1. This actually could have been Mrs. Shrug and self a couple of days ago — she had never before gone with me to my new favorite wine store, but when she did she pointed out a “free” cashier who was at the far end of the room (O.K., “wine super-store.”) My plan has always been to go to the one closest to the “headquarters” area, since I write checks and the clerk always has to go there to verify that I’m O.K. with that, but I couldn’t think of a polite way to explain all that on the fly in front of everybody else. So, that’s where we went.

    (You may all now mutter how I’m a terrible person for writing checks instead of using a credit card, like the “new normal” people, but I can at least plea that I fill stuff out my checks (minus amount, of course) in advance so, under normal circumstances, there’s no delay.)

  2. Most definitely. There’s a woman in our neighborhood who won’t put her husband’s empty beer cans out with the recycling because she doesn’t want everybody to see how many there are.

    Regarding A&J, though, I just have a sense that there’s been a bit of foreshadowing over the past few months.

  3. Isn’t it more fun to save up your wine bottles and beer cans for a year and then leave them all out at once?

  4. I don’t know about several, but there was definitely one about there being a lot of bottles in the recycling not too long ago. I occasionally notice when one of the neighbors seems to have a lot of wine or booze bottles out for pickup, but I usually just assume they had a party or something.

  5. I agree that hiding her booze consumption is a problem, but the problem isn’t necessarily alcoholism. Although I do think the “you should be hiding the fact that you drink!” culture is a bit of a red flag for alcohol abuse, so maybe the two problems aren’t that separated.

  6. If Janis is really serious about hiding her (their?) wine consumption from the garbage haulers, she could switch to boxed wines. Then when she empties the boxes, they could go in the recyling bin instead of the garbage bin, and she could have the problem of hiding consumption from the recycling haulers instead. Hmm. Perhaps that isn’t much of a solution.

    O.K., break down the boxes and wrap non-winebox cardboard around both sides. Or just sneak the boxes into the cardboard recycling pins at her local food co-op or such.

    Maybe she could hint to everyone that their cat Ludwig has the drinking problem? (We used to have a cat who liked cheap red wine, but only in the sense of a drop or two off my fingertip. It would have taken her a loooong while to get through a box or a bottle, but maybe Ludwig is more advanced.)

  7. @ Christine – My grandmother used to enjoy a little beer, but she avoided being seen (or worse – photographed) holding a glass or can, even at home among family.

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