I don’t know which it was; it was so long ago that he gave me a CD as a gift for the first time. It may have been Crowded House  – which had just hit our shores in a big way that year – but I rather think it was Rick Estrin and the Night Cats – which featured a humorous (at the time, and prescient now), lyric about ; ‘dealing with my next ex-wife’. We’d agreed there’d be no arguing when we split our music collection on Friday morning, so I took the Crowded House. Ditto the Leonard Cohen, which he’d never liked anyway. In the end I came away with many less CDs than I’d purchased over the years, but no matter really, in the grand scheme of what else I was losing.

Amongst all these CDs was the proof of early Saturday mornings, while we put on a movie for our child to watch so that we could spend some precious time making early-morning love. Into the charity box went the dreaded purple Barney, countless editions of those scary Teletubbies and all the adventures of animated cars, bears and resilient vacuum cleaners named Wall-E.

Then we tackled the photo albums. He only withdrew those I’d taken of the children. Not one of the two of us on a sandy beach, laughing around a barbeque, not even the one of us saying our wedding vows. I carried the albums over to my cottage in a carton and plonked it down next to a picture of him holding my pregnant tummy almost fourteen years ago.

He refused to move the chandelier I’d recently had made for my kitchen, saying it would leave an ugly hole in the ceiling and went off to the hardware store to buy the necessary equipment to change the locks so that I could ‘stay in my box’ and out of his space.

Nostril-hair-plucking was not proving enough to make me vent my grief, so I phoned my doctor. He’s really quite nice about early calls and never seems annoyed at being woken at 7.30am on Good Friday. He’d given me ‘special occasion’ tablets, which – he said – would prevent me from accidentally dying of sadness. These are called Stilnox and he told me to get into a velour tracksuit immediately, take two of these tablets and get into bed. I do not own a velour tracksuit, but it seems de rigueur attire for the depressed woman, so I think I shall have to invest in one soon, accidental death in unfashionable kit would truly be the final humiliation!

It so happened that I had been invited to a brunch which would lead to supper later that afternoon. Kind friends had agreed to fetch me as I am not a reliable night-driver. I confess that my abject self-pity didn’t spare a thought for them and I passed quickly into a comatose state, mercifully free of dreams.

Saturday morning brought a volley of concerned messages, mostly instigated by a friend who was quoted as writingS “I suspect she was drunk by lunch time and passed out. It is so sad,
but until she admits she has a problem with alcohol and needs help
 there is nothing any of us can do.”
Sunday and Monday brought more messages of concern and help and advice about reputable rehabilitation facilities. It is now Thursday and – in the past 10 days – I have had random urine and blood tests for alcohol, all proving that these body fluids may as well as have been taken from a Catholic priest. Let’s retract that, shall we, our Father Padraig’s results may have been less forgiving.

Allow me now to explain my relationship with wine, by reprinting a previously published poem:

Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.
Ernest Hemingway

My cherished ritual,
Happily shared:
Ceremonious selection of glass:
Ornate, baroque, clear crystal.
Careful extraction of cork.
Faithful as the clock;
For a moment
Forget the news.

This entry was posted on August 21, 2010, in poetry and tagged cindy taylor, cindy taylor blog, KLEINE ZALZE, lifestyle, original cin, poem, poetry, relationships, the only cin, wine, WINE AMBASSADOR.

Here, unless there is a riotous party, is my daily wine routine:

  • Pour a glass of wine that will accompany the meal I am making.
  • Sip it while I cook, normally 1 hour’s occupation.
  • Dish my food and pour another glass of wine to accompany my meal.
  • Take remains of glass to bathroom after dining, complete ablutions and return empty glass to kitchen sink.
  • Retire, after taking prescribed medication, to bed and read until slumber attacks.

I presume there are millions of us that follow this routine, bunch of horrible drunks that we are … except of course, those virtuous souls amongst us who have never had to dismantle what was once a happy home or redefine their place in the world by ending their marriage.

Call me what you will, I am going to continue my duo of daily grape nectar, and I will get my chandelier!

In other news: Fritzl The Dastardaly Dacshund ate my Lily bunny and I got retrenched at work. As both events happened during dayight hours, I did not turn to wine. I ate several bars of chocolate instead, wearing my new velour tracksuit.


