we see what we *think* is romance …

I send out a micro-email every day or so, and while I don’t usually cross-post to the blog, this email got a lot of response so I thought I’d share it here. Happy sober Tuesday. Even if it’s sunny. Even if it’s summer where you are. Even if.

From Lou (day 16):

“Today as I left work at 7 p.m. I saw a woman out on a sunny street drinking a glass of white. I need to remember the truly tedious discussions that would broadcast in my head at 4 a.m. if I took a leaf out of her book….”

me: the other thing we don’t consider when we see a woman like that with her wine – we don’t consider that it’s her 6th glass, that maybe she’s been secretly drinking all day at work. Or that she’s going to drive after she finished that 4th glass. We see what we think is romance, but we don’t consider what happens before or after …

 Lou: “Thanks so much for that. Funny, despite all the hours I have spent thinking about drinking, that particular thought had never occurred to me!” 

me: our boozer brains really fuck with our perceptions. Wolfie will only show us ONE version of the “truth” … and baby, it ain’t even true! huglets.


Comments from readers:

LuvyHowell: I love love LOVE that reality check. It’s funny how many movies we create in our minds.

KateF: I met a (sober) guy once who said that when he thinks of drinking beer he imagines himself in the south of France sipping a cold beer laughing with friends … but the reality is, for him, a beer is a warm pint of something gross drinking alone in a Weatherspoons (chain of revolting boozer pubs in the UK).

Dmarie: Really smart. I have seen this before too and longed to be the person sitting in the sun having a drink. Now I will look at it differently. Thank you. This is awesome.

Burke: Hi Belle – wow, this is very very true.  It all seems very “romantic” ,,, that lovely woman drinking one glass of cool white wine and looking ever so distinguished.  It could have been her 4th glass and she could be driving her kids home,,, or she could be going home and picking a huge fight with her husband because “that’s what she does when she drinks”.  I have the tendency to believe that every nice couple I meet have been happily married for 15 years or that every person that drinks just drinks 1 or 2.  That thinking is just plain wrong.

Tim: One of the few non contentious things from AA (oh God – here he goes again with the 12 Step I mean seriously, shuddap already) is the notion of having a drunk rather than having a drink: Easy to romanticise the drink (I was at a supermarket I go to the other day which has booze by the checkout – I found myself thinking how soothing the first G&T of the day used to be – whilst looking at gin bottles) but I need to remember I have drunks (the first G&T of the day clearly wasn’t soothing enough as it was never ever the last G&T of the day) not drinks. That drink seems much less alluring when I remember the 11 pm shouting match where I’d deny being drunk whilst slurring and then the 7 am horror trying to remember what fuckery I’d got up to the night before.  Screw it – I think you may have put it better but anyway…


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Oh…never thought of it that way! It just always looks so nice… The other day an ad came on the telly showing this lovely looking glass of white wine and I started thinking that I could limit myself to one glass that size and then immediately on the heels of that thought, I decided that if I was only having one drink that size, I had better fill the glass with rum or whiskey…more bang for my buck so to speak. I shared this thought with the hubby (who still thinks that some day I will be cured and be able to have a drink or two) and while speaking it out loud, realized just how screwed up my thinking is. Think I will just keep rocking the sober thing!!

    • Sadiegrace, you spoke my exact thoughts-“better be something stronger than wine if it’s going to be the Only One!” So yeah, better that there be none than that I try to moderate when these are still the thoughts I have. Sober is best, no doubt about that in my life.

  • This is somewhat like getting out of a relationship that truly isn’t working (This has happened to me in the last year), then when it’s finally ended, our brain only thinks back to the happy times. We romanticize the relationship, the partner, and think ‘maybe it wasn’t that bad’, afterall he did ‘this…this…this…he was so wonderful…I love him’. When really, it wasn’t so great, and it fell apart for a reason- we just get foggy sometimes. Same with drinking.

    Thank you for this reminder today! I needed it, on both counts:) xo

  • Such great reminders. The old days of wine n roses – so easy to romanticise. So nice to learn finally that plain soda is also truly refreshing and looks pretty damn lovely with ice and lemon in a nicely chosen glass. Or on a cold day, a real ginger beer has a nice warming effect that truly rivals that glass of red on getting home. And these drinks never turn into “drunks” – I like that one. Thanks merging this with the blog!! Hugs to all xxx