Huge congratulations to my American blogger friend and fellow breast cancer survivor, Soberat53 (who is now 54) on her ONE YEAR SOBERVERSARY! If you want to know how it feels, then read her fabulous post here.
This weekend two of my favourite things came together in an awesome mashup: Caitlin Moran (one of the best writers around) talking about women and wine (my favourite topic) in the Times Magazine.
Caitlin's brilliant and hilarious article hypothesises that the CIA introduced wine to British women in order to put the kybosh on female emancipation.
The Times, rather meanly, doesn't allow the free sharing of its articles, so here is a summary:
Apparently (and this I did not know), there is an enzyme that enables us to process wine, called the ADH isozyme, which British women (because our society evolved drinking ales, whiskies, meads and gins) don't have much of, but continental women (who evolved drinking wine) do. Men, apparently, also have better ADH isozymes.
This is why, Caitlin argues, British women one by one, essentially set fire to themselves with booze - glowing as brightly as a human tallow candle; singing; dancing; reaching the state of confusion where "ordering another bottle" is the only thing you can think of to "sharpen you up a bit", before finally passing out in the back of a cab.
The next day, the British woman, post-wine, will go through a process no southern European woman would recognise; the kind of hangover so nauseous and laden with dread, the sufferer expects the alien from Alien to burst from their stomachs and run across the room, screaming, killing the late John Hurt in the process.....the kind of hangover that damages your soul. That makes you doubt yourself, entirely.
Ring any bells? It certainly does with me. I know many women who describe themselves as 'allergic' to wine, who have come to realise that it has an entirely different effect on them than other alcohol, myself included.
I could take or leave beer or spirits, but wine.... Wine seeped into my very soul.
So, Caitlin says, from the mid-Eighties, with the rise in female confidence and the introduction of the fancy new wine bars, wine, as drugs do, swept through your community causing havoc....
On aspirational TV shows, women with their hair in a messy bun started drinking a glass of wine "while they were cooking". How is that a thing? Our mums managed to put a plate of corned beef hash on the table without banging back a bottle of gavi. They simply made do with Valium and resentment.
And all the while, the CIA was watching, on CCTV, going, "Excellent, excellent. We've countered the push for greater female equality by introducing a drug that is specifically lethal to women.
They drink it at work, at home, when they're sad and when they're happy, so that they're in a constant spiral of self-loathing and doubt! It's the perfect psychological campaign! Well done us!
So, there you have it. We don't need to blame ourselves any longer! We can blame the CIA for introducing us to the wine witch.
I knew it wasn't my fault....
Love to you all,