Yes the title is absolutely correct. I popped my cherry. I am no longer a virgin. Over twenty-five years ago I drew a line in the sand that I promised myself I would never cross. A commitment I have worked hard to keep . . . until now. The sun was shining. A cool breeze was blowing and I was with my BFF enjoying the afternoon. If I was going to pop my cherry, I had to have her along to guide me through. Among my friends, her knowledge in this area is unmatched.
Let’s first go back a few decades and review the circumstances that lead up to why today was so monumental (and probably would shock a few people).
The year was 1987. I was a junior in high school and it was then I made a choice to never consume alcohol. None. Zero. Zip. Not . . . one . . . drop.
I grew up in a conservative Baptist household where alcohol was not allowed. On more than one occasion, I saw kids coming to school hung over. I even lived in a dry town. For a long time, formed by those early circumstances, my view of alcohol and the consumption there of was something that a good Christian didn’t partake in. I never saw the need to consume something that would alter my mental status among other things. I had seen the affects on several of the kids I grew up with as well as, when I was a paramedic, the many of the patients I saw that died from alcohol related issues.
As I grew older though and started hanging with people that did drink, including ‘good Christians’, my views and opinions started to change. I started to be less of a teetotaler. No longer did I see alcohol as an evil, but something that, when used in moderation, was something to be enjoyed. But, even with my change in attitude, I still choose to continue my abstention.
I made a choice in my life that I wanted to show my kids that you can make a decision and live your life free from alcohol, drugs and any other vise you can name and be proud of your commitment. Peer pressure sucks, but when you can stand your ground and follow through with your decisions that often goes against that peer pressure, you can hold your head high and be proud that you made one more step to being an adult.
Now, zooming back to the present, the situation I find myself in these days has forced me to re-evaluate that line in the sand. In the search to find relief from Fibromyalgia, I came across several reports that show a connection between light and moderate alcohol consumption and the reduction and easing of the symptoms of the disease. Since at the moment I can not take any medication to alleviate the pain, I am willing to try other options.
The choice to try alcohol was not one I was able to make lightly. I have agonized over it for months now and even had a talk with my seventeen-year-old daughter on her thoughts about me giving up a commitment I made, partially for them. With my daughters permission and when an opportunity arose to accompany my friend to the Wine on the Fox event in my own town, I thought this would be the perfect time to start easing into a world I had avoided my entire life.
So with my friend at my side, my glass and tickets in my hand, we perused the various wineries and discussed the pluses and minuses of some of the nearly 150 wines available for tasting.
With a bit of trepidation I took my first sip, a white sangria. I have had non-alcoholic sangria many, many times before so we both thought this would make an easy first step. Out of the five wines I tasted, one being a strawberry wine that we both nearly spit out the moment it hit our tongues, the sangria was by far the one I liked the most, but for now lets just say that it will be some time before I am a regular wine drinker, if at all. It is definitely an acquired taste that my pallet is not quite ready for.
But more importantly, I took my first step, I popped my cherry.
In life, we make decisions that will govern us from that day forward. Twenty-six years ago I made such a decision that governed my life until today. Now, with the good judgment my parents so lovingly instilled in me, I have carefully and thoughtfully made a new choice. Like my choice three years ago to change my life for the better, I make this choice in an effort to improve my life once again.
Someone please pass me a pina colada.
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