If you lined up all the middle-aged women who drink one 5-ounce glass of wine each day “for health benefits” do you know what you would have? A really long line up of fibbers!
Middle-aged women drink wine like babies breastfeed – often and enthusiastically.
As with most things in Middle-Aged-Woman World, there are rules that must be followed when it comes to the drinking of the wine. These rules are akin to the regulations for tax deductions. If you want to make the most of the situation you need to know both the laws and the various interpretations and exemptions.
If you are new to Middle-Aged Woman World, let me start by saying “Welcome”. And allow me to begin your education by recommending that you have a Women-Only Get-Together to celebrate the birthday, gray hair, or forehead wrinkle that signified your entrance to the group.
At the Women-Only Get-Together no one has to drink orange juice so they can monitor the potentially inappropriate behaviour of a spouse, and no one has to cook a giant meal because everyone noshes exclusively on cheese, hummus, and other items that can be slid onto a cracker. And every invitee brings a bottle of wine… two if it’s made in their basement using a kit.
Rule #1: What happens in Women-Only Get-Togethers stays in Women-Only Get-Togethers. After a few glasses of wine, a roomful of women are apt to dish the dirt on damn near anything, so rule #1 has NO EXEMPTIONS.
Of course, from a practical standpoint, there are not enough Women-Only Get-Togethers to satisfy the previously identified enthusiasm for wine-drinking, so a series of rules (and interpretations and exemptions) have been developed to broaden the opportunities:
Rule #2: Wine can be consumed while preparing dinner. Or while waiting for the ordered-in pizza to arrive. Or while looking through cookbooks. Or while talking to a friend while she is preparing/ordering/pondering dinner.
Rule #3: Wine can be consumed during “happy hour”. While the narrow interpretation sets this at 5:00pm, time zone exemptions may apply. For instance, if you are chatting/Skyping/texting with a friend from an earlier time zone, that person’s zone may be applied. Sure it may be 2pm in Nova Scotia, but if it’s 7pm in Denmark!
There are also rules related to the volume of consumption:
Rule #4: No middle-aged woman drinks more than two glasses of wine. However, unlike the bottle of beer, the glass of wine, as a measurement, is open to interpretation. While beer drinkers seem to take a certain pride in tracking their consumption, wine drinkers silently sip from a single glass that is never full, but never empty. Which leads to…
Rule #5: Wine glasses must be neither too full nor too empty
At a group gathering, even a half-decent hostess works the room with the silent efficiency of a samurai warrior, armed with a merlot sword. And yes… there are women who coyly smile and request “just half a glass” but that half glass stays as perpetually replenished as the others so the point is mute. Note that rule #5 also applies to women enjoying their one 5-ounce glass of wine each day “for health benefits”.
Rule #6: Middle-Aged Women who drink wine DO NOT suffer hangovers. The hangover is the effect of over-indulgence and, as already explained, middle-aged women drink only reasonable amounts, at prescribed times, often for health benefits. Therefore, they do not suffer hangovers! However, there may be the occasional morning after a Women-Only Get-Together, or after an evening of extended food preparation, when certain hangover-like symptoms may occur as a result of one of the following:
- Food poisoning (probably something related to the hummus because most of the women at the Women-Only Get-Together will report similar symptoms)
- An especially contagious strain of the flu (which is clearly “going around” because most of the women at the Women-Only Get-Together will report similar symptoms)
- Tannins in the wine (This is a particularly common problem. The ubiquitous, toxic tannins can crop up at any time. Following a tannin attack, a group of women may have to completely switch off one country or another, or experiment with ‘organic’ wines for a time).
Rule #7: NONE OF THE RULES APPLY TO WOMEN OVER 65. There is a universal understanding amongst women that 65 is the golden age at which we all officially say F*** IT to all of the rules. Women over 65 can have wine with their morning toast and God protect the man who comments on it! Women over 65 are apt to enjoy wine while gardening, painting, playing bridge, and posting on Facebook. They may consume wine from travel mugs while sitting on the beach or going for a walk. And stewardesses are known to slip them extra mini-bottles just to save time on flights.
These are the rules. Just sayin’.