I like to drink. I’m not shy about admitting it. I’m an equal opportunity drinker. I’ll pretty much drink anything alcoholic, my favorite things being.
- Ketel One vodka
- Cocktails such as martinis, mojitos and other interesting mixed drinks including basil margaritas served at Las Palmas.
- Craft brews especially Indian Pale Ales (IPA’s and Double IPA’s)
In my old life in Oakland, CA one of my favorite thing to do was go out with a group of women to a nice bar and enjoy a few cocktails. I particularly loved ultra lounges (photo below) that played down-tempo chill music, but sadly there are no ultra lounges in Zihuatanejo.
Thankfully, even with my love of drinking, I have always had a relatively healthy relationship with alcohol. That being said, I went to great lengths to keep it healthy. I had a few informal rules I tried to live by. I wasn’t always perfect, but these are the general rules that guided my relationship with alcohol.
- Not drinking at home alone (with rare exceptions)
- Not drinking after having a bad day. (broken a few times)
- Not drinking Monday-Friday
- Not having more than 2-3 drinks in one sitting
- Not pre-drinking at home before I went out for the evening
Then I moved to Mexico…Hello lushdomness (a great made-up word, right).
There are just too many opportunities to enjoy catching a buzz here. Why not have a margarita or a rum punch while sitting on the beach enjoying a book? What’s a second pina colada going to matter when there are no obligations in front of me? 6:00 PM already? Why I’d love to participate in 2 X 1 happy hour!
A beer overlooking the serene and exceedingly beautiful Bay of Zihuatenejo before we mosey to dinner? What a lovely idea! That sounds delightful!
See what I mean?
The opportunity to indulge in an orgy of small umbrellas is everywhere and the longer we live in Mexico, the more ex-pats I meet who share their stories of knowing other ex-pats who drink more than they probably should. While researching this blog, I read several internet stories on ex-pat websites about alcohol and drug addiction facing ex-pats and after living here, I’m not surprised. Every day can be a party if you want it to be.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to a “ladies luncheon.” Every participant was asked to bring a bottle of wine or champagne. I think there were 15 of us. By the end of a wonderful and festive lunch, there were not ANY bottles of wine or champagne remaining. Now I hope the ladies invite me again because I had SO much fun and I don’t want anyone to think I’m judging them. To each his own, yes? I’m simply describing my experience. After my 3 glasses of white wine and 1 (or was it 2) glasses of champagne, I walked home, laid down, passed out, and woke up an hour later thinking it was the next morning. It wasn’t. It was only 4:30 PM in the afternoon. Oops! Mr. Andy had to set me straight.
After that party, I went on the wagon for six days.
I’m not thinking that I have a problem with drinking, but I would like to drink less for a wide variety of reasons including to reduce my caloric intake and to improve my overall health, but it’s hard because I really enjoy being a social drinker and there are all sorts of occasions to be social here. But I’m better off monitoring my drinking because middle aged, highly educated women (me in a nutshell) are more prone to have problems with alcohol.
The citation below comes from the Institute of Alcohol Studies based in England, so the citation below focuses on UK women, but it’s interesting anyway. You can see more about their report, here.
Women and education
“There is evidence to suggest an association between education and consumption levels. A 2010 study based on the drinking habits of individuals born in 1970 found that the more educated women are, the more likely they are to drink alcohol on most days and to report having problems due to their drinking patterns. The relationship is stronger for females than males”
and The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has this to say.
Risky drinking for women is defined by more than three drinks on any single day (a standard drink is a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer, or a 1.5-oz shot of distilled liquor like vodka or whiskey) or more than seven drinks per week.
I’m not even close to the seven drinks per week. I’m probably closer to 3-5, but even so, I’ve decided to implement the same rules I had at home here. I’ll allow for some exceptions, like when we go away to celebrate our 20 year anniversary in December and stay at an all-inclusive resort, but for the most part, I’m going to be slinging back more mineral waters and coconut waters and less tequilas and Modelos. A cold coconut always tastes good. Not quite as good as some other things, but…
How do you keep your relationship with alcohol healthy? I’d love to hear from you especially if you are an ex-pat. Do you worry about how much you drink in paradise? Feel free to share your stories.