Yeah, so, I’m not going to lie: One of the things I have been missing the most since I got knocked up — besides being able to wear all my fabulous regular-size clothes — is booze.
To be more specific, red wine and dark beer.
When I found out I was impregnated with the spawn, David and I had just returned from our honeymoon in Paris and Belgium, where I had the most delicious wine and beer. We bought several bottles of everything and brought it home. But then the rabbit done died, so I have been unable to drink any of it. Then, a few weeks later, San Francisco celebrated Strong Beer Month. Way to rub it in, San Francisco.
Honestly, at first giving up booze wasn’t a huge sacrifice. I had baby poisoning and pretty much everything except graham crackers, burritos and ginger ale sounded gross to me.
Eventually the baby poisoning went away, and I started experimenting with nonalcoholic versions of my favorites.
Ariel and Fre alcoholic-free wine: I’m sorry to report that both of these wines tasted like ass.
O’Doul’s Amber: Good buddy Corso bought these for me while we were in Palm Springs. They were perfectly acceptable it’s-115-degrees-so-I’m-drinking-while-floating-in-the-pool beer.
Navarro Grape Juice: This was the best substitute I found for wine. It doesn’t really taste like wine, but it tasted really good. The Gewürztraminer, in particular, was my favorite.
Kaliber: Out of all the nonalcoholic drinks I had this beer, made by the fine folks who make Guinness, was my favorite. I mean, none of these nonalcoholic versions are going to be as good as the real thing, but this one actually tastes like beer with a light spiciness. It scratched the beer itch … a little.
Of course, the worst part about giving up booze had to be the social aspect. When we would go to bars or restaurants with friends, and everyone has a tasty drink except me.
Allow me to perform a little play for you called, “Here’s What Happened Almost Every Time I Went Into a Bar.”
I walk into a bar and get the bartender’s attention. I feel like Luke Skywalker walking into the Cantina in Mos Eisley.
Bartender: “What can I get you?”
Me: “What kind of nonalcoholic drinks to you have? I’m knocked up, and I can’t have the good stuff.”
Bartender: [gives me the stink eye] “I don’t know. [sighs] Soda, juice, water.”
Me: “That’s it? Really? You don’t know how to make any nonalcoholic drinks?”
Bartender: [no response]
Me: [sighs] “What kind of juice?”
Bartender: [looking around for less annoying customers to help] “Orange juice, cranberry juice …”
Me: “Cranberry juice, I guess.”
Bartender hands me a sippy cup of cranberry juice with a straw.
Me: “Why is my drink in a sippy cup? I’m not a baby. I’m having a baby. There’s a difference.”
Me: “At least put it in a wine glass so I can pretend I’m drinking. Come on!”
Of course, that didn’t happen every time I went out, but almost every time. Some bartenders took pity on me and were super awesome. They made me virgin Mojitos or recommended a nonalcoholic beer that I might like. Sometimes they would offer me juice, but they would put it in a grownup glass without me having to ask. I went to the Kona Club in Oakland last night, and the bartender made me a huge, delicious virgin pina colada. I went to the Tonga Room for a birthday party, and the waitress made sure all my virgin drinks were in a coconut so I didn’t feel left out.
But, sadly, more often than not, the bartenders and waitstaff in San Francisco’s restaurants and bars were not helpful. I only have to put up with it for a total nine months or so (just a few more weeks to go!), but how terrible for the nondrinker who has to put up with the choices of “soda, juice or water” every time they go out.
So, bartenders and waitstaff of San Francisco, I just want to let you know that every time a bartender or waitperson was super nice to me and tried to help a pregnant lady out, they got a huge tip from me. I am supremely grateful that you didn’t treat me like an inconvenience.