46 Comments Add yours

  1. Saint says:

    interesting that they think you’re an alkie. I was one once. Not any more. All the best for your new place Cindy and if I may advise you, do not think of what is happening as ‘all you are loasing’ but rather and something you might gain. Stilnox is potent stuff I agree.

  2. Pussycat44 says:

    Keep strong, Cin. Good things will come your way one day.

  3. Mal says:

    Gimme chocolate any day…or time…YUM! Take care, Cindy.. xx

  4. slpmartin says:

    The end of a relationship quickly turns to a series of sheer business deals at some point…take good care my friend.

  5. Oh Cin, Take care of yourself. Deal with your situations as they arise and in a way that suits you. If I could I’d send you all the chocolate in the world to help you through and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a good vintage to help it down.
    Leave that chandelier right where it is, in time you’ll make a bigger and better one to commemorate the start of the best time of your life.

  6. I thought Fritzl is a big nasty dog!!! He still is nasty! It is YOUR chandelier, fight for it.

  7. Count Nicholas Czardas says:

    Sorry for the loss of you rabbit – when you mentioned in passing previously that Fritzl had killed and eaten it, I was very much afraid it was an Austrian second cousin of mine currently on the loose in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg who dunnit. I realise it does not make it more pleasant in any way for you or the rabbit that it was a dachshond and not a Hapsburg, but I did feelsome personal relief.
    I do not know what a “velour tracksuit” is but feel it will do less long term harm than Stilnox. In fact Merlot will also be better in treating one’s bruised spirits.
    All the best and le’ts have you up and about and wearing a pretty hat in no time.

  8. I would also leave the chandelier!! Have a new one made!! Not an easy time you are going through, but it does get better, I promise xxxx

  9. Hmmm, I’m thinking about that chandelier, (I like what explorer said) why not leave a bit of your excellent taste behind…
    You need a new chandelier for your new life, one that is only yours, not one that has seen sadness.
    I have one of those velour tracksuits too, wear it when I need to feel comforted, a glass of wine is the perfect accessory 🙂

  10. Christine says:

    A friend who sends messages like that to other friends – jirre Cindy – with friends like that who the hell needs enemies??
    As for your usual daily intake of the evil nectar of the grape – that friend best not visit my house for my evening ritual!! I can have up to three of those in an evening – one when I first arrive home and chill, one whilst I cook and one after cooking – oh damn I am clearly beyond help (yes, well – that too but who cares!)
    Stilnox are very good – I used to have those after Beloved’s ball bounced – nowadays, I just rely on my new pills to see me through.
    We are who we are and we do what we need to get through the horrors of life!
    Love you muchly

  11. Brenda says:

    Velour is so ‘Essex’ but, heck, so comforting. 🙂 Velour away, leave the chandelier as a reminder to him of what he has lost and get a new one to celebrate what you are going to gain – a brand new beginning with as much wine and choccies as you want. Beeeeeeeeeg hugs.

  12. Sparkle says:

    What a friend you have! what matters is your own truth to yourself. Can’t ex spouse put back what was there before the chandelier?
    Bad news that is of retrenchment and Lily bunny,but i guess you will get spouse maintanance. i just hate what is happening to you. are your meds okay to take with wine though?
    Enjoy your merlot, every woman deserves treats!

  13. I agree completely about the chandelier. Leave it as a reminder.
    But I do not agree with you staying so close. I know your reasons why, and I try to understand them but I am so afraid that it may be so much more difficult to find yourself again while still living in the places that will only keep you in the past. It is important for your daughter that you are as a whole as possible as soon as possible. I know you have worked hard to get your little box made into your new home but I think you should be looking at more distance. Just a thought.
    Know that I think about you often. Xxx

  14. hotlyspiced says:

    Just because you’re going through a hard time doesn’t mean your an alcoholic! I enjoy my wine too and always have a glass while I cook the dinner and another glass while I eat my dinner and perhaps another glass if I don’t have a blood test the next morning. And I also have a velour tracksuit! I bought it because I had to have surgery of the gynae kine and I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear tight jeans for a while. I thought a velour tracksuit would make me look quite smart but I might have been delusional. I’m so sorry to hear you have been retrenched! Such bad luck. I have two dachshunds and they are both very greedy! xx

  15. suzicate says:

    I enjoy my wine and chocolate, too. Don’t let anyone take away your innocent pleasures; you deserve them more than anything right now!
    I can’t believe your friend said that, and glad you were able to prove them wrong though you didn’t owe them proof.
    I remember the post about your chandelier…fight for it! He can fill that hole with something else…
    Big hugs, Cindy. I can only imagine how hard things are for you right now. Your track suit sounds warm and snugly. I’ve never had a velour one either.

