Mom shaming on social media—and how to respond to it

My fellow inebriates,

My Auntie H (who doesn’t know I call her that) alerted us to some mom-shaming that’s cropped up thanks to the COVID-19 crisis. Here’s what one of her friends* posted on Facebook:

My daughter thinks she’s the only kid who has to do schoolwork today. She worked from 9:00 to 3:00 … certainly not unreasonable, right? I had her do reading, French, an online art class, some educational videos, and then music practice. Please share what you’re doing 😉

Auntie H texted this piece of virtue-signalling to my mother, who texted back:

I worked all day. The kids did f*** all. You should burn that woman’s house down.

You see, my mother has been seething since Auntie H sent this message. My parents are working from home, full-time, deluged by conference calls, struggling to stay focused, while around them the house gets steadily messier and more chaotic. The kids, you can be sure, are not watching chemistry videos or doing duolingo Spanish. Maybe they should be, but my parents have no capacity to both work full-time and kick the kids’ asses.

In fact, as we type this, the kids are sleeping, at 11:55 a.m.—assuaging my parents’ guilt over their lack of home-schooling. As soon as the kids get up they will descend upon the kitchen and scatter it with Pop-Tarts, chocolate chip waffles and other unsuitable foods that Auntie H’s “friend” would probably not permit inside her (spectacularly clean) house. Moreover, when the kids awaken they will confront—again—the reality that they cannot see friends, and my parents will not be able to console them.

So I say to Auntie H’s frenemy on our collective behalf:

Go f*** yourself. You are a hippie. 

C2031 H3 wine Columbia CrestAnd to my parents, I recommend an excellent bottle of wine for this Friday night: COLUMBIA CREST H3 HORSE HEAVEN HILLS CABERNET SAUVIGNON (2016). This wine is rich and full, bursting with ripe orchard fruit. As you sip, the flavour slowly spreads across your palate with undercurrents of chocolate and coffee that linger ever-so-long. This is the sort of wine you need to savour (last time we had it, I needed to be restrained from pounding it). In terms of value for money ($22.99), you won’t regret one penny of it.

We like H3 so much that my dad made an emergency run to our local booze store last week and purchased three bottles from behind a plexiglass barrier. Not to throw my dad under the bus or anything, but I feel this measured risk to his health was worth it.


*My Auntie H needs some new friends.


Writer’s Tears—because it’s still St. Patrick’s Day, dammit

My fellow inebriates,

First we got sick.

Then they closed the borders.

Then they shut down the bars.

Now they’ve closed the schools…indefinitely.

In adjusting to this new normal, I almost forgot it’s St. Patrick’s Day. Thankfully, I have some liquor to cry my bear tears into.

C2017 Writer's TearsWriter’s Tears Copper Pot Still ($63 at my local booze store) is a blend of single malt and single pot still Irish whiskies that’s aged in American bourbon barrels, resulting in a mild, smooth flavour. It’s golden in the glass and slightly leggy.

On the nose Writer’s Tears is subtle but well layered with apples, vanilla and hints of citrus. It has an undeniable freshness to it that’s at odds with the image of a miserable writer confined to an attic. Perhaps the tearful writer in question is a young bear whose paws are too effing useless to punch the keys without his parents’ help.

On the palate Writer’s Tears is rewarding—you get all those lovely orchard notes along with sweet honey and a more muted array of delicately layered spice and floral contributions. The mouthfeel is smooth and coating without being cloying.

If you’re stuck in your attic or basement or even your kitchen, desperately trying to write a novel or come up with a witty tweet, you should break out the Writer’s Tears. And if you don’t have any, you should run to the liquor store and purchase some, because—OMG, my fellow inebriates—what if they shut that down?

ROBERT MONDAVI PRIVATE SELECTION CHARDONNAY (2016)—even if the kids didn’t drive you to it, you deserve it

My fellow inebriates,

Every so often, Mum and I go to our local booze shop (I ride in her purse) and pick out bottle of wine. I salivate as she pays with her debit card. Usually, that wine becomes an accompaniment to Netflix after the kids finally consent to go to bed. Then… ahhhh!

Today, however, my mother bought—in addition to a bottle of ROBERT MONDAVI PRIVATE SELECTION CHARDONNAY (2016)—a turquoise gift bag. Immediately I knew this wine was not for us; it was for Miss V’s long-suffering grade 5 teacher.

Mondavi private selection

You’d think my mother would have bought two of these bottles so we could also drink to V’s graduation from elementary school—but no luck. You see, my dad hates Chardonnay, so my mother and I would have to drink a whole bottle by ourselves, and that never ends well. So she demurred.

Fortunately I can still share tasting notes because my Nana—who is way cooler than my mother—has brought this wine to our house before. ROBERT MONDAVI PRIVATE SELECTION CHARDONNAY is smooth with ripe fruit aromas and moderate acidity. As you sip, you’ll detect pineapple, green apple, mango, and vanilla. It also has a touch of that butteriness that Chardonnay freaks love.

If I were a teacher I’d drink a bottle of this every night. So (presumably) now Miss V’s teacher has an extra.

You really can’t pay teachers enough, as Breaking Bad taught all of us so long ago.