JONESIE: Cheers to anyone attempting sobriety in wine country | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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JONESIE: Cheers to anyone attempting sobriety in wine country

Image Credit: Pexels.com/ Isabella Mendes

 


OPINION


For many and various reasons, none very serious, I decided to quit drinking for a year.

I’m not an alcoholic, nor do I believe I am close to becoming one. I got most of my boozing done before I got to college. My only real pursuit for three-and-a-half years of high school was finding a party and people to drink with. I went on a week-long bender after my graduation, ended up stranded with a friend and $15 between us to get home. We deliberated long and hard before coming up with a plan: We’d get French fries for food so we could steal the salt and spend the rest on Tequila without having to buy mix. No reason we had to find a ride while sober.

I was wasted for all but five days that entire summer. And that explains my half-year of upgrading.

By college, I was exhausted, bored of booze and bars and drinkers and looking for something else. After college, I was broke and that solved all my burbling issues with alcohol for the next 20 years.
But apparently being broke was the only real barrier because lately, there’s been no reason not to imbibe.

If you’re one of those people, don’t congratulate me, it isn't sticking. Part of this sobriety is because I’ve seen too many people lose control recently and I don’t want to get to that point.

I love my booze. Scotch, bourbon, whisky, gin, Tequila, rum, a beer on a hot day and oh, the wine. I never want to say goodbye to these fine old friends who’ve given me so much joy over the years, I just want to reassess the relationship. They don’t need to be hanging around in my house every night watching sports with their feet up on the couch.

I want to take a pass around the sun to remind myself they needn’t always be invited to Christmases and New Year’s and birthdays and anniversaries and summer on the deck.

Marshall Jones, managing editor
Marshall Jones, managing editor

Plus it makes me fat and generally unhealthy. 

It’s not even a big deal but when you declare such a thing around here, you are required to explain your bizarre behaviour. Everyone asks why, but very tentatively. They want the gossip but know it’s a question loaded with potentially Too Much Information in response.

How’s it going? Well, it’s only been about a month and I’m bored and grumpy that my routines are disrupted but slowly finding new ones — which is the point — and I don’t miss it at all. 

It does, however, offer a different perspective of the Okanagan. Wine country is a funny place to be sober in with all the reminders of beautiful grapes, wonderful wineries and craft breweries down every street. I’m not sure the wine industry — or the culture around it — has any time for teetotalers or much introspection of their place on the subject.

The other night we booked a table in a downtown restaurant. The only time available was 5:30 p.m. which also happened to be Happy Hour. The waitress came to the table with the specials, knelt down to eye level for an intimate discussion about our wine options.

When I ordered a Coke (I’m still getting used to this), she went rigid, averted her eyes and took a step back. I thought I got Covid or something. Maybe she thought we came just to chow down on the cheap(er) Happy Hour appies because she basically abandoned us.

She spent her time refilling wine glasses and laughing with a table of real estate professionals, or so I presumed by the bottle blonde, lip filler and wine flowing before 5:30 p.m. on a weekday. Not judging.

But the waitress just never returned to our table after delivering our five tiny dumplings for $17. We kept pushing our dishes farther to the edge of the table hoping she would notice. Twenty minutes after our appetizer, she finally felt the burn of lasers from my eyes and graced us with her presence.

“Everything OK over here?”

“We’d like to order our entrees now…”

She looked shocked.

I was hoping to see that same expression when she got her "tip". I'm making notes for a glorious summer 2024.

Cheers, lady.

— Marshall Jones is the Managing Editor of iNFOnews.ca


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