  16. Why are people always so quick to judge! How rude.
    I will enjoy an extra glass of wine for you this evening Cindy and we will do “clinkers” to you!
    Sending you much love, light and a BIG hug!
    🙂 Mandy

  17. Leeswammes says:

    I bet that velour tracksuit is very comforting, especially when you eat a bar of chocolate while wearing it. Hope your life improves from here on, Cindy!

  18. terry1954 says:

    very good writing. have you been writing very long?

  19. nursemyra says:

    So sorry you’re going through this difficult time

  20. bluebee says:

    So much at once, Cin – I hope you are getting support from friends and family, and that someone is close at hand to watch over you at such a distressing time

  21. bandsmoke says:

    Bloody hell Cin – the ugliness astounds me 😦 so sorry about lily and your job! Leave the chandelier, let it be a visual reminder of how wonderful you are xx

  22. Naomi says:

    So sad to hear how hard things are for you at the moment, Cindy. Maybe there is a glimmer of light in the thought that the hardest times can make for the greatest writing, somewhere along the way… Special thoughts and strength to you, along with a big hug, XO

  23. nrhatch says:

    Holy crap! What a shitty (and shifty) round of gossip your “friend” started ~ a pretense of concern served with a solid helping of conjecture and condemnation.

    The bitterness we harbor towards others astounds and astonishes me at times.

    Hope OB is doing OK in the midst of all this mayhem. Be well. {{clink}}

  24. Tilly Bud says:

    Screw ’em. Think only of yourself and your daughter at this point. You’ll find out who your real friends are, and they’ll be the ones you want to keep.

    Sorry your life sucks at the moment. It will pass. You know that. Doesn’t make it any easier for you; I know that.

    Thinking of you. xx

  25. souldipper says:

    When I have ended relationships, I had to prevent triggers from bombarding me. I hope you can give yourself time and space to start licking wounds and begin healing without those triggers.

    Warning: This is about me loving you, Cin. This is IN CASE wine is feeding denial:

    Please put judgement aside for a moment.

    I respect that your friend was willing to express her concern. I’ve found the people who truly love me are the ones who will risk speaking the truth. It stings like hell, but it wouldn’t sting if there wasn’t some particle of truth to it.

    I have several women friends in my life who, as their lives were crashing down around them, decided to get people off their backs by quitting drinking. But, to their horror, they found they couldn’t stop. They lied about it, schemed and convinced themselves of their lies.

    They learned that social drinkers don’t have to think about quitting. Social drinkers just stop – no big deal. But to their amazement, these women couldn’t stop. They always found one helluva good reason to drink. The most common one: “If you had my life, you’d drink, too.”

    The biggest insight they gained: alcoholism is the one disease that whispers, “You don’t have this disease.” It feeds defense mechanisms, denial and rationalizations. These women found that doctors don’t realize it’s a “feeling” disease that can be managed by not drinking alcohol, but were prescribed meds to calm or relax or soothe. That’s a band-aid on the symptom.

    The disease doesn’t care a smidgeon about how much is consumed. It’s what it does to the self-esteem. It’s what it does to relationships – on all levels – because it sours attitudes (the drinkers and their loved ones’).

    All of us just want to love and be loved. It’s that simple and alcohol turns that basic fact into a complex mountain that seems insurmountable.

    It’s that fricking simple, yet it takes recovery to see it.

    I’ll confess my bias…I hate the ravages of alcoholism. I hated seeing my gorgeous oldest sister – who was often told she looked like Elizabeth Taylor – diminish before my eyes. I hated seeing her transform from a gorgeous, strong, competent woman into a frightened, paralyzed, low-esteemed stranger. Her self-loathing still breaks my heart as I watch her fight everything and everyone.

    I declared “judgement aside”. If you really can quit, quit. Prove it to yourself. You are one of my blogging heroes and I don’t want to lose you. If you are in denial about your drinking, please talk to your friend who loves you. She is obviously not an enabler. Enablers lovingly help alcoholics die.

