Pressing ‘Pause’ on Drinking

Last Friday night, my son’s high school football team won a nail biter of a game — with a touchdown in the last 10 seconds — and honestly, it was one of the most stressful nights of my life. It was one of those games that went back and forth, when at any moment either one of the teams appeared poised to win, and the first half alone seemed to last the equivalent of 1.5 games. We were all exhausted in the bleachers when it was over.

After we high-fived and celebrated the win in the stands, I started filing out with all the other parents and at least two said they were going to need a drink when they got home to settle their nerves after the crazy game.

“Ugh,” I said to one of the moms, “I picked a terrible week to give up booze.”

“Any reason for that?” she asked as we walked towards our cars in the parking lot. “Just too much fun this summer,” I told her, which was a roundabout way of saying that it felt like my alcohol boundaries needed to be tightened up after three months of drinking just about every day.

Okay, every day.

Raise your hand if you wrapped up the Labor Day weekend feeling like if someone accidentally pricked you with a pin, rose would come rushing out of the tiny hole. Or maybe pinot grigio, it that’s more your thing. Like you were a boozy hemophiliac unable to stop hemorrhaging vino.

I wrapped up the long holiday weekend, and unofficial end to summer, nursing a pounding headache after cocktails on the beach with my adult kids the day before, and decided to just stop drinking. That was 14 days ago. My goal is to stay dry for 21 days and then maybe, do it all over again. It feels good to wake up every morning and not hate myself.

The decision to take a break did not come out of the blue. I’d been thinking about pressing the pause button on drinking for a while. In fact, I do a lot of thinking about drinking in general. How much I had the night before. Whether I had any left in the house. How nice it would be if I could just have one drink with dinner. And most especially, how much I hated myself for drinking that last glass of (fill in the blank) the night before. It was taking up too much space in my brain and life is so much easier when it’s just eliminated from the stuff I really do need to think about every day.

I actually did take a break from booze two years ago. I turned 50 and decided to stop drinking for 100 days, and it was really hard. For one thing, August was a hard time of year to climb on the booze-free wagon. Not only did I have to get through two Bruce Springsteen concerts that summer and a tailgate for a Penn State football game in the fall, but Trump’s election in November required every ounce of willpower I could muster not to start guzzling wine right out of the bottle.

When I took that break from booze in the fall of 2016, I spent a lot of time thinking about my drinking — examining it from every angle — and reading books written by women who came to the conclusion that alcohol had become problematic (like, blacking out and waking up in bed in a stranger’s hotel room and almost killing your friends’ two kids). I wrote about it in my journal. I talked about it with my best friend and, of course, with Jennifer My Therapist. And according to the journal I kept around then, every day was hard. Each day I felt like I was being deprived of something I deserved, and often compensated with a bowl of ice cream or something chocolately from Trader Joe’s. It was not the thinnest time of my life.

I turned 50 on a Saturday and five days later, stopped drinking. Weirdly, I don’t even write about it in my journal that day. The following day I report in my journal that it was “not impossible,” and that waking up “sans remorse” was “lovely.” Then I go on to observe that after my trip later that day to drive my daughter back to college — an 8-hour ride round trip — I would probably feel like I “deserved” a glass of wine.

“I just need to get through the day,” I conclude.

And that’s how I kind of go about the entire 100 Day Experiment, which I must confess only lasted 90 days for me. I just pushed through each day and was relieved when my head hit the pillow each night that I’d made it through another day to mark off on my calendar.

My breaking point came when my 20yo daughter came home from college the weekend before Thanksgiving and she and her friend were having a glass of wine in the kitchen, and I was like, “Fuck it,” and poured one for myself and effectively fell with a thud off the wagon.

“I just couldn’t take in any more,” I’d write the next day in my journal. Then I pretty much resumed drinking most days and slipping into the same old patterns of indulging and then regretting my decisions.

I read something recently in a newsletter I love, about why it’s so hard to put “Future You” in front of “Present You,” which is pretty much the story of my life. I am constantly acting against my own best self-interest. I am so good and thoughtful to “Present Amy” — I give her pretty much anything she wants — whereas “Future Amy” goes through life cursing the all the stuff Present Amy did and did not do. Future Amy spends a lot of time scrambling to make up for the other one’s lack of foresight.

