Costco used to be my favorite place at Christmas. I’m sure you see where this is going.
I was there by myself on Sunday. It’s rare that I get to shop by myself. We needed gas, diapers and dog food, but I decided to seize the opportunity for some me time by doing a zombie-like stroll through the entire store.
The liquor and sugar is out of control this time of year. That must have been why I loved it so much. Specialty chocolates, truffles, peppermint bark and this crap. Super-size bottles of bourbon in fancy boxes. Sometimes with novelty glasses! An expanded champagne selection and a whole separate section dedicated to the booze that is on sale. I can practically feel the fireworks going off in my neural synapses. I’ve been in the store since the holiday stuff arrived, but hadn’t paid much attention until Sunday.
I wasn’t really bothered until a man passed me and in his cart he had 6 bottles of what used to be my favorite wine. You see, they’ve never carried this wine at Costco. I was making special trips to buy it at a wine store. I freaking loved that wine. Seeing that Costco had also discovered it and picked it up almost took my breath away. I suddenly felt a big sense of loss. Like a friend of mine said here, I was queen of good, affordable wine. I was a connoisseur in my own fantasies, but it was like my talent was being confirmed by Costco. I was so good at drinking. I relished researching, shopping and tasting wine. And always more, more, more. A true love affair. A fucking alcoholic. I’m also a pretty good baker. These talents make so much sense now.
I guess I haven’t contemplated a drink too seriously since the very earliest days of sobriety. I mostly get sad and resentful that it’s not an option for me. I’m not sure if you noticed, but what happened at Costco began before I even got there. See when I mentioned that I was trying to steal some me-time, that should have been a dead giveaway that the trip wasn’t going to end well. I went there looking for more than just diapers. I was looking to feel better. What I got was a million reminders of the things that I can no longer use to make me feel better. I resisted actually walking through the liquor sections. I’m lucky Costco hasn’t carried Moose Munch for a couple years because I had already decided I would buy it if I found it. You better believe I looked for it.
I’ve read a couple other blogs also talking about dealing with more cravings lately. I agree that it’s the time of year. Everything so shiny and special, everything I’m missing out on, everything the holidays used to be, all the good times I had drinking through this time of year, fun and warmth and togetherness, but I think most of all it looked really pretty and sparkling. And it seems both easy and impossible to get that back. Hard to accept that it won’t be that way again. Hard to accept that I’ll never relax into the ritual of planning and executing a perfect holiday dinner wine pairing. Hard to accept that the relief is really gone.