Nearing the end of my year of living sober I’ve started to think about what alcoholic drink I might break my 365 day drought with. When the time is up on my experiment with temporary teetotalism I want to remember the once-in-a-lifetime moment of taking my first alcoholic drink for one year (what I’ve called my FADFOY) by choosing wisely.
It’s going to be a special day for me.
But not just because I’ll finally be able to drink alcohol again like I used to but because I will be beginning a new phase of my life’s journey with da drink. I am soon to begin the period in a man’s, nay—a gentlemen’s life when his choice of tipple is governed by quality over quantity
Less is more, more or less.
Quality vs Quantity
No more the cheapest scotch and cola mixers for me; I shall banish all thought of sipping from a 4-litre wine cask (actually I haven’t indulged in Coolabah riesling since I was stealing squirted sips when my folks weren’t looking) or of taking a full slab of beer as my personal liquid refreshment quota to any sporting day excuse to get paralytic.
No, my days of over-supply are done and my days of choosing sublime over-due. My post-YOLS life is going to be all about making the refined choice.
But what will my new, sophisticated drink of preference be?
Should I go for a fine bottle of wine, perhaps venturing to my local Dan Murphy’s bottle shop to purchase my first Penfold’s Grange Hermitage? Maybe I could follow the lead of my sister-in-law who prefers a little top-shelf Belvedere vodka rather than a lot of any of the cheaper clear spirits? Or is it time I developed a taste for some new, quality whiskey or bourbon I’ve never tried before?
There are endless possibilities but at the moment that last one looks like the likely option. And the possibility I’ll choose a new whiskey or bourbon as the drink to take me into the best years of my life is all down to me being a loving husband and good daddy.
Let me explain.
My Supportive Wife
Over the course of my year off the booze my wife, Pauli, has been very supportive. She didn’t push me to take a break from drinking—though she was glad when I told her, those 321 days ago, about my plan to see what life would be like without my habit of near-nightly drinking. And in my year off drinking, Pauli has never played the temptress, only once drinking a single glass of champagne in front of me (since deciding to get pregnant she doesn’t have a big taste for booze anymore). But when Pauli told me about two new spirits released this year, each featuring one of the names of our two young daughters, my wife did have a devilish glint in her eye.
“What are the chances of that?” she said. “One drink called ‘Honey’ and the other called ‘Cherry’?”
Now I’m not saying my wife was testing my resolve to finish my YOLS but I did think it interesting how Pauli (there’s actually an alcoholic drink named after her, a German beer no less!) felt it important to bring to my attention this curious development in the world of alcohol supply. Really though, I’m sure Pauli simply felt, like I do, that it was a curious co-incidence Jim Beam brought out two drinks named after our two girls (born in the last two years) in the one year I was taking off drinking?
I mean seriously, what are the odds?
Maybe it was the universe’s way (with the aid of Pauli’s suggestion) of tempting me off the year-off by giving me the perfect excuse to indulge in a little nip of sweet liquor.
“Come on,” I could have argued to anyone challenging me for prematurely giving up on my YOLS, “I’ve got to try a drink named after my own offspring. Don’t I?”
Well, no—is the short answer. Not yet anyway.
But when the day comes for me to choose my first alcoholic beverage (I always think of Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction when I say that word: “beverage”) in a year I think I will consider making it one of either the Honey or Cherry variety of Jim Beam bourbon.
In fact after 12 months without drinking a drop of anything alcoholic maybe I’ll spoil myself and try both. But only a bit. My future drinking ain’t going to be about how much I drink, but what I drink.
After all, a sophisticated man chooses quality over quantity every time.
Today is Day 321 of my year of living sober.
Little Booze Joke
A dog the size of a small horse walks into a bar and the bartender says, “Sorry, no dogs aloud.” The big dog jumps up onto a barstool, twirls around on his hind legs before doing a back flip and landing with both front paws resting on the bar. Then he further amazes everyone watching by saying to the bartender, “No dogs, hey? That’s okay. I’m just a show pony.”