Drinks. As far as Fun Dollars are concerned, they are my new fast food. They are the splurge in my budget. They are the "gimme" in my day. As I have grown into my 30's I have discovered that my body has turned on a natural "off" switch for drinking. I was never a heavy drinker, but I would overindulge from time to time. Back in the days before bedtimes and play dates, before my life revolved around putting others in pajamas, I could kill a bottle of wine in a night with Corey and have no problem.
Now, anything more than a glass of wine or one bottle of beer, or malt beverage, has to be accompanied with a glass of water too. If I don't keep hydrated while consuming "responsibly", I wake up in the middle of the night with a pseudo hangover. I hate hangovers. I'm not sure there are many out there who can say, "Yeah, I enjoy a good hangover", but there are those out there who will consume, knowing that a hangover will follow, and do it anyway. Me, not so much. My body gets this feeling halfway through the night like it's pulsating, like I can feel the blood thumping through, trying hard to process the leftover alcohol.
Last weekend, Corey and I split a six-pack of the most delicious hard cider. Angry Orchard creates seasonal brews that are released for a short while (at least at Safeway it's a short while.) This season's concoction contains essence of the Elderflower. Ho boy! Look out! You won't even feel this one coming. It's smooth, floral notes seriously make it a dangerous drink. I could have sat there and just finished bottle after bottle when I first sipped it. Delicate. Crisp. Delightful. However, I decided I wanted to enjoy one the next day, so I only had the one drink on the night we each contributed Fun Dollars towards a six-pack.
The next day, we made burgers, and that required a slightly different flavor profile than the sweet and delicate elderflower hard cider. I quickly zipped over to Safeway (again) and picked out a Zinfandel. The Bogle Old Vine was on sale for $7.50! I gave $5.00 towards it and wished Corey a Happy Father's Day. (Half jokingly. I did get him something else besides "half" a bottle of wine. But I didn't use Fun Dollars. He informed me that gifts do not have to come out of Fun Dollars.) The Bogle family of wines is always a solid choice. They are reasonably priced, and if you can find them on sale, it's even cheaper. I have never tried a Bogle variety that I didn't like. They really know how to make an middle-of-the-road priced wine that delivers stellar flavor. The juicy Zinfandel paired quite nicely with our burgers.
We corked up the rest of the bottle, and I enjoyed some with lunch the next day.
Not only does drinking in moderation save m body from the "yuck" factor, it's just smart. We space out our beverage consumption so that we have more to go around. We also are setting an example for our children about alcohol consumption. Don't get me wrong, there is a definite time and place for getting "wasted", like on a honeymoon, or when the kids are with grandma and grandpa. But on an everyday basis, when we are sharing our experiences with our children, we want them to see us consuming as if it were nothing more than lemonade or iced tea. Removing the negative associations with alcohol teaches them that it is possible to enjoy the beverage for the flavor, for the pairing with food, or as a treat, like a chocolate bar. It's not something that has to be over used to be enjoyed.
I am glad that I have come to that place, and so has Corey. It's been a good decade of legal drinking that we've both enjoyed together. And as the years press on, our children will only become more and more interested in what's in the glass. Having Fun Dollars means we can spend them however we want. With that comes a responsibility to set an example. Whether it's spending, or drinking, moderation and consideration mean everything.
Bogle Old Vine ZInfandel and six-pack of Elderflower Angry Orchard Hard Cider at Safeway- $10.00 (split with Corey.)
Balance this pay cycle- $26.00