For example: Present Amy NEEDS that last glass of red wine when she gets home from a night of drinking many other glasses of red wine, and then Future Amy must suffer through a day pretending she’s fine while her brain feels like it’s melting and about the slip out her left ear. Also, nothing really productive happens after that mandatory nightcap. It’s one unproductive day that blends into years of other unproductive days.

And that’s how we got to this new round of sobriety. I turned 52 in August and was finally tired of not getting anything done. Or what I really mean, is not living the life I want to be living. As in: if I got hit by a truck tomorrow, I’d be pretty mad about all the things I’d yet to do with my life. All the things that were going to happen “someday.” You turn 52 and start to see there’s only so many some days left.

Out of the blue, my bestie sent me the link to a 21-Day Challenge to give up alcohol and it was like all roads were pointing to sobriety. If not for health reasons, then at the very least, to start getting the work done (check out another podcast they do on “grey area” drinking).

So, um, now you know. I’m kind of in this weird place where I know booze can be the devil, but I can’t imagine a life without it. (This is where Jennifer the Therapist asks me if I’d feel the same way about a life without marshmallows.) I’m heading to Quebec with my dad and stepmother and daughter in October, and I really want to have cocktails while we’re away. In fact, I’m planning on it.

Because that is normal. Last night, it was lovely watching the Emmys with a bottle of water nearby and not a bottle of wine, which would have probably been the case had I still been doing my usual routine. And then this morning, I would have been filled with self loathing. And my sleep has been amazing. The best it’s been in ages. So good it’s hard to wake up in the morning, which is weird for me.

I also don’t have a lot of social engagements on my calendar, which seems to have helped. Two weekends ago, my 15yo went to his dad’s and the others were off doing their things, and I found myself blissfully alone and spent the weekend organizing my life and reading and writing. I told friends I felt so rejuvenated that it was as if I’d been away at a retreat.

We had our block party last Saturday night, and it was fun to see all the little kids zipping across the cordoned-off street and running through the yards as the sky grew dark, marked only by the glow-in-the-dark necklaces they’d draped themselves in, wrapped around little ankles and pushed down on tiny heads like colorful halos. They discovered the swing we have hanging from a tree by our driveway and the whole night, a procession of children stood or sat on the wooden seat, as friends and siblings pushed and spun them around.

Although most nights seem like the perfect night for a cocktail, the warm evening beckoned for some kind of icy drink, as did the prospect of standing awkwardly in the street with veritable strangers. I envied the beers I watched a few of my neighbors drink. Instead, I made a fancy lime seltzer with a splash of (diet) cranberry juice, and contented myself with meeting all the young families who have recently moved to our neighborhood and laughing when the sisters up the street rolled up to the block party in their pink Barbie Escalade. Talk about jealous.

Had I been drinking, I would have definitely found a partner (or two) to try to keep the fun going long after the little ones had been taken home and put to bed. I would have easily polished off the majority of a bottle of rose and the next day, would have felt pretty terrible driving my 15yo to lacrosse practice 40 minutes away. Instead, I helped clean up all the desserts and was in bed and reading by 10:00. On a Saturday.

But I’ll tell you what, there’s nothing better than waking up on a Sunday morning and — aside from all the usual 52yo aches and pains — feeling like a champ. Future Amy was happy, for once, with what Present Amy had chosen to do the night before. A first.

Do you find alcohol to be the same slippery slope that I’ve been trying to navigate? I have a feeling that I’m not alone. Feel free to share in the comments below.

Happy Birthday, Halle Berry!

Things that make turning 49 less awful. Like Halle Berry.

Things that make turning 49 less awful. Like Halle Berry.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m a Leo, or an extrovert or just a raging narcissist but I’ve always loved my birthday. I love being the center of attention.

I’ve totally come to terms with it.

And maybe it’s because I grew up with so many siblings and never had a proper birthday party as a kid, or that my birthday falls during the summer so I always missed out on any sort of school celebration, but I usually organize some type of gathering of friends to help celebrate the day. And it doesn’t have to be just one event. Some years, I start celebrating my birthday as soon as the calendar page flips to August and squeeze in any number of birthday-related events – lunches, drinks, dinner. I consider August my birthday month and need to have as many people as possible pay attention to me.

One of my friends recently dubbed this phenomenon “Amy-ka” as the celebrations tend to drag over at least seven days.

