Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
I admit it. When my kids were younger, a friend and I would get our toddler twins together for the three-martini playdate. (My husband had to come drive us home.) That ended when I got pregnant with my son. Luckily, pregnancy only lasts nine months. I have given and received bottles of wine for baby showers. What about alcohol as a gift when the baby first comes home? I always bring some along with a lasagna. For summer fun–and let’s be honest, for an effective school’s-out coping mechanism–do you round up kids and friends and drink while dinner cooks on the grill?
Maybe it’s just me.
But according to the brand new book Her Best-Kept Secret, it’s more like everyone minus a few hold-out teetotalers. Drinking among women–and I’m not talking about college-aged bingers–has been on the rise for decades. Author Gabrielle Glaser gives fascinating reasons why. My favorite was that so many of today’s moms scaled back or opted out of intellectual careers to focus on our kids. Instead of spending more quality time with them, though, we wind up behind the wheel for hours chauffeuring our little over-achievers from soccer to swim team to math camp to equestrian lessons. When we get home (after driving is done, of course), we crack one open. Glaser writes, “Despite increased opportunities, many women feel they still haven’t measured up… ‘Women may simply find the complexity and increased pressure in their lives to have come at the cost of happiness.’”
Cheers to that.
Of course, there’s more to it–from wine marketing campaigns aimed at women to reality TV shows. Bethenny Frankel and Skinnygirl Cocktails are, for better or worse, huge hits. Whatever the reason, Glaser’s onto something. Every mom I know drinks often. And this book, Her Best-Kept Secret, mostly focuses on those of us who drink regularly but do not have an addiction problem. She correctly notes that most moms feel ashamed of their wine and try to hide it. How often have you said, “Oh, I really shouldn’t,” as you pour the third glass? Do men act so self-conscious? My husband doesn’t.
With humor, thoughtfulness and skillful research, Glaser paints a picture of mature female drinking today. You’ll see yourself or your friends on almost every page. She also touches on addiction–she controversially takes down Alcoholics Anonymous programs–but this isn’t a preachy book. I read it in a few hours sitting by the pool while the kids swam last weekend. I liked Glaser’s confession that she drinks most nights, but takes one or two off a week. The book is filled with helpful and enlightening suggestions. It’s great, so read it. Then grab your favorite drink.
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