My Facebook feed has been full of wine over the past couple days.
Wine glasses set before roaring fires. Wine glasses being clinked in celebration. Wine glasses standing beside the spines of books and sleeping dogs and flickering candles.
It’s a funny thing. I spent last night drinking cold water from a steel water bottle. It was refreshing. Delightful, really. But I’d never think to post a photograph of it on social media.
Yet alcohol, and especially wine, seems to be the drink de jour. The universal symbol of relaxation. Celebration. There are moments when it seems as if half of the status updates in my Facebook feed include alcohol of some kind. Photos from bars and restaurants. References to wine and beer and spirits. Lamentations about the need for more alcohol. Boasts about the amount of alcohol already consumed.
I don’t drink. I belong to the tiny fraction of the population that doesn’t have a drinking problem but simply opts to not drink. I’ll have a glass of champagne when celebrating with friends or rare glass of wine at dinner, but otherwise, a soda or a water does me just fine. Makes me quite happy, in fact.
But water and soda don’t possess the inexplicable prestige that alcohol does. Water and soda – in some high school kind of way – aren’t cool. Posting a photograph of my bottle of water on Facebook would be ridiculous.
Settling in for a night of reading, writing, and maybe a little TV with my beautiful wife and some cold water. #perfection
But of all the things we could photograph to symbolize our relaxation, so many of us choose alcohol. I think it’s just as strange as my water bottle.
I sometimes wonder if all of this attention that alcohol receives isn’t the residue of a time when we couldn’t drink alcohol legally. When you’re 16 years-old and you start drinking, you feel mature. Sophisticated. Cool. Ahead of the game. Maybe those positive associations permanently attach themselves to alcohol in a way that causes people to view a glass of wine or bourbon as a powerful symbol of their adulthood. Their own prestige.
I didn’t start drinking until after graduating high school. Maybe I lack that residue.
I’m spit balling here, I’ll admit. I guess what I really want to say is this:
What the hell is with all the photos of wine and references to spirits on Facebook, people? How about a photograph of our couch instead? Or the book that you’re reading? Or your slippers? Or the quilt that you have wrapped around your body? Aren’t all of these things just as relaxing as that glass of wine, strategically framed by the light of your fireplace?
How about an occasional sofa? Or a pillow? Or a thermostat set to a toasty 72 degrees?
If nothing else, for the sake of a little diversity.