Those that know me will know that I like to have a drink. Yes, hands up busted I LIKE DRINKING. I like red wine, white wine, whisky, vodka & tonic, gin & tonic, vodka & cranberry, I like cocktails, I like shots, I LOVE Jagerbombs. I had some amazing apple cocktails at a friends house on Saturday and it was one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted. I LIKE DRINKING. Of course I like drinking, I've built a whole business around it! Have you ever had the supermarket delivery person chortle at your wine delivery saying, 'having a party love,
or are these just for you?' then you laugh nervously as you explain that you've got people coming to stay, or you're having a dinner party rather than just admitting, 'no, I just like to sit in front of the telly in my pjs and have a glass of wine with my husband'.
I acknowledge that drinking isn't healthy. I've seen the health warnings, I've had them told to me again and again and again alongside smoking (which I choose not to do), consuming e-numbers (which I choose to do occasionally) eating red meat (which I do about once a week), eating burnt toast or roasted tomatoes (which I do frequently), and drinking coffee (which I couldn't live without). I've weighed up the pros and cons and I've decided that for me, drinking is a keeper. For goodness sake, aren't we allowed a little vice in our lives?
If you google 'women and drinking', or worse still 'mothers and drinking' you're faced with a chamber of horrors. Titles such as;
- 'Home Alone: Binge-Drinking and Motherhood'
- 'Very Mommy Wine Festival sparks debate about safe drinking' (Very Mommy wine festival? I like the sounds of that!)
- Women & Alcohol: The Hidden Risks of Drinking
- Is my 'wind down wine' turning me into an alcoholic?
I completely understand that for some people, drinking is a problem. It can ruin lives. I know that and I've had friends and family severely affected by alcoholism. I know that alcoholism causes a strain on the NHS, and we could certainly do without that. But surely it doesn't mean those that enjoy drinking and know their limits (most of the time, not including last Friday night, or my wedding night after an encounter with the Shot Ski), should be shamed. For me drinking is a treat. I choose not to drink during the week so come the weekend, it's my little celebration to end the week. Who can blame me for that?
I've been quite surprised to encounter the stigma of drinking from a professional perspective too. You'll know about celebrity product endorsement? It turns out that a celebrity admitting that they drink is as bad as saying they've just cut down a rainforest. I completely accept (and agree) that those with a younger audience are better off not being shown to guzzle shots but for those more appealing to the 20s+ should be allowed to have a drink right? Perhaps not.
Julie Bindle has written a brilliant article in the Guardian which I think has some good points: