May 11, 2014

"It is real and good and numbing... But the truth is, in moderation, I'm happier drinking.... now I crawl toward that glass of wine (or more) at the end of the day... It's nice to know I'm not an alcoholic... "

A commenter pulls quotes from a Daily Beast piece by Sally Kohn titled "Mommy’s Little Secret? Coffee And Booze/Caffeine and alcohol were sweet at 21—but they’re downright lifesavers (in moderation, of course) in the parenting years."

The commenter — sam-eye-are — adds:
I, however, am a recovering alcoholic who goes to AA meetings and I hear these quoted statements verbatim at every meeting I go to. 

Sorry to say, but not only is your "Parenting all about denial," but so is your belief of yourself not being an alcoholic also in denial.
Well, that's a splash of iced coffee in the face.

Sally Kohn seems to be one of the many many descendants of Erma Bombeck who are trying their hand at housewife humor these days. It's really weird that Bombeck, who seemed old-fashioned to me back when she was so incredibly popular, established such a vibrant tradition of writing disparagingly about the people you're supposed to love and expecting readers to understand the humor in the I-kid-because-I-love mode.


SGT Ted said...

There's nobody more tedious than recovering Alcoholics prating on about how people that can handle and moderate their drinking are really alcoholics too, when the definition of an alcoholic is someone that cannot handle or moderate their drinking in the first place.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Ooooooh, parenting one child is so very hard she has to drink every day.


Either it's contrived bullshit or she's got problems.

The truth of the matter--and I suspect Erma Bombeck would be the first to say this--is that parenting isn't really all that hard. Sure it has its challenging and frustrating moments but what endeavor in life doesn't?

BAS said...

I loved Erma Bombeck in the 80s and I still reread her books. There are still places I laugh out loud although some things are now old fashioned.

First and foremost Erma Bombeck made fun of herself, and that makes a difference between a piece being spiteful and funny.

The piece you linked to was neither spiteful nor funny, but it was banal.

CStanley said...

There's one mom doing this whom I enjoy reading.

She's a convert from atheism to Catholicism and a smart, good writer. But occasionally I cringe at some of the humor at the expense of her kids. I think that motherhood is so emotionally difficult that finding humor is a necessity, but it should be expressed privately.

Here's a link to one of her posts that didn't make me cringe...just good humor about absurdity of modern parenting without getting personal about the kids.

Guildofcannonballs said...

This is a link to my feelings on the Great Sally Kohn. They are nonsense feelings.

Also, I noticed Claire in Modern Family had the "I'm so damn frustrated I hate my family but damnit I will grin and bear it because that is my role" routine in a couple of episodes and that it was ingratiating.

Like Kate Middleton's smile, it is magic without explanation.

paul a'barge said...

Well, that's a splash of iced coffee in the face

It's how you talk to an alcoholic. And it's precisely how real, recovering/abstaining alcoholics talk to other alcoholics talk to other alcoholics who are in denial.

"Dad, you're a drunk" I once said to my father. He stopped, staggered and swooned a bit and said "You're right son. You're right".

madAsHell said...

The result is that I and my partner are basically constantly exhausted.

I believe much of the story is fabricated to hit all the high points of some politically correct narrative.

paul a'barge said...

@SGT Ted: the definition of an alcoholic is someone that cannot handle or moderate their drinking in the first place.

Ted. Ted, Ted, Ted.

You are sooo full of shit, Ted. Not just arrogant but flat out stupid and ignorant.

You need Morons Anonymous. Guess what the first thing you have to do to join? Yep. Repeat "I'm SGT Ted and I'm a moron". Out loud.

Let's heat it, SGT Ted.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

CStanley--are you going to the Edel Gathering, by any chance?

William said...

Given a choice, I think most kids would prefer strait laced, utterly conformist parents than hip, adventurist parents who aren't afraid to violate the norms of their society to achieve a completely fulfilled life.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

Celebrating you own weakness is a difficult trick to pull off.

Joan said...

She's exhausted because she refuses to actually parent her daughter. If her daughter gets up too early for her, she should play in her room until a decent hour arrives. If she doesn't want to go to bed at a decent hour (and five-year-olds need a lot of sleep!) then she should be made to stay in her bed quietly playing or reading her books until she falls asleep. It is not acceptable to have a 5-year-old dominating the house to the point where her mother is surviving on caffeine and alcohol.

I really, really like alcohol which is why I don't drink too much and in fact go through long periods where I don't have any. I don't turn into a different person when I'm dry, either. There are many alcoholics in my family, most of them "functional", which means they can still get up and go to work and take care of what needs to be done. But all they are really doing is biding time until they can get home and get to the alcohol. I know that article is supposed to be funny (somehow), but all I can relate it to is the people in my family who say things like that. It's not a good comparison.

From Inwood said...

Sally Kohn, who never veered from orthodox Liberalism, seems no longer to be on FOX.

Thank goodness.

PS: People who say that if one listens only to FOX News, one gets only Conservative spin, have never listened to FOX News.

CStanley said...

@ Misplaced Pants-
No, only heard about it recently and although it looks like a cool event, it's probably not my kind of thing. Between trying to get time away as a couple, and time I have to take away from the family for continuing ed, getting away on my own for a fun weekend is difficult. When I'm able to swing it I have some friends that I enjoy weekend plain air painting with.

southcentralpa said...

Bombeck? Someday you'll finally pick up Jean Kerr and you'll kick yourself that you didn't do it earlier ...

Anonymous said...

Today our minister was talking about alcohol. How it's not a sin to drink, it's not even a sin to get drunk. However, we need to put up guardrails in our lives and a solid guardrail is steering clear of alcohol.

During this talk, one of the things he said was, all of his years of counseling married couples, he's never once heard them say, "Yeah, we were struggling so we said to each other, let's start getting drunk together more, that'll fix everything!"

A bit of hyperbole, but I found it funny.

kjbe said...

Ooooooh, parenting one child is so very hard she has to drink every day.

As if there isn't enough shame and guilt at being just an alcoholic, let alone being an alcoholic who's also a mother. Doesn't get much better than that.

deepelemblues said...

The definition of denial turned into "shut up and stop disagreeing with me" a while ago and the main culprit is the cultural influence of 12 step cults. Very little is more tiresome than an AA/NA/whateverA true believer.

Fred Drinkwater said...

southcentralpa: Here's my vote for Jean Kerr. Seriously, folks, she's even better than Betamax3000 (sorry, Betamax, but it's true.)

CatherineM said...

Big deal. 1 five year old. My parents generation had a martini or two before and during dinner. Then had coffee and cake while watching "Barney Miller." It was normal. Now u can right a column about it?

My parents weren't alcoholics from the evening cocktails or fat from their Sara Lee and coffee at 9pm. Now both habits are taboo.

Now everything that isn't child driven is bad (a drink? What about the children? Gasp!" )

Perhaps drinking for my generation isn't just something grown ups do as it was for my parents. Now it's associated with partying. Partying and parenting is bad so a glass of wine while in presence of your child is now seen as taboo?