away just to save myself. That was sort of crossing a line, for me anyway.
Me: Maybe a cry for help but hardly a binge, by any standard. And you were in a hotel room, without your kids.
JD: I know, looking back I don’t know what my problem was. I should have just gotten the bottle. Why all the shame? Women need to give themselves a fucking break. If you want one tiny jar of bad wine, have it.
Me: And there must be a demand, right? I mean, some focus group got together and said, yes, people need those single serving wines. The mothers have spoken!
JD: I like how they have those tin foil tops, just like yogurt containers.
Me: Yeah, we moms are good at those. They should just get real and have a logo of a mini-van on the front. You know, marketing.
Me: And why is having one of those any different than a Xanax, or whatever the fancy ladies are doing these days?
JD: It’s not.
Me: It’s totally not! But I can’t just go buy one Xanax at Ralph’s, even if I wanted to. So don’t judge me, you pilates taking, SUV driving mommy, with your socially acceptable pills.
JD: Well, you take pilates.
Me: Yeah, but I fucking hate it.
(Here there is a long but comfortable silence, as I watch the sun set over the San Gabriel mountains and settle in for another hour and a half of waiting. My little cup, empty now.)
JD: I’m sorry you had to buy your own tampons.
Me: It’s ok. Mostly I shoplifted them.
I listened to JoDee making dinner on the other end of the line and by the time we hung up, it was dark and I was better.
It was communion, right there in my Honda.
And now, a very special PS, for those who think I’m one messed up matron:
First off, you could totally be right.
When I wrote this post, sitting around with a few other women at a kid thing (yes more waiting), I expressed my concern that it might not be the best judgment call to post about drinking in my car while technically on duty. After sharing a bit about the nature of what I’d written, they laughed knowingly, which I took as a good sign. One of them, a friend of mine who had blogged for a while and knew a thing or two about how things can be interpreted or misinterpreted, said she understood my hesitation.
But then it came to me:
I have happily given up a lot to be a mother, but I won’t give up my voice.
Shit happens in the trenches, my friends. Thanks for reading 🙂