I was born with stunted child-like taste buds. Early on it led to embarrassingly extensive 7-11 candy binges. As a young adult it manifested as sad mimosa hangovers, crouched like a frog in front of the toilet, as the sugar and alcohol slowly beat the shit out of each other behind my eyes.
Dietary changes in the past year have helped, but for 30+ years before that, it was grim.
I over-salted everything.
Six packets of sugar got dumped into every small cup of coffee.
It was gross.
It was shameful.
But the worst part?
It means I didn't like wine.
*Record scratch as an endless army of Moms swivel with their wine glasses at half-mast and stare aghast.*
How was this even possible? If every meme, pin, blog and tweet was to be believed, wine is the answer to every parenting question.
I tried. I ordered a glass of red whenever we went out. It has a tarter berry taste that I am able to swallow quickly, leaving behind a perceived flush of happiness on my lips and cheeks. Then I would move to the Jack and Coke or anything else with more sugar than sense.
Last week I forced myself (I know, the struggle is so real, you guys) to buy a bottle of white wine. Splashed it on some food to be more French Domestic. Poured 3 neat glugs into a heavy bottomed glass last night while I tiredly pushed dinner around the stove.
Oh sweet fuck, AND THEN.
It was like every vineyard and wine glass and sommelier with a smarmy mustache exploded in my head. My tongue and brain sprinted across a field of dancing daisies, grabbed each other's hands and spun so fast they collapsed in a heap of giggles and grasshoppers.
If you drink wine while cooking, it tastes delicious, because it makes 6 pm not feel so goddamn shitty. Dinner time is the magic hour, and by magic I mean perfectly terrible.
Until you invite wine in.
This was the message I was missing. Every Mom is so much better when she's half-cut, soft-shoeing around the kitchen and artfully (read: messily) plating the family food while humming some song she knew once.
I finally (FINALLY) got it. My tongue is trained. My veins open and ready.
I tip my hat, clink my glass and lick the rim. Wine, you saucy sonofabitch.
Let's be friends. You, me and my tongue. Best friends. Forever.