Turns out I wasn’t done with random musings. An important matter rambled up to sit on the front porch of my mind yesterday. While writing new chapters, I went to the fridge and found no wine. Question mark? It’s okay, I’ll mix a dirty martini, extra dirty, three olives, pimento not bleu cheese. Turns out, no vodka. Rarely am I bereft of both.
In the words of the immortal Hemingway, “Write Drunk, Edit Sober.” It’s been a useful mantra for many years. And we know how well that worked for him. Digress. This trusty mantra served me well before the death of The Norwegian so don’t grasp your pearls and become distressed that now that I’m a widow I’m a drunk. Imbibing has long been a favored activity as evidenced by the extensive martini glass collection and the shock at finding the cupboards bare of my two favorite things all at once. Just a setback.
I go to the store for the necessities: Grey Goose, Pinot Grigio and self tanner. While I am debating Grey Goose and Kettle One, I note that it is five-ish and perhaps I should go to Mass. I decide against it as the wine is chilled.
I like Saturday evening Mass. It’s me and the old ladies I assume are also widows and a bunch of wizened widowers as well. It feels safe. I smile and nod each week and wish them peace and I’m sure they wonder who the lady without a family might be. I imagine they make up stories about why I am so very breathtakingly beautiful, like a delicate starlet, and yet, alone. Le sigh.
Which brings us to the dilemma–was it bad manners to blow off Mass to write chapters and drink? Do other people face these problems or only those obsessive compulsive lunatics who believe somehow the cosmic world is aware of our every move and, indeed, lightning could strike us down one day. Meh-I figure having my husband drop dead right in front of me and my friends in the middle of a hike on a deserted trail is probably my lightning strike.
Those of you who know me know how I feel about manners. I am the Manners Teacher at Cotillion. I speak about manners to groups. You’d think I’d have some knowledge as to whether skipping Mass for alcohol is an appropriate move. I concluded that we need a list of rules for ladies on the proper enjoyment of our cocktails whilst behaving with effortless perfection.
Rule Number One: Make sure there are enough glasses for everyone. Glass, preferably crystal, for everyone. We are all much too old to be drinking from plastic or, God forbid, a Red Solo. Are you in high school?
Rule Number Two: Don’t ever blow off one of your girlfriends to go drinking. Take her along.
Rule Number Three: Ladies do not drink beer. They just don’t. End of story. Don’t argue with me. Are you a lady or a lumberjack?
Rule Number Four: The nicer your outfit, the worse you can behave. Look fabulous and they’ll remember your shoes not your behavior. Great shoes give us a pass on most things doll.
Rule Number Five: Recognize appropriate cocktail celebrations like a great haircut and color, a girlfriend’s breakup (that pig) and the start of school.
Rule Number Six: Stay away from men that don’t belong to you and those that are too young for you. The young ones will be horrified by your stretch marks and no woman of a certain age wants to teach mad skills.
Rule Number Seven: Stay off the tabletops. We are just too damn old. No one wants to see the thong of a fifty-year-old as she tumbles with her dress over her head.
Rule Number Eight: Take Advil when you get home and a big glass of water. Tomorrow, when your children ask if you are sick, don’t tell them its wine flu, offer instead that you didn’t get enough sleep. Alas, an old movie might be in order. Come and snuggle under this blankie with Mummy.
Rule Number Nine: If you do end up with egregious behavior on your record, deny,deny, deny. We’re old now; we can do that. “I simply do not remember to what you are referring sir and a gentlemen certainly would not cause me any more distress about the matter.”
Rule Number Ten: If you are about to get tossed from an establishment simply state to the bouncer, “Excuse me, do you know who I am?” Works every time. Really. Tried it. First hand knowledge. The Norwegian did ask later who I thought I was. No matter.
There, my dears, are your lessons for the day. Oh, one more. If you skip Mass to stay home and drink, its probably not a good idea to share that publicly.