I entered the kitchen the other evening and stopped short, in surprise. There was OH making his sandwiches for the next day and DRINKING A GLASS OF WINE!!
The reason for the capital letters is that this is an unusual event. Before I stopped, I was the main protagonist, suggesting wine, buying wine, planning for wine, and he went along with whatever I decided. Never a big drinker, he joined me to be 'sociable'.
Since then, he has drank very little, only A pint at night when we are on holiday. At home no-one encourages him to have more and he has defaulted to his usual none. This is a huge help to me and I have great sympathy for those who have partners who continue to drink regularly and suggest you join in too. In the early days I know I would not have been able to say 'no'.
Would I be able to say 'No' now?
'Your having a glass of wine?' I asked, sounding surprised yet stating the obvious
'Yep, just fancied one, would you like one?' (he still doesn't understand that I have given up wine.)
A quick glance and I noted it was one of our smaller glasses, half filled, the sophisticated way they do in restaurants as opposed to my way of 'fill it to the brim, take a large gulp of it, top it up again before sitting down' with 'a' glass of wine. I also noted it looked chilled, beautiful, innocent.
I looked in the fridge. He had opened one of the 12 bottles we had received as a gift at Christmas time.
The wine looked inviting and oh, so familiar. The green glass bottle standing proud, first in line on the door of the fridge, condensation on the outside, a comforting fluid level nice and high inside.
'I don't drink wine anymore remember?' I laughed and added 'I'm free from it now!'
I quickly closed the fridge and left the kitchen reminding myself I was free from it. Just seeing it had brought back a lot of feelings and emotions I thought I had left behind. I felt an overwhelming need to block them out straight away, not to even think about how I felt, that was somewhere I didn't want to risk going.
I stopped thinking, busied myself on the computer in the lounge and when OH joined me I did not look at his wine, did not ask if it was nice, did not watch his drinking pattern. I just ignored it until 9pm. 9pm was always my 'I'm safe now' time. I would never start drinking at home at that time.
As I went to bed I looked again in the fridge. The level was still the same. No more had been taken. I had a fleeting thought of the waste: opening a 'nice'(?) bottle and only having one glass- it wouldn't be the same the next day, and smiled at this old thought. It wasn't a waste. It was a waste of money buying it in the first place.
Several days later Wine still sits in the fridge door. (a spare 'drinks' fridge, not in the kitchen-I couldn't cope with seeing it every time I wanted the milk out!) I imagine her feeling sad- no one wants her anymore, she wasn't even used for a second glass! She used to be so popular and never hung around for long in the fridge. Now she looks forlorn, no longer inviting, no longer the centre of attention and wonders what she has done to cause this? She can accept that Diet Coke cans were always popular, but Diet Ginger Beer? Surely, she can't be less popular than Ginger Beer? Maybe she will ask Becks what's going on. But Becks has changed too. Now he's Becks Blue and he doesn't seem so popular either: he's been hanging around for ages too.
Wine knows she shouldn't have told all those lies. Ever since she got found out she has been battling for fridge space with all those big 2L bottles of fizzy water. They're lying on shelves, standing up in the door, occasionally rolling around bumping into poor old bottle of wine. They're taking over.
Wine is gratefully lifted from the door, poured down the sink before being tossed into the re-cycling box. She is dismayed not to find her friends there. Instead she shares the box with empty jars of beetroot, mustard and jam. They smell awful, yet are looking at her as if she is the cause of the rancid smell.
She realises she doesn't fit in here anymore and looks forward to Friday when the big lorry will come. Hopefully she will find some old friends there.