Markets and Mayhem

It’s been a bit since my last post and I feel that I owe you a check-in.

I’m still here, and still very much sober. I’m at a point where I don’t need to fixate on abstaining from alcohol. I just…am. Which is a great feeling. Not to say that this approach and mindset won’t change once the world opens up and we are back to “life” P.C. (Pre-COVID).

The past couple of weeks have been trying. I have a lot on my plate right now and my husband and I decided that I needed a break to decompress. Last weekend we set off for the HUGE Farmer’s Market downtown, something that I love to explore on a Saturday morning.

Let me tell you something about the Farmer’s Market… alcohol is a-flowing throughout. 7 out of 10 people walking by have an alcoholic beverage in their hand. It’s not your average market, selling only fruits and veggies, but an eclectic collection of candles and crystals and pastries and pasta and spices and seafood and hats and hummus. Bloody Marys, beer, Irish Coffees, Margaritas… Anything you can think of, there’s a good chance you can find it at the market.

Not to mention, it’s a terrific scene for some damn good “people watching”. Seriously. :-0

Normally, our plan included picking up a Bloody from Julia’s (’cause they are the best and serve with pickled asparagus and green bean) and perusing the booths for products. Once the first Bloody was finished, maybe we would get another. Or go with an Irish Coffee if it was cold. And another.

I thought I was going struggle, but it wasn’t that bad. For a split second I thought about getting a virgin Bloody, but who in the hell wants all that salt if there is no buzz to accompany it? Hard pass.

Really, I enjoyed the Market much more while sober. My daughter and I spent a long time picking through gems and crystals to find the “perfect” stone (something that would have annoyed the hell out of me previously). I had a long conversation with the Mushroom Man, learning that his home base was a few miles from my house, how he started his business in his basement, and more mushroom facts that I would ever need in a lifetime. The Fish Guy still gave me a deal (five big portobello mushrooms for freeeeeee), even without the drunken banter.

It was a lovely time. Lunch, on the other hand, was not so lovely.

We went to a restaurant that we’ve dined at numerous times before, and normally love. Tables spaced far apart on big open patios covered with shade trees, music at a reasonable volume, and delicious food. COVID must have hit them hard, because they traded their relaxing atmosphere for one of chaos.

The menu was replaced with one that spotlighted “Bottomless Mimosas” and beer buckets. The food choices were sparse. My daughter, who normally had no problems ordering off their menu, had to special order from the kitchen. My burger was gross. My son’s lunch looked liked it had been thrown on the plate. The waitstaff was still accommodating, but it was obvious we weren’t a priority with our soda water and lime.

And the noise…. Argh! I have too many years around running aircraft under my belt. I have a hard time hearing conversations when there is a high level of background noise. This afternoon? I felt like my ears were going to bleed. The music was up too high to accommodate, my thought, being able to hear the lyrics over the masses of shrieking, drunk women that were packed in ass to elbow.

I was super annoyed. My empathetic daughter must have picked up on my energy because she too became moody and weepy in the short time we were there. We ate as quickly as we could and high-tailed it out of there.

Looking back, maybe the environment changed, but…. maybe not? Maybe it’s always been like that and I just failed to recognize the frenzy due to my three Bloody Mary-deep perspective. It was eye-opening and made me a bit sad. What have I subjected my kids to, all in the name of alcohol and a good/relaxing/fun time?

It is something that I have taken notice of and have delicately placed in my “Sobriety Toolbox” as a reminder WHY I am doing what I am doing.

Happy Saturday, my dear readers!

~Cari~

(112 days sober)

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