I have consumed my share of alcohol in my lifetime. In college, it was probably more than my share, but not as large a share as many of my cohorts. In adulthood, it has varied from none to a few drinks a night. When my kids were teens, I did not even keep alcohol in the house - they may have been consuming but not from my liquor cabinet. I was looking forward to doing some serious drinking in late middle age.
Unfortunately, I seemed to have followed in my father's footsteps in my early 50's. After a lifetime of being the one-or-two-cocktails-a-night kind of drinker, he developed an allergy to alcohol at age 55. Even a sip or two could send him to the emergency room with a severe asthma attack. In my case, the reaction was sometimes an instantaneous hangover, sometimes a delayed stomach upset. With reluctance and disappointment, I faced a future of no booze.
Still, periodically I would try to drink. Thinking the problem might be additives in commercial products, I made some hard cider - mistake. Vodka was usually a safe bet, but only Grey Goose or Ketel One. Beer and wine were not wise. So much for a cold one on a hot day.
Then last summer I tried some Woodchuck Hard Cider. That seemed okay. This fall I sampled some organic ales with no adverse affect. Christmas eve we had tequila sunrises with our tacos. No problemo. Huh. I'm not drinking with abandon, but now I find I can enjoy a beer or two, use wine when cooking risotto, finish the day with a couple of cocktails. What a nice surprise!
I have no explanation for this change in my tolerance for alcohol. I have always leaned toward organic fruits and vegetables. In recent months, I have switched from store-bought, grain-finished meat to purchasing pasture-raised meat from a local farm. I now also drink raw milk and buy cheese made from raw milk. Could there be a connection? Who knows.
Of course, there is the question of, why drink at all? While raising my kids, I consciously lead a safe life, to ensure I was there for them, because my mother died when I was 20 and my brother 17. As an adult, I have always been uber responsible. Add to that, in recent years, so many pleasures have been demonized in our society. It has reached the point where I feel like I am saying NO, NO, NO all the time. Well, now that my kids are grown and I am old enough to throw some caution to the wind, I would like to say yes once in a while.
So here's to behaving with a little irresponsibility! (In moderation, of course.)