But this year is different. This year I’m turning 49 and it doesn’t really make me feel like celebrating. What it really makes me feel like doing is sitting down in a dark room and looking at pictures of myself 10 years ago. Or making an appointment for a face-lift.

It seems I’ve hit an age snag.

And it’s ridiculous, I know. Any time I hear someone stressing about turning 40, I want to punch them in the face. I’m sure anyone reading this right now over the age of 50 would like to smack me, too.

In my head, I hear the good old Girl Whisperer telling me how good I’ve got it. My health and that of my children. Good friends. A nice roof over my head. Yes. Yes. Yes. I know all of this and am usually able to quickly reel myself in when my pity party goes into full swing.

I guess I just didn’t see it coming. I didn’t think 49 would trip me up like this.

Usually, I don’t even think about my age. If anything, inside I feel pretty young. I tend to like younger things – music, movies, zombies. Recently, I was sitting around on the beach talking to my group of Little Mommies. It’s what I’ve dubbed the ladies I’m friends with whose oldest children are all the same age as my little guy. And even though they range in age from about 40-45 and thus are not chronologically THAT much younger than I am, my experience with my three older children – the harrowing years between middle school and college graduation – have aged me considerably. In mom-years, I am probably double their tender ages.

So we were chatting about someone doing something and I was like, “Is she our age?” and then I thought about what I’d just said and rephrased. “And by that I mean is she 42?”

You see? A lot of times I usually forget how old I really am.

I’m just surprised to be nearing the end of my 40s. It’s been a great decade. I’ve done a lot of assessing and made a lot of changes to correct the course my life had been heading in the preceding four decades. I left my marriage, got a full-time job reporting, started a blog and was published in a national magazine. Not bad for some mommy whose claim to fame up to that point was successfully breastfeeding four children.

There’ve been some not-so-great parts, too, like losing said job and my attempts at dating, but let’s not go there right now, shall we? Let’s stay positive and all that.

But if I was going to be really honest, really expose a little bit of my soul to you, I’d also admit that some of my anxiety also stems from being 49 and single. A while ago I was out doing some errands and returned to my car to notice this on the rear windshield:

Seriously. Not. Funny.

Seriously. Not. Funny.

It turns out my younger daughter had put the stickers on as a joke but I freaked out and drove immediately to the car wash where I paid a man $5 to scrape it off the window. I mean, is this how I want people to see me as I drive around town in my mom-car? “Hey! How ya’ doin? I’m 49 and like cats and often drink wine by myself!”

Granted, all of these happen to be true, but still. This is a sad way to illustrate one’s life.

But here are two things that give me hope as I round the corner towards 49 (please notice I’ve mentioned nothing here about 50 because 50 is bullshit and I can’t think about that yet). Item #1 … an essay in the NYTimes this weekend by Dominique Browning about being too old for so much of the hand wringing I’ve just blathered on about.

She writes, “Young(er) women, take this to heart: Why waste time and energy on insecurity? I have no doubt that when I’m 80 I’ll look at pictures of myself when I was 60 and think how young I was then, how filled with joy and beauty.”

I read those lines while lying in my bed reading the Sunday paper and quickly grabbed my laptop, Googled the piece and shared it on Facebook. Not long after, not one but two friends texted and messaged the same link to me along with notes that the article had somehow reminded them of me.

I can think of worst ways to be thought of.

Here is the second tidbit that brings me comfort in my final hours of 48: Halle Berry turns 49 the day after I do.

Of course, Halle and I have literally nothing in common except we’re both women and Leos (she was born on Aug. 14, 1966). She has been blessed with smooth ebony skin and the money to do something about it should it begin to sag whereas I’ve hit the cheap Irish skin lottery that acts as a flimsy covering to withstand life’s slings and arrows. It’s like going through life wearing a white linen suit and not having the money to get it dry cleaned.

Regardless, I like knowing Halle is right behind me. And that we’re in good company. Robin Wright and Salma Hayek were also born in 1966. These women are no slouches. They are strong, accomplished and beautiful.

I like being in that boat of ladies. It helps make this milestone a little easier to pat as I pass it by like the giant planter I round when I get to the end of the boardwalk and start speed walking back towards home.

