The past few months I have been slightly more disorganized than usual, i.e. what other people call “normal.” Instead of filing my credit card receipts by month in a mini accordion-style file folder, I’ve been letting them accumulate in messy piles on my desk and allowing them to slowly take over most of the space in my purse. My wallet had grown obese (not with cash, sadly), and I had crammed so many receipts into it that I had to wrestle them back out.
But eventually, my mild OCD wins out and I have to straighten it all out. This weekend I sat down and sorted out about 8 months worth of receipts — a mind-numbing if deeply satisfying task.
It turned into a kind of trip down memory lane, as most of the past year of my life flashed before my eyes. I could practically reconstruct my days with this paper trail; where I had gone for happy hours and what I’d had to drink, when I had splurged on clothes or makeup and what silly over-priced stuff I had bought. Receipts from a vacation, a dental emergency, a big hair makeover. Dinners eaten out and taken out, quick trips to the grocery store for a last-minute ingredient, and endless receipts for wine.
I am the designated wine-buyer in our relationship, as I pass the wine store on my walk home from work. We would buy wine in bulk if we had the space or inclination, but until we do I pick up a bottle or two almost every day.
In Europe, people who drink wine with dinner every evening are considered “normal human beings.” In America, people who drink wine with dinner every evening are considered either “Europeans” or “alcoholics,” depending on the drinker’s country of origin. This means that my boyfriend is a European and I am an alcoholic.
The American way is to drink water or milk or soda with your dinner every evening. Then, on Friday and/or Saturday night, go to a party or a bar and consume an entire week’s worth of alcohol. This is not unlike the American tendency to not have sex all week, and then sleep with either a random stranger or the S/O on a weekend evening after consuming an entire week’s worth of alcohol. I can only conclude that Americans do not actually enjoy either sex or alcohol, since they seem to be trying to get them both out of the way with one swift weekly binge.
If Americans truly enjoyed both alcohol and sex, they would spend most of their time drinking and fucking. And then they’d just be Europeans.