So you have read the Shoe Timeline. Well, this is the same thing but with wine.
There is a vast difference that shows in a woman after she has returned from her first trip to Europe compared to when she is still a little girl, studying away in the country in Australia and learning to drink wine. For men too I suppose. Well, I hope. Who drinks Passion Pop past fifteen?!
When I was fourteen, my best friend and I did a really naughty thing. We were so badass that we totally got reprimanded by at least one parental after the incident.
It was a Wednesday afternoon at school and it was sport day so we were over at the local tennis courts pretending we cared about being active and telling ourselves that whether or not we did sport we would still allow ourselves that kebab after school. That’s how cool we were.
Getting hungry thinking about the kebab, on a ‘break’ between ‘tennis tournaments’ where we just shouted love randomly as though we were from the 60s; we decided to check out the fridge at the tennis club and see if there were any snacks just lying around. There wasn’t. There were two casks of goon (boxed wine) instead. Ah well, we slammed the door and walk off.
That’s what any sensible teenager would have done. But no, instead we decided that it would be funny to take one of the goonies home with us and justify it by naming and shaming the tennis club players as alco’s and saying that we would be taking care of their drinking problem for them by removing the wine. Who drinks and does sport anyway?!
That bus ride on the way home from school was pretty interesting. We thought that everyone knew we were drunk. No one even cared. They just thought we were weird. Especially that part where we both fell asleep.
After a wild night out walking the streets drunk one weekend soon after, our secret got out to our folks somehow and we had to face the facts. My dad told me he was ‘not angry, just disappointed’, which we all know is way worse. He didn’t seem to care that we had completely intoxicated ourselves but rather he gave me $7.50 and told me I had to go with him and buy a new cask of wine and return it to the tennis club because “stealing is wrong”.
WTF!? Goon is only $7.50? I could get drunk for $7.50??
When I arrived for the first time at college with mum dropping me off in our old Mazda, my fellow college kids came out to help me – the newbie – unload my gear to take to my room; I was so embarrassed because I hadn’t even thought of the fact that I had three and a half sacks of Sunnyvale Fruity Lexia in the boot. I was instantly befriended.
After years of throwing up, making out with close friends and falling asleep in gutters – naked; I decided that I would grow up a little and buy a bottle of wine. How mature of me. Bottled wine comes cheaper in boxes…by the dozen…
A few years later I became sick of sweet bottled wine by the dozen and moved on to a classic dry white or Chardonnay as a single sale, well, sometimes a two for one. Yes, pop over for a cardonnay, Faye. I would say in my best Kath n Kim Prude and Trude voice. I was so growned up.
Then in my mid 20s I decided that I liked red wine. That was the next step up right. Well red is nice in a cask because you don’t need a bottle opener nor a fridge! In my late 20s I moved right up and drank bottled red wine. Ooh fancy.
A few years went by where I experimented with various other forms of intoxicating spirits and really, I don’t remember much. That’s when you realise that your 20s were a decade of alcoholism and you have nothing to show for it. Except lucky I’m a writer so there is a hidden file somewhere on my computer with all the best stories in the world in it, I just know it! Must find it and the password and unlock my Hemingway haunts…
Australia taught me to over indulge, to eat and drink what I could while it was free or available. Europe on the other hand taught me that you can have everything in moderation, including moderation. I had also grown some taste buds back by the time I crawled out of my mid 20s so I was able to learn to love olives stuffed with anchovies and dill pickles with wine and crackers. How to sip on a whiskey slowly. How to eat a slice of cheese and devour the moment not the whole block!
These days, I drink a range of drinks and other beverages and I know I could never go past a 2010 Bordeaux or olives stuffed with anchovies but mainly, at least I know now, how I can be present and remember it and most of all, enjoy it.
And that’s what growing up to be a lady is all about. Wine time.