“One reason I don’t drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time”
– Lady Astor
I knew about Black Friday, Thanksgiving Thursday but Blackout Wednesday wasn’t on my radar until a few weeks ago.
It is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It evolved from when college students would come home and party with their friends in a very big way. In doing research for this column I found out the staggering amount of DUIs on Thanksgiving weekend versus all the other Holiday weekends. So Blackout Wednesday does a lot of damage.
Drinking over the long weekend seems to come from a few places
- The F word
That’s right FAMILY. Can’t live with them, can’t get new ones. In the meantime, let’s go grab some martinis at the club.
- Social obligations
Hosting a Friendsgiving the day after Thanksgiving seemed like a great idea back in September when you agreed to it. Now that it is crunch time, you want to hide with a mug of spiked hot cocoa and Netflix all day.
There is nothing like being in a car with children for a 3 hour car trip that ends up being 5 1/2 due to traffic. Then coming into the full drama of the extended family to make you ask for a stiff drink or so we tell ourselves.
- The Christmas Season is in full swing
We could deny Christmas was coming after November 1, even after Veterans Day, but as of Thanksgiving we can no longer pretend it isn’t happening. It is time to get out the decorations, order the Christmas cards and organize the Secret Santas at work. In the meantime, where is the eggnog with the kick?
- Kids everywhere
Why are the kids home for so long? They aren’t cute anymore and all they need is rides or worse, having their friends coming over. It is 5 o’clock somewhere, so open the wine.
We can always rationalize drinking, but at what cost?
What if we talked to our family instead of over numbing out with drinks, and figured out what was really going on wth everyone?
Stress over Friendsgiving is a choice, much like agreeing to host, can we own please? Memories aren’t made when we start justifying how our friendships aren’t that important, we might even start to believe our own nonsense. So get up already, put down the drink, and pause the Friends episode where Brad Pitt shows up or have it on while you cook.
Maybe we are meant to feel annoyed at the drive with the kids, so we leave earlier next year instead of trying to do 3 more inconsequential things for work.
The pressure from Christmas can get us moving so we are better at outsourcing or dropping some of the non essentials, like the Secret Santa at work that you not so secretly hate. It can also get us to the good feeling, can’t wait excited anticipation like we had when we were kids excitement. We just have to go through the work stuff.
Having kids means they will be home over the Holidays, so can we please enjoy them instead of making them feel like burdens or ignoring them while we making everything perfect for them ALRIGHT? If there is a choice between making things look like a Ralph Lauren catalog and connecting with your child, always pick your child even if the tree has all the ornaments on the bottom third as that is the only place your four year old can reach. You can fix it later when he is sleeping.
Numbing out with alcohol is always an option, but it doesn’t mean we need to take it.
Aka what to do the day after