Don't Meditate - Have a Cocktail Instead

by Eve Vawter

Image via Bruce Szalwinski/Flickr

Image via Bruce Szalwinski/Flickr

We all know how important it is to relieve stress. People meditate, go for a run, contort their bodies into the wounded peacock, and go for long walks on the beach. But what if we all relaxed like our parents did instead? 

I know, I know, when we know better we (are supposed to) do better. I think we all have people in our families who had problems with alcohol, and we all know a smoker who sadly died from lung cancer, but on occasion I can't help but long for the times when we all chilled not with Netflix, but with a cigarette and a cocktail like our own parents used to do back in the day. I'm not saying you should partake in these activities every day, and I'm certainly not disparaging those of you who downward dog after a tough day at the office (because Lord knows I would love to be one of you people) but sometimes I think back to how my own parents relaxed and I can't help but want to copy them. I mean, when my mom was stressed she would pour herself a glass of wine and throw us kids into the yard and read a trashy paperback. Seems pretty civilized to me. 

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People also used to do needlework, knitting or cross-stitch, bake, play cards, and read the newspaper. Now we get our news from the Internet — and I don't know about you guys, but sometimes the amount of information available is more stressful than reading an actual print newspaper. Sure, back in the day people also exercised and punched the heavy bag and all that good stuff, but they were just as likely to work in their garden or work on a puzzle after a long day of work or childcare. I can't remember the last time I did either of those things. 

I'm very interested in how you all relax these days. What do you do after the kids are occupied or in bed, or if you don't have kids, what to do you do after you clean up your last puddle of cat vomit for the day? 

I'm not saying you have to pour yourself a stiff one or pick up a pack of Virginia Slims (do they even make those anymore?) as an alternate to whatever you do now to chillax, but I am suggesting that you pick up a bottle and a few packs of smokes and head on over to my house for a game of bridge. We can even eat tiny little pigs in a blanket and make up some chip dip using one of those onion soup packets. That sounds pretty relaxing to me.