Are all moms secret alcoholics?
Do we joke about drinking because our children make us miserable?
Is “Mommy Drinking Culture” normalizing alcoholism?
If you were to read the slew of (extremely well thought-out) articles out about this (here, here, here, here, etc.), I would say “yes” to all of these questions. And I think every single author in these essays / articles makes extremely valid points.
But as someone who is currently awash in ‘It’s Wine-Thirty’ posts from my FB friends, I think we’re missing something in these arguments, which is:
What if we post wine memes, not because we’re secret alcoholics trying to normalize drinking, but because we just aren’t sure of how to communicate in a funny manner?
As someone who used to write comedy, I can say that Wine Jokes are excellent, relatable content. I get what a mom is trying to say when she posts a photo of her filling a glass of wine at the end of the day with the caption “AHHHHH.” I am pretty sure she is just excited to have 30 minutes to herself to have a glass of wine. That her post is not a precursor to her secretly polishing off a bottle of wine and then buckling her kids into her mini-van and driving drunk to the 7-11 for a pack of Marlboros.
She’s just posting a photo of herself drinking a glass of wine.
Wine jokes are basic parenting short hand. You post wine memes because you’ve had a hard day and don’t have the brain-space to post a 600-word opus about all the things you’ve juggled. Wine posts are a unifier, it’s easy, it’s something everyone understands…even to those people who no longer drink.
And I swear, on a stack of Bibles, I don’t think saying you are drinking a glass of wine at the end of the day is normalizing alcoholism. I swear that other women don’t see your post and think, “Stephanie drinks so now I MUST DRINK ALL THE WINE UNTIL I BECOME BETTY FORD! GRAWWWWWAAAHHHHHH!!!”
Come on. Women are smarter than that.
Additionally, if someone gives you a gift of a wine glass that says “mommy juice” on it in puffy paint with a pink glitter bottom, they aren’t doing it because they secretly want you to hit rock bottom but because most people don’t have great senses of humor. And maybeeee they also have bad taste. But mainly: They are simply trying to be funny.
Most of the time a joke is just that: A joke.