Me: “Am I disgusting?”
Conscience: “Who cares?”
I was walking through Park Slope with my dear friend Enabler Dan when we came across a cardboard box full of crap on the sidewalk. Among that crap was a massive wine glass with measurements along the bowl and its boot (that’s educated wine-speak for the bottom of the glass) made of frosted glass. We stuffed it in my bookbag and never looked back. I took it because it was free, because I have no shame, and because my boyfriend broke one of my wineglasses and never replaced it. Thanks to this new addition to my cupboard, I won’t have to slit his throat while he sleeps.
But how to fill this wine glass? Last night, I finished the last reserve of wine at around 6pm, so between 6pm and 1am, when I eventually went to bed, I binge-ate out of boredom. If I don’t have wine as my main course for dinner, I end up eating all the groceries I bought for the week, and so perpetuate my personal cycle of poverty. Then I went to bed sober and hating myself. At this point, my dependency is a matter of mental, physical and fiscal responsibility.
Speaking of finances, as a Broke Bitch, you’d think I wouldn’t have the budget to sustain dinner with wine every night, but I can. How, you ask? By test-driving the panoply of wines under $8 at my local discount liquor & wine store. Sure, it’s a calculated risk—some taste like pennies, and others, vinegar—but having an intimate knowledge of the liquor store’s bottom shelf is essential to urban survival. Say someone’s having a party, and you’re asked to contribute libations to the host. Are you going to gamble with the bougie wine store’s $26 bottle of wine that may or may not ultimately taste like piss? No! If you’re smart, you go to the liquor store and buy the most palatable bottle for the lowest price. Because likely, you’re not going to a wine and cheese kinda party – you’re going to one where people want to get drunk and eat cookies and talk about how fucked we are with the incoming administration. If you are in a city where you need to make at least $80k just to enjoy a guilt-free night out on the town without crying or vomiting the next morning, then you need to be smart about these things. Enabler Dan asks me all the time how I could possibly still exist without stable employment, extortionate rent, and a depreciating asset for a pet, and you know what I tell him? “I’m just as surprised as you are.” But I do know: it’s because I know how to survive off cheap wine.
Now, let’s talk about survival and resistance-building. And I’m not talking about resistance-building, like, whatever the fuck people do at the gym—I don’t even know what that shit is. I’m talking about building a resistance in the face of so much pure evil ahead of us. You know why I haven’t immigrated to Canada yet to eat poutine off the Prime Minister’s smokin’-hot abdomen? You know why I’ve never been booked for assault, homicide, arson, or for inciting violence? Because wine. Wine keeps me in my lane. Wine tells me not to waste my time raging against The Establishment but rather to infiltrate it and inspire change from within. Wine reminds me to read, to remember history, and to draw from its lessons. Wine tells me to improve my argument instead of calling someone a four-letter word and then keying their car. Wine tells me it’s okay that I don’t have a real job, that I haven’t realized any of my childhood dreams, and that 75% of my apartment is secondhand or stolen. Wine even brought me closer to my sister, because now we drink wine together as we FaceTime and jointly (drunkenly) watch my two-year-old niece.
Addictions are okay as long as they don’t make you kill people, ja feel? Just follow your heart.