    I love people who are in recovery. Know why? Because they don’t go around fearing hell. They know what hell is and know how to face it head on with dignity and heart.

    If a good friend has had the love and the courage to express her concern, it’s worth a swallow of pride long enough to at least talk to her about it.

    If alcohol is not a problem, what’s the big deal about doing that?

  26. Dear Cindy I have been where you are twice and almost thrice. It is so not nice. If wine and chocolate help then load up, just don’t drive! I can eat chocolate all day long but honestly I cannot figure out the fascination with wine. I have quite a few bottles in the fridge now. I say yuck to them all. They all taste like vinegar. The white one gives me chest pains! What am I missing? But then again I struggle to stay awake so drinking is probably not the best thing in the world for me. Hold your head high and move forward in life. Don’t look back. Go out and have fun. Embrace your friends and daughter. Who needs men anyway?!

  27. Oh and I only meant if wine is not a real problem which it doesn’t sound like it is. Souldippers advice is good.

  28. Hi Cindy….I’ve been following you what? Two years? In light and in darkness. And this seems a long dark night. A stomach-knotted kind of time. And all I can do, miles across the world in another country, is to chuck the platitudes down the toilet and tell you how warm and welcoming and vibrant you have always been, and remain. Even when those around you refuse to allow it.

  29. yadayadafishpaste says:

    I do hope you get that chandelier; it is rather personal for you – no one else really. He can always put something else there – as was there before – something that no one bothered to glance up at. This is your journey – no one else’s – travel it with your head held high, and sipping some wine along the way if you must; heaven knows, we all have our moments. Sometimes people need to know to mind their own business, especially when they haven’t walked an inch in your shoes, and sometimes they won’t do it, so you either let go of those “friendships” or you grow a thicker skin. Then again, sometimes the latter takes care of the “friendships” all by itself. Hope you enjoy your weekend.

  30. Cindy, I am so sorry to hear that you are going through all of this! Hugs to you!

  31. adeeyoyo says:

    What an awful lot of other stuff, Cin. I hope that’s the end of it now. Leave the chandelier – the others are right! You need a total change for a while and I’m not sure you should be staying there after all, especially when you’re so raw. I wish you could get away for at least 6 months or longer! But still maybe this is the way to get over everything faster – I don’t know… Anyway, get out and about with your camera and start a new hobby, meet new friends!

  32. Sending you wishes for a chandelier (hire an electrician and do it yourself) and wonderful new beginnings! Wine and sleeping pills don’t mix..though?? Maybe try one or the other. I found sleeping pills helped me through a rough patch and I avoided wine because I wanted to be “sharp” when negotiating…

  33. granny1947 says:

    Hi Cindy.
    I don’t know who wrote to you but hell…that took guts.
    She obviously cares a great deal about you.
    She also,obviously, knows you in the flesh.
    As Souldipper says above…a true friend will not enable you.

    Maybe you do not have a problem.
    I hope not.
    But I don’t know of a “happy” pill that will knock you out to the extent that you cannot be wakened.

    You have turned your back on your real life friends.
    I have left messages on your phone and on FB.
    I am guessing you have done the same with others.
    Cyber friends are great.
    I have formed some really tremendous bonds with some of them.
    However, they don’t KNOW me.
    They only know what I choose to put out there.

    Something else is puzzling me.
    If there is no problem why are you having urine tests?

    Cindy,my love, I know you are going to be angry with.
    I expect it.
    But I do hope you will wake up and realise that you have a wonderful group of real life friends just waiting and wanting to help you.
    Let them.
    I love you girl.

  34. klrs09 says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your bunny!
    Now, about that velour jumpsuit. . .
    . . .don’t, just don’t.
    Keep on enjoying that couple of glasses of wine, Cindy, it’s good for the heart.
    Take care and I hope you get your chandelier.

  35. Tammy says:

    I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. Do enjoy your chocolate and a glass of wine and velour but I agree with the others about the chandelier. Your next one will be fabulous.

