Nothing shames me more than taking JD to the liquor store. But, sometimes I want something alcoholic to sip on after a long day, sometimes I have company, or a BBQ to attend. It was 100 degrees in NJ yesterday. I was working from home on 12 projects, doing laundry and cleaning my bathroom. I was cocooned in AC all day in the comfort of my condo. I was listening to Adele, Alanis and letting my iTunes shuffle. I was drinking cucumber water. Then I stepped outside and felt winded by the heat. “Whoa” tripped from my lips. It was so thick and heavy feeling. It weighed on me. The AC in my Jeep took what felt like 2 hrs to kick in. I picked JD up from school and took him for a haircut. The barber shop/salon was stuffy because people were getting smelly treatments and hair blowers were humming. On the way home I squinted at the hazy sun ahead. And I craved one thing: a Skinny Girl Margarita. I had no babysitter and no plans—and drinking alone always makes me feel
strange, sh*tty, but I gave myself a break and stopped for a bottle on the way home.
As I pulled into the parking lot of Gary’s I looked at JD in the rearview mirror. He was playing with a little plastic toy he got from the barber shop. Do I really want a bev? I thought. Would I be questioning myself so hard if I had someone to have the bev with? (Talk about single mom problems. Who can I drink with at my private happy hour?) I hate, hate, hate taking him into the liquor store with me—even Gary’s, which is a really nice place. They have wine tastings, a cheese bar and freezer filled with Ciao Bella gelato. Bethenny Frankel signed bottles of her signature cocktail there (no, no, I didn’t attend). It’s not like I was dragging him into a dive bar with one fridge in the back; my bra strap hanging halfway down my arm for Christ’s sake. I’m a career mom who is of age. I wanted a cocktail at the end of a hot day. I twisted my body back to JD’s view, “OK, let’s go in this store real quick. Be a good boy!”
As soon as we got in the store he started running around. I sped-walked after him—”Stop it,” I snapped. I didn’t even know where the booze I wanted was and I was definitely not asking anyone where the tequila-infused-ready-to-drink bottles were with my preschooler in tow. We walked up and down aisles of wine and vodka and little cocktail olives. “Olives!” JD yelled. “Mom, can I get these?” He picked up a bottle of olives soaked in vermouth. I whipped it out of his hand. “No!” I hiss-whispered. “Whoa!” JD yelled and pointed to a stock guy on a giant ladder. “What’s he doing up there?” JD asked. The guy saluted him. I looked closer. He was stocking the entire supply of Bethenny Frankel cocktails. This is my life. I walked casually over as JD pointed out blue and red bottles, telling me they were “colorful like a rainbow.” I tried to squeeze in and grab a bottle of the Skinny Girl Margarita, but the massive ladder and the guy were truly in the way. I refused to leave without the booze, no way. So, with my preschooler’s hand clenched firmly in mine, I asked for a bottle and I felt my cheeks go red. He handed me a bottle, then another (and I just took both, to avoid another awk run-in at the liquor store!) We booked it.
At the counter I got carded (naturally). And JD got offered a sticker (I guess they see a lot of kids in that place—made me feel better, ha). And he played with airplane bottles of liquor. “Put them down,” I snapped. When I got home I filled a tumbler with ice and poured just one glass. I sipped it over an hour while I cooked a half-a*s dinner for JD (boxed mac ‘n cheese and broccoli from the Farmer’s Market). It was refreshing and delicious and definitely chilled me out, but just like going to the liquor store with my kid in tow made me feel sh*tty, so did drinking alone. But sometimes single moms have no other choice. We end up doing a lot of stuff alone whether we like it or not. It’s part of the deal we made with ourselves when we promised our kid we’d kick ass at this life. Cheers, I guess.
Single moms do you ever have a cold one alone? Is it a weird feeling? Maybe it’s just me.
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