The other day I was having a conversation with someone who stated that drinking a glass of wine every evening is a form of escapism. When I heard it, two things came to mind:
- Is it?
- So what?
So, let’s look at item number one. Is a glass of wine every evening escapism? I, for one, often have a glass (sometimes two) of wine in the evening. Maybe not every evening. But most. Why do I do that? Am I trying to escape something? Merriam-Webster defines escapism as “habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine.” Frankly, not even five glasses of wine will make all of my needy, demanding, boisterous children stop fighting with each other and start cleaning up after themselves. And while they might look extra cute (wine goggles?) as they overtly disobey me and continue to play soccer in the house, have I really escaped anything? They’re still there, aren’t they? Anyways, it’s a moot point. I never have five glasses of wine (unless we’re having dinner with our favourite neighbours).
But back to a glass…or even two. Maybe, it’s just me, but a glass of wine almost never melts my stress away. (I’m not sure a blow torch would melt my stress away.) It does, however, make my cheeks flush and I may even feel a little warm and fuzzy deep down inside. For a short period of time. A really pleasant, short period of time. Too short, really. As horrible and sinful as it sounds, I like the way it feels. And I’m OK with that. Apparently, so are a lot of other women. Just look at your Facebook newsfeed at any point in time, on any given day. You openly wine-loving women know exactly what I’m talking about. Not only can I justify my wine consumption by citing the lack of intoxication associated with it, but I can also find positive reinforcement and kindred spirits just a mouse-click away.
In fact, I read an article that stated – and openly wine-loving women feel free to nod your heads and say, “Amen to that!” – the majority of wine drinkers are married, alpha-minded, career women with stress. It also said that women who drink wine generally eat healthier, exercise more and care more about their appearance. I actually managed to forget that the article was about the potentially negative impacts of being a wine lover and subconsciously (or maybe consciously) skipped over all the sentences that began with “However…”
Perhaps that warm, fuzzy feeling that I get from a glass of wine is escapism. After all, I am a married, alpha-minded career woman with stress. The question becomes…so what if it is? I mean, imagine if I ended my day by reading a book instead. What if every night I escaped to some fictional fantasy world and ignored my family. What if the book was so good it even gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling…deep down inside…à la Fifty Shades of Grey? What if all I could think about, all day long, was getting to that book. Would anyone question it? Would people start to say things to me like, “I’m worried about you, Heather. Every time I see you, you have a book in your hand!”
Let’s be clear. I’m not condoning alcoholism. But I am totally condoning equal rights when it comes to escapism. You do your thing – read a book, surf the web, go for a jog (pfft!), or whatever “healthy” thing you want to do to “escape.” Leave me and my glass of fermented grapes (hello….super healthy!) alone.
Every day, women (and maybe some men) feel tremendous guilt for a number of reasons. I can’t speak for everyone, but I certainly know women (and a couple of men) who feel guilty that they aren’t doing more. More at work, more for their kids, more for their friends, more for their spouse, more, more, more…and now we are supposed to feel guilty for actively infusing a little silver lining into what might have been an otherwise lining-less day? I say, hell no.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.” Who am I to disappoint God?