I don’t drink and type. Never have. So I’m not writing this column with a glass of wine perched next to my keyboard. This is partly because I once stood in a line of desperate people at a computer repair shop watching the guy in front of me burst into tears when told that the glass of pinot he spilt on his laptop had drowned it.
And also because I keep my relationship with alcohol on a very tight leash.
In high school – I mean UNIVERSITY – one of my nicknames was Cadbury. Not just for my love of chocolate but because it only ever took a glass and a half to get me drunk. Nothing much has changed although after years of gentle nudging I’ve recently pushed my limit all the way to two.
Drinking is clearly not in my DNA. I’ve never seen either of my parents drunk. They love a good wine but never to excess and perhaps nature and nurture have made me the same.
My friends laugh at how much of a lightweight I am. Especially the girlfriends who took me on my first and last pub crawl 12 years ago where I was forced to throw Tequila shots over my shoulder so I could stay vertical and remember my own name.
Piss-fit I was not (I learnt this expression from a friend during the silly season. It means you have a high tolerance for alcohol and recover quickly after consuming it. I asked my friend: could another way of saying this be: functional alcoholic? She agreed this was possible.)
While I certainly had some blowouts when I was younger, being drunk is fundamentally incompatible with being a control freak and thus, I’m almost always the self-designated driver.
Laziness also plays a part.
Since having children, the days of hangover indulgence are gone. You’ve never had a real hangover until you’ve been woken after three hours sleep to answer detailed questions about Thomas The Tank, prepare peanut butter toast and change a nappy simultaneously.
I know one couple with three young kids who take a methodical approach to parenting while hung over. They do shifts. Two hours in bed, two hours with the kids, back to bed – throughout the day. Me, I’d just prefer to switch to water at 9pm and feel human in the morning.
‘Tis the season to be hung-over. If not literally then figuratively. After the Christmas tree gets turfed onto the nature strip and the smell of fireworks subsides, January can become ground zero for those who realise they need to take a long hard look at their relationship with alcohol.