  36. Dee says:

    Cindy, Souldipper has given you some good advice. When we are in crisis, we do NOT need a crutch. The thing that is the crutch is not helping. I am so sorry that your life is difficult right now, but I agree with those who believe your life is for you and your daughter right now. You appear to have many good friends, let them be your support team! You are stronger than you think! To me your daughter will still have two parents, hopefully strong, happy ones that will guide her future. My husband died 5 years ago after 42 years of a wonderful marriage, I cannot tell you how many times I have wished he had found another woman, because at least he would still be amoung the living, I would be hurt, but I loved him so much that I would want him to be happy. The two of you have a beautiful child to mold into a strong and caring young woman. You will always be connected, it is your special bond. Please do not fall into the self pity trap, it is destructive. Be strong for you and your daughter, the hurt will lessen with time, I know that for a fact. I have you in my prayers, you can do this! I agree with whoever said Get a NEW chandolier!!!!!

  37. Tokeloshe says:

    Excellently written as always!
    I am so glad you have so many supporting friends, especially at this time, because you are an amazing talented person.
    Ek hou ook van die voggies, so what?
    Skattie, ek voel so vir jou en hoop jy kom sterker daardeur ;-(
    Miss you sweetie ♥

  38. Raven says:

    I do not know you. As a result I do not know precisely what you have say here … although you have said it most articulately. The end of a relationship, a divorce is a truly painful thing to endure and it lasts (the pain) even when the marriage was hell. Sometimes you just have to unfold at your person’s own pace. I do empathize having once been there. Early on I took from it (I was incredibly emotionally immature) that it was an opportunity to make personal changes. Well, once the pain had become “less so.” And I drank like a fish. At times I worried through out my life if perhaps I wasn’t an alcoholic and each time I would apply AA’s (I can no longer remember) list of determining features, but I never fit one so I concluded that I simply abused alcohol. Well, crap … after a divorce why not? Today I can really NOT drink much I am to damned old.

    Someone up there above me was right leave the chandelier. And by the way, I was the first of six wives … and he died a terrible death (AIDS) at 46 … long ago. I wish you you well and a future of your own design.

  39. Dee says:

    Good Morning!!! This is a new day, I hope you are working towards getting that new chandolier. I am sending mega prayers your way for guidance and strength, and moving forward. I want only the best for you, many blessings to come your way.

  40. Markella says:

    Thinking of you. Not going to add to the debate about “to wine – or not to Wine!” You are a mature level headed person with a precious daughter to protect. I’m damn sure you know what you’re doing.

    So sorry you’re going through all of this though – it is soul destroying. But – beleive it or not – you will come out the other end with that huge big grin planted right back in place.

  41. I have the perfect song for you right now. I’ll try and embed it here, but if it doesn’t show up, I’ll send it to you via e-mail!


    I agree with Soul Dipper to a point. I believe that at least some of the friends might really love and care for you, but their mistake was in making their discussion a public affair instead of discussing it with you personally. These sorts of “public forum” discussions can easily get out of hand when in the mouths of people whose only interest is gossip, and info quickly gets distorted. It seems your caring friend would have been much more caring had she taken the opportunity to share her concerns with you privately and then you could have allayed her fears. However, whenever we hear things like that it’s a good idea to give yourself a quick balance check-up. If it doesn’t fit you, then let it go.

    Now – as to the chandelier: your ex’s excuse for not letting you take it is a piss-poor one! Good grief! hasn’t he ever heard of getting things repaired? At this point I think I would tell him that he has a choice. Either give the chandelier to you and get his ceiling repaired (an easy and inexpensive job, BTW), or pay to have another one made to your specifications. He’ll get off easier by giving you the chandelier, but it would be his choice! 😆

    My prayers shall continue ad infinitum. My love to you and Bun. It breaks my hear to hear about Lily! How did that happen? I know it was even more heartbreaking for you! I remain quite convinced, i spite of all your hardships, that indeed, “All shall be well again!”

    XO Paula

  42. It didn’t show up, so I’m sending it via e-mail, along with something else. . . 😆

  43. Markella says:

    Yesterday evening I was enjoying a lovely glass of Porcupine Ridge Merlot, accompanied by a few blocks of Lindt Chilli chocolate (perfect combination). I raised my glass to you.

  44. footsy2 says:

    I glanced into my crystal ball and saw the most delicious toyboy coming your way.
    He will make you laugh.
    As to the other, I owe my salvation to brandy and Gibran and don’t care who knows it. Embrace your single girlfriends and be brave. Change and growth are agony.

  45. grandawn says:

    Thinking of you, Cin.

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