Here’s what I hope: that this is only the beginning for me. It took turning 40 to really shake me out of a decades-long reverie of complacency. Realizing then that I’d hit the halfway mark in life really made me sit up and take stock of things. And now that I’m starting to move briskly through that second half of life, I hope it’s time for another course correction. I hope I can point myself towards all the things I really want to do before it’s too late.

But, like everything else in life, nothing is free. Everything comes at a price. So if the fee for continued self awareness and living a more authentic life is a few more wrinkles on my face and that crepey thing happening on my eyelids, I guess I’m willing to pony up. In the end, I’d rather be the woman I am now at 49 rather than the more taut gal I was at 39. Hopefully this all makes 50 a little easier to swallow next year.

But first, I need to get through all those birthday celebrations.

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The Under-Estimator



This morning, I told the guy that I work out with twice a week that one of my main issues – okay, other than my penchant for wine and hankering for unavailable men – was that I am an under-estimator.

“Calories, drinks, kids,” I told him, “I always just assume I have less of something than I really do.”

(This can also be applied to my weight, the amount of time I spend on Facebook and my monthly AmEx bill.)

Interestingly enough, I employ the opposite thinking with the amount of money I have in the bank. I always operate as if I have more than I really do.

But I digress.

We were discussing the Fitbit that my friend, who also exercises with the man I like the call the Girl Whisperer, just bought and we were kind of teasing her about it.

She’s rail thin, quite fabulous for a girl in her late 40s – or late 30s, for that matter – and she bought the navy  bracelet to help her keep track of how many steps she takes each day and ultimately lose six pounds. Not five. Not seven. Six.

She also synced the device to her computer to input what she eats to help her determine how many calories + how many steps she needs to achieve her weight loss goal.

I was saying that it would be a waste of money for me to get a Fitbit because I’m terrible at keeping track of things and always just assume I’m better than I really am. So like, I’d be good about inputting the salad I ordered at dinner last night but would forget to add the dozen or so French fries I ate off my son’s plate. Like, that shit doesn’t really count, does it? The same thinking applies to food eaten while standing up or intoxicated. Those calories are like the unicorns of eating: magical and nonexistent.

But truth be told, I actually did buy a Fitbit a few years ago when they first came out. I had been steadily gaining weight and blamed it on all the sitting I did working on my computer and at meetings a few nights a week for my all-consuming job. I was still running and working out but assumed that I was just moving around a lot less during my day than I did before I worked full time and just needed to get off my butt a little more.

Enter the Fitbit. I dutifully typed my vital statistics into the computer and starting wearing it around clipped to my bra as I went about my day.

What I neglected to take into account were all those boxes of CheezIts and bags of Doritos I was plowing through late at night watching the Daily Show whilst the FitBit rested on my brassiere and was showered in orange dust.

But then I legit popped a zipper on a pair of jeans – a really cute pair of, like, AG ones from Anthropologie —  that I was trying to squeeze into for a night out and I sucked in my tummy and pulled up the zipper, exhaled and POP! went my pants. Rock fucking bottom. Luckily, my vanity would not put up with this downward spiral and I got serious about paying attention to every single fry and M&M I put in my mouth and just wore those – now repaired – jeans the other night and the zipper went right up and they looked cute. Case closed.

So anyway, now you know. And it wasn’t a matter of walking 10,000 steps a day or counting calories. I just stopped eating shit and got back to my regular self.

It probably all comes down to paying attention, something I’m not always so good at. There’s probably a will power element involved here too, since I tend to go for the immediate gratification and not worry about consequences. But whatever.

I’m still a work in progress, regardless of how many calories, drinks or kids I have. And I’m always looking for unicorns.

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Great Expectations

photo-21This is a story about expectations and the benefits of keeping them low.

Now, of course, this idea is nothing new. Every year there’s some article written about how Denmark is considered the happiest country in the world and it’s in part because the Danes keep their expectations low.

They are just content with their lot in life and don’t expect much more.

I’ve mentioned this idea to my kids, the notion of keeping their own expectations low, which is usually met with groans and eye rolls. Okay, it might be a bit of a bummer – having your mom tell you not to expect too much out of life – but it is a surefire path to happiness. Don’t get your hopes up for, say, a hamster for your birthday when you know your mom is not willing to clean more poop.

I like the slant the novelist Jodi Picoult gives to achieving happiness in her book, “Nineteen Minutes”: “A mathematical formula for happiness: Reality divided by expectations,” she writes. “There were two ways to be happy: Improve your reality or lower your expectations.”

