I read an article in the newspaper, before I drank my coffee this morning. It sure put a damper on my evening plans of eating a good, hearty crock-pot meal and drinking a tangy Shiraz on this crisp autumn day.
"While your attention has been elsewhere, scientists have amassed persuasive evidence that drinking alcohol -- any form of alcohol, even in moderate amounts -- can pose a serious threat to your health."
Last I heard, these alleged "smarty pants" scientists told me it was good to drink one or two glasses of red wine a day. Something about good cholesterol and healthy tannins.
They said I might get the same effects by eating lots of red grapes too. But for heaven's sake, what's so fun about that? Grapes aren't very relaxing. Unless you're a King in a Rubens painting, maybe.
Today's article goes on to say "Women who have one to two drinks a day increase their breast cancer risk by 13 percent. With four drinks, the risk is 50 percent higher."
I have no interest in getting breast cancer, believe me, I have too many friends who've died or are currently dealing with that dreaded beast as it is. I'm rooting for these scientists to find the cure.
But I often have one or two glasses of red wine, if I'm not dieting and if I'm feeling financially settled. Let me explain:
I'm too much of a snob to drink cheap wine, although my husband doesn't seem to mind. But this is a guy who drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon, because David Lynch yelled about it in a movie once, and he gets such a kick out of David Lynch. I can't even drink a Bud, let alone a Pabst.
I prefer a good Coppola Merlot, or an Argyle Pinot, personally. Which is why I should budget my wine consumption for both monetary and caloric reasons. I'm not saying I do, (Costco is my secret Coppola source, but during a tight month I've been known to go for any decent Old Vine Zin I can find) I'm just saying I should.
But wait, here's the very next sentence in this same article:
"Drinking small amounts of alcohol -- a shot of hard liquor or a glass of beer or wine -- on a consistent daily basis does have a few proven health benefits. Specifically, it reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes caused by blocked arteries by 10 to 15 percent. That's probably because alcohol increases good cholesterol and prevents blood platelets from clumping together."
So, tell me, please, what scientists do all day. I mean, I assume they do experiments, and I'm all for that. In fact, I do know many scientists, and I have to say honestly that I'm thrilled they are improving health through chemistry and biology and all those other scientific things. But could they get their story straight? Is it a communication error? Do they need a better system?
Can you imagine what would happen to our world if everyone went around saying they knew the truth and what was best for the human race, and then the next day they changed their story?
Oh, wait, I guess we don't have to imagine that. We are America, after all.
Just for the record, I'm proud to be an American, so don't get me started on politics, or I might cry.
It must be all that Springsteen I've been listening to on my runs lately. "Born in the USA" and all the other great tunes from the 1980s. Just thinking of his lyrics gets me a little misty. I mean, that poor Jack and Diane. Where are they now, anyway?
Same with David Bowie's "Suffragette City," all about women's rights, etc. Now that song can help me sprint a good half a block or so.
Wait, what was I talking about? Wine, women, and song? Or was I talking about myself again?