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When Teeny Tiny Wine-Shooters Call

When Teeny Tiny Wine-Shooters Call

When Teeny Tiny Wine-Shooters Call

I like to shop at Walgreens. I buy everything from Skinny Pop and two for $3 gassy water, to holiday decorations and toilet paper. One stop shopping for all my addictions too. In the old days I would sneak in (“Welcome to Walgreens!”) and snag three bottles of cheap wine. Why yes, I am having a party. Then, when I moved on to sugar, I’d fill the bottom of one of those mini-carts with candy. Oh no, not my sweet tooth – I’ve got a house full of kids… 


Feeding My Transfer Addictions…

And there’s coffee of all sorts, displayed on shiny shelves. And a flavor riot of ICE CUBES gum (have you tried it???). And the times I tucked a pink package of Correctol beneath the junk food to mitigate the damage about to be done… If Walgreens could talk.


It has been quite a while since I’ve gotten one of those punch in the gut desires to drink. I used to get them at the weirdest times. Once when I almost hit a squirrel with my car, once when I saw a chandelier made of wine bottles at the Detroit airport and even one time at a stop light when I could hear the throbbing music from another car.


But lately, I have swanned through my sober life. I’ve even begun to substitute those unjustified cravings for wine with a burning desire to hike in the Michigan wilderness. I won’t say I have become complacent, but if you swim in the ocean long enough without anything nibbling on your extremities, you begin to forget there are sharks down there, right?


Wine shooters all in a row…

Last week I had a cold, so I went to Walgreens for something to open my nasal passages. I moseyed down the wine isle (which also happens to be the candy and gum isle). You know those horror movies, when the doomed character hears a noise in the basement? And they start down the stairs and the light doesn’t work? And you’re screaming at the TV, “Don’t go down there!” And they get a dicky flashlight from the junk drawer and go anyway – and it ends badly?


Like that…


I never noticed before the Easter egg hues of the screw caps on wine shooters…


Looking at the enticing labels…

So, I’m walking down the isle with a head full of snot and WHAM… I don’t know about you, but with me it feels like a swift jab in the gut and my brain rockets the word DRINK. It’s almost laughable, it is so demanding and stentorian.


When this happens, I usually scamper for cover like a terrified field mouse. This time I stopped and looked at my nemeses. What is it that moves me so? The labels – with the promised deliverance of runaway horses, new love and leaping kangaroos? The “fond” memories of driving drunk, wine shooters clinking companionably in the glove box?


The taste? The pleasurable nausea as the fifth glass hits my liver? The cheers to everyday value? I don’t get it. I don’t want to drink the bloody stuff! Do not intend to reach out like some somnolent, barefooted innocent.


But how does one tell one’s own brain to CUT IT OUT?



One of the red-jacketed Walgreens staff asks, “Can I help?” I must have been standing there for a while. I want to tell her I am a person in long term recovery. That I am just trying to figure out why the tiny wine bottles are calling to me as I pass. But, I just say, “No thanks.”


And weirdly, I think of Labyrinth – a movie I have seen with Lauren about 100 times. My favorite line in a movie rife with quotable lines has always been:


I ask for so little. Just let me rule you, and you can have everything that you want… The Goblin King Labyrinth


And then the perfect foil:


Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen, for my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom as great – you have no power over me. SarahLabyrinth 


I say it our loud as I look at the wall of wine. You have no power over me. 


You have no power over me…


And suddenly, it’s just another day at Walgreens. I walk past the Fabreeze, the cleaning supplies, the cold remedies. I get what I came for and head for checkout. When I am almost to the register, I double back, reach up and grab two bins of ICE CUBES gum. I don’t even try to stop myself. I’m sick after all. Maybe even feverish. And there’s no reason for me to deprive myself of a teeny, tiny transfer addiction…


They call it “harm reduction,” mate.



Today I’m not drinking, because alcohol has no power over me


How come you’re not drinking?

E2E – Kim and I say She has no REAL power over you… stay strong…we love you…

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Comments (4)

  1. Avatar
    Lauren Spiller-Your FAVORITE child
    Feb 4, 2018

    As they say in the labyrinth…. we’re always here, should you need us. Love you and, as always, proud of you!

  2. Avatar
    Annie Oper
    Feb 4, 2018

    I love it! I’ve never seen that movie, now I have to find it and watch it. 🙂

  3. Avatar
    Feb 4, 2018

    How come you're not drinking?
    it is not good for me. Drinking separates me from the life I want.
    Oh gawd, I know exactly what you mean. Exactly.
    I was at a party last night and told a friend I was not drinking.
    She said (innocently even though she has definitely seen me drunk) “Why?”
    She is not an alcoholic but likes to drink.
    I would like to explain that I can have ice cream in the freezer for months and cookies in the cabinet until they go stale.
    Wine calls to me like the Sirens.
    I don’t know if it will ever go away.
    When I quit, I don’t miss it. But when I start again (and I always do) the Sirens scream and the monkeys cackle.

  4. Avatar
    Feb 4, 2018

    How come you're not drinking?
    Because it’s my enemy
    I had the call on Friday. I didn’t answer, but it was strong. I don’t want to do this anymore; the constant revolving door, the new desire chip. I beat it this time, and I’ll do it again! Hang in their ladies!!!

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