Maybe this idea is a little more hopeful, a little more in line with what my friend Lisa was trying to get at during a recent conversation we had about expectations. “Shouldn’t we all expect certain things from ourselves?” she asked, and I agreed. We should have a certain set of boundaries about our own and others’ behavior and if those our not being met — our expectations — then something needs to change.

But we both agreed that low expectations for our Ladycation to Florida this past weekend was probably the key to a memorable getaway. Like, we had off-the-charts fun.

In the days leading up to our departure, people would ask me where I was going in Florida and I would have to tell them, “I have no idea.”

I mean, I knew I was flying into West Palm Airport and that we were staying at our friend’s place somewhere around there and that the three of us would be joined by the homeowner’s college roommate the following day.

That’s about it.

I had no idea what we were going to be doing, if I needed to pack some dressier stuff for dinners and if bringing sneakers was way too ambitious. And I figured the college friend would be nice enough, but didn’t really give her too much thought.

I just figured it would all be fine and nice to get away from cold New Jersey for a long weekend with nice women.

When my girlfriend who lives across the street – the kind of friend who, when I am packing for a trip, lends me all her chic Joie tops and Anthropologie necklaces – learned that I was not going to South Beach, as she first thought, but West Palm, she said, “Oh, so it’s just going to be a nice, quiet girls weekend,” and started putting her fancier items back in her closet.

I nodded my head and picked up the stack of colorful Lily cashmere sweaters she was lending me to take along and I packed for days lying out in the sun and casual dinners with the girls at night.

It turns out, that the weekend was anything but quiet. In fact, I’d say it took on the feel of one of those Vegas commercials because some of the things that happened are really better left in the West Palm-area and definitely not on my blog which is read by my kids, their friends and my mom.

We got a little crazy.

Perhaps the tone of the trip was set when that second round of drinks at the Newark Airport wine bar caused us to almost miss the flight out Thursday night (it turns out a 7:30 departure means they shut the door to the plane at 7:20, according to the flight attendant who lectured us while checking us in at, like, 7:10 and then punished us by making us check our carefully-packed, carry-on bags.) There was my Beyoncé moment when the singer in the band at the bar we went to after dinner Saturday night came down off the stage to dance with me to “Walk This Way” and one of my moves was crooking my pointer finger to get him to, well you know, walk my way. (My girlfriend Lisa said the next day, “I know the type of shenanigans I can get into, but didn’t know you had that in you.”) And the tail end of the trip found me in the airport bar, again, drinking Scotch out of a straw being held by some hot guy whose sunglasses, at 8 p.m., indicated he had had a rough weekend, too.

Here’s that mathematical formula: Low expectations + High alcohol =  Mucho fun.

We had joked all weekend that Lisa was a “connector.” She loves to chat with the workers at her local Dunkin Donuts she visits daily and tried to high-five one of the flight attendants on our flight to Florida. But it is pretty safe to say that Florida Amy was also quite the connector.

As for the college roommate, it turns out that we were separated at birth. We hit it off immediately when she arrived early Friday morning, totally admiring each other’s outfits, and the four of us were really well suited for traveling together. There was a high-level of bossiness that was balanced by others’ (me in particular) willingness to just get in the back seat and go along for the ride. I am an amazing Indian.

And my friend who owns the house, unbeknownst to me, had planned our weekend with lots of fun things to do on an almost hourly basis, like at 3 p.m. Saturday we needed to leave the beach for cocktails, 4 p.m. was ice cream at her favorite ice cream place followed by shopping and then home to be ready for our 7:00 pick up to go out to dinner. I woke up Sunday morning to find a pink bag filled with assorted resort wear pieces lying on the floor of my room and carried it into the kitchen and said to the girls standing there, “What the hell? I don’t even have a job.” 

Therein lies the danger of shopping with girlfriends after drinking a goblet full of Hendricks gin on a sunny deck in Florida. Rational thinking goes for a swim in the ocean.

Anyway, lest you start to get worried about me, I’ll assure you that Florida Amy has been packed away since my return late Sunday night. She was a lot of fun but doesn’t really fit into my daily grind of laundry folding and driving duties. She wasn’t the most solid of citizens.

Take heart, though. I leave for Jamaica next week.

God only knows what Jamaica Amy is like.






