Suburban Wino 2: The Wordpress Experiment

Liquid Inventory | July 2, 2009

Warning to English professors: this post jumps between 1st person and 2nd person with reckless abandon.

My wife and I have been fighting. Viciously fighting: tooth n’ nail, biting and scratching, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan 2×4 to the back-of-the-head in a no-holds-barred Texas cage-match fighting.

With each other? Heck no! We are the picture of love and affection, as evidenced by an impressive catalog of photos like these:

Such upstanding citizens. The image is blurry from all the class and sophistication.

Rather, we’ve been fighting against the notion of an “economic downturn”. I’ve tried to adhere to the proviso that these bad times are a self-fulfilling prophecy, and if people hear enough news about how tough things are, they’ll come to believe it; thus hoarding all their money, not spending, using credit recklessly, and eventually pulling out of the pipeline, taking valuable business with them.

And so, we spent. We ate out at fancy joints like Denny’s and Taco Bell– whenever we wanted! We lived high-on-the-hog, using real shampoo instead of dish soap. We stopped wearing burlap potato sacks with arm and head-holes for clothing. In the immortal words of Big Ernie McCracken, we were “on a gravy train with biscuit wheels”.

Most lavishly, I got in a heroin addict-like habit of buying 10-12 bottles of wine each couple weeks. Needed to try new things (absolutely still true), and the wine store could be a veritable All-You-Can-Eat Calabash Seafood Buffet of irresistible variety. We expanded our palettes, emptied our coffers, and had a great time doing it. Livin’ to the nines, my friends. The nines.

But- alas!- Heather’s stupid company bought the hype and decided to cut back, big time. She was left a victim of the tattered insurance industry, and we were left with a nice portion of our income in limbo. With this went the fancy meals, the “FDA approved” hygiene products, the actual clothing. Most earth-shattering, though: the shopping spree du vin, gone. Poof.

Desperately, I’ve taken inventory. All that we seem to have left are somewhat pricey bottles that were to be saved for special occasions. How could we possibly quaff these down on a Tuesday?! But then, it hit me: 99.9% of the wine out there is not meant to be stored away for ages. Unless you’re talking serious Grand Cru Burgundy, top-growth Bordeaux, or Italian monsters like Barolo or Amarone, that wine you bought- whether for $5 or $50- was probably meant to be consumed within 5 years. You spent the money. Why deny yourself the pleasure of a great glass of wine?

So that’s what we’re doing. What started out as a dire situation has manifested itself as an incredible treat! We’re going to be saving money by drinking $30-40 wine, whenever we want. Normally skittish, I would’ve run to the store for a cheap “everyday” drinker in the $10-12 range. But now, faced with tough times, we will happily resort to doing with what we have. And we’ll do so thankfully. Let’s face it: there are a lot of folks out there having a real tough time, and I’m complaining about only having nice wine to drink. I think I’ve official had a “douchebag moment”…

…unless I wrap this one up right: I hope everyone can be thankful for what he/she has. Don’t take anything for granted. While the key point of this whole “Suburban Wino” thing is to help bring wine down to level (it really is just a food product: not to be put on a pedestal, accessible by only the rich and snobby), I also want to emphasize its role in celebration. And hey, if you’ve got your health, good family or friends around, or at least some real shampoo, who’s to say every day can’t be a celebration? So drink up, and take a little time to appreciate the little things that get us through, whether it’s your birthday, your anniversary, Saturday night, or Tuesday morning…

You probably shouldn’t be drinking wine on Tuesday morning. At least not red wine. Stains your teeth.

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Posted in thoughts, wine

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