Illustration by Jose Santana Firpo

Long Story Short: Sober October

Dear Wine,

It’s not you, it’s me. I’m sorry, let me start over. I owe you a better explanation since we’ve had such a long, long, long relationship. I’m better at writing than talking, so I hope you don’t mind that this is not in person. It’s just that I can’t see you—face to bottle—right now or I might crumble. I’m weak. You know how I love you so. I really do.

But we need to take a break.

It’s been in the back of my mind for a while, and I’ve tried to ignore the signs. I love you, but I feel smothered. I love you, but I feel controlled. I love you, but then I wake up the next morning and think that I hate you, hate you, hate you and all I want instead of you is regular tap water. That’s right, I said it. Tap water.

You are too much.

But truly, it’s not your fault. You can’t help that you were born with that full body. Those amazing legs. And with the deep oaky flavors that hint of mocha and vanilla. Oh, and I love when you throw a bit of smoke in there for a long finish… But listen to me. I’m getting all nostalgic and I know (I know!) the truth. That instead of enjoying the best of you, what you were truly created to be, I settled for the mass-produced, screw-cap version of you because it was never enough.

I bought in bulk.

I’m really the one to blame in our relationship. We started out great! You were so shy, and a bit unapproachable. I really thought that I wasn’t good enough for you. But then we got to know each other better, and I realized that you were so much deeper and more accessible than you appeared. You were an acquired taste. 

I learned everything I could about you—I did a deep dive. I educated my palate with wine tastings galore in Napa Valley and in Willamette Valley, and I’ve enjoyed glasses of you on the streets of Paris, London and Rome. In fact, I drank a delicious varietal under the eaves of an olive tree on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. That was a glorious afternoon…

But there I go again, reliving the good ol’ days. And I’ve got to focus (focus!) on the reality of the moment. I can’t go on like this. I’ve become obsessed. When I’m with you, I just want more of you. When I’m not with you, I’m focused on getting you, and I’m not being present in the moment. I think every moment of my life would be enhanced with you, and that’s not healthy. Plus, because of you, there are moments that I actually don’t remember. You stole them from me. That’s right. I’m calling you a thief.

And while I’m name calling, I will also call you a liar. There are many times, instead of making me look sophisticated, you’ve actually made me look like a fool. Don’t deny it! I’m not as funny as you encourage me to be. And no, I should never dance “The Sprinkler” at a wedding again.

For goodness sake, I have children.

OK, sorry for the rant. I just had to get that out. No, I’m not going to cut you out of all my posts—that would be impossible. And I’m not going to say that this is forever. Because, truly, I can’t imagine a future without you. But I need some time to get myself together. Remember who I was before I met you. Recognize my dreams. Have more “me” time.

This is just a break. For the month of October. We can reassess later and see where we both stand. (And no, I’m not going to hit up vodka and tequila. Give me some credit.) Sure, it is going to be hard. And it might be awkward when I run into you at social occasions. Don’t judge me if I just walk away. Being close to you right now is just too difficult, and I need to keep my distance. Give me some time. 

And don’t be spiteful and throw yourself all over my shirt. You’ve ruined enough of my clothes. I’m done with your type, for now. 

Don’t call me. I’ll call you…