Are Mommies Drinking More?

photo-20Here’s a conversation I had with my 11-year-old son yesterday morning:

Fade in: Early morning in my kitchen. The high school kid has already left for the day and my fifth grader is sitting at the island busily sawing through his syrupy waffle while watching the “Today Show.” Maria Shriver is onscreen, reporting in earnest that there’s a growing trend of mommies hitting the bottle a little too hard. The segment is called “Mother’s Little Helper.” She reports that in a survey, nearly 40 percent of moms said they drank to cope with the stress of raising children.

Son (looking up from waffle): Well, good thing you don’t have a drinking problem, Mom.

Me (relieved): Really? How would you know if I did?

Son (in earnest): First of all, you don’t beat me.

Me (suppressing hysterical laughter): Okay, that’s an interesting way to know I’m not drinking too much. Anything else?

Son (thinking): Yeah, and you don’t act like a total byatch to me.

Me (still trying not to laugh): Well, good buddy. I’m glad you don’t think my wine drinking is an issue.

Son (giving me a knowing look): I know you love your wine, Mom.

So, that’s pretty much what a person with a drinking problem looks like to an 11-year old. Or at least my 11-year-old. Beatings and acting like a bitch to children are the obvious, telltale signs of alcoholism for him.

But we all have those guidelines. You know, like, the signs we’ve seen on TV and in movies that would clearly pinpoint whether someone had drinking issues. Things like having a drink first thing in the morning, hiding bottles, losing a job due to alcohol or living on Skid Row and being a bum. Stuff like that.

The truth is, people with drinking problems look like any one of us (as Shriver’s piece illustrates by featuring a normal-looking mom, just like us, who came to terms with her own alcoholism). And while “Today” tried to make the issue seem new with the slant that more mommies are having wine during Friday playdates (like that’s some new phenomenon), I think the problem is far more quiet and pervasive. I think a lot of moms are at home at the end of the day pouring themselves just one more glass of wine to take the edge off the drudgery of it all. Or the stress of it all. It just makes everything a little happier.

God knows it does for me. But I don’t think it’s anything new.

Drinking is a slippery slope. Sometimes things are in check — I can have one glass of a nice Chardonnay with my dinner — and other times I wake up with a headache thinking, “Maybe I didn’t really need that third glass.”

Because it’s one thing to have a glass of wine with dinner and it’s another when you can’t seem to find your “Off” button on a Monday night in January.

The Center for Disease Control says that one-in-five women ages 25-34 report frequent binge drinking or four or more drinks, according to the Today Show segment.

I don’t even want to know the statistics for old people like me with teenagers. Yikes.

One good deterrent to drinking for me was reading the novel The Good House last year. If you’re struggling with booze, I suggest you read it because the main character, Hildy Goode, and her drinking will scare the shit out of you. You will definitely rethink that third glass of wine. And the author, Ann Leary, not only seems super-cool and somebody I want to hang out with, she is also very open about her own struggles with alcohol.

Here’s the good news for me: My saving grace just may be my fat ass. Seriously. Because I’m finding that one of the things standing in the way of losing weight — in the face of a slowing metabolism and exciting hormone surges — is the calories I ingest from wine.

Perhaps my ego really will save the day after all.

So I’ve really not bought any wine in a while and am finding that I am finally, finally starting to shed a few pounds. I’ve decided I need to get down to my fighting weight before the full onslaught of menopause sets in because things are challenging enough in the perimenopausal stage. I mean if I need to lose weight five years from now, I guess I’ll be relegated to just looking at pictures of food and licking stamps.

The best advice my therapist ever gave me when I was going through my divorce a few years ago was not to numb myself to the process. “Get rid of all the crutches,” she said, encouraging me to step back from the nightly glasses of wine.

And I think we’d all be better off if we stopped trying to avoid the full impact of our lives. Trying to soften the blow of  children and spouses and jobs with a big glass of Pinot Grigio at the end of the day. When we meet the challenges head on, we grow. I know I did.

It’s just that sometimes I forget.

But maybe now the problem is that — in our hyper-connected, Skinnygirl,  Sex and the City kind of world — mommy drinking is a little more acceptable. It’s more out in the open. Cosmos for everyone. Another round, please.

But Carrie Bradshaw never had to worry about waking up the next day to pack lunches for school.