We’re having some people over for dinner tonight. So after teaching my morning yoga classes I came home to start cooking a big meal.
I was frying up the eggplant, braising the meat, making the gravy (your people might call it sauce, but around here we call it gravy). It was feeling more like a Sunday than a Wednesday afternoon. I had the windows open and the music blasting. I was dancing and singing and sauteing, having a little party in my kitchen.
And I thought, Hmm, I might like to have a glass of wine.
Wine? It’s only 12:30. On a Wednesday. And you are home all alone. Wine? For real? You can’t have wine now.
Yeah, you’re right. It’s only 12:30. And I am all alone. That would be bad.
…Wait a minute. What the hell am I thinking? I am a grown-ass person, I can have a glass of wine, in-the-middle-of-the-day-in-the-middle-of-the-week, if I want to. There is no one here to tell me any differently. And even if there were… like I said… grown-ass person right here.
I like to believe that I don’t really care what anyone else thinks. I try to live my life the way I want to live it, and I am generally not too concerned about other people’s ideas of how I should be living. But then something simple like this happens in my head, and I realize we are all far more influenced by other people than we even know.
It is ingrained in us. All of our lives people are telling us what we should do. How we should do it. How we shouldn’t do it. They impose their rules on us until they become our rules. No wine before 1:00 on a Wednesday. Where the hell did that one come from? I don’t know, but it was in there. And with no one around to enforce the unwritten rules, the monkey steps right in and goes to work.
I tell my kids all the time not to worry about what other people think; to wear what they want to wear, listen to the music they like, believe the things they want to believe, be the people they want to be. But like little real life monkeys of my own creation, they are concerned about what other people think, and even they try to make rules for me.
Stop skipping, Mom, people are watching you.
You’re singing too loud! It’s embarrassing!
Don’t wear that, Mom. You’re too old to wear that.
Mom! Why are you twerking? Just. No.
Well, I’m gonna skip, and sing and twerk. And the best, most embarrassing stuff, for them and for me, is yet to come. Because today I realized, once again, that I am a grown-ass person. I can do whatever I want to do. I make my own rules.
So I poured myself a glass of wine, before 1:00 on a Wednesday.
And I drank it.
And I danced.
And then I decided to tell you all about it. You can think whatever you want. I’m having another glass of wine.