I bought a bottle of French wine yesterday for no particular occasion. It only cost $15 but the gesture felt full and (pardon the word) “juicy” in a joie de vivre kind of way.

Bottle in hand, I returned home to an empty house and had exactly one hour before picking up my six year old. I thought to pour myself a glass of wine, let the setting sun cast golden on my velvet couch and do some writing. I’d let the rich, red liquid from a distant land loosen the words from my pencil lead. Maybe my fingers would fly over the keyboard. I would steep in the essence of being a 37 year old woman, alone in the early evening, drinking a glass of wine and writing, feeling sensual and alive.

And then I realized I didn’t have a corkscrew.

Like a 10 year old playing house without all the props, I suddenly felt less than mature. Certainly not sexy. Quite short of artistic. And practically speaking, simply stumped as to how to open my vino.

I had to let go of my glass of wine on that twilight eve, but I committed to make a corkscrew purchase the following day to fulfill my French wine fantasy.

Now, I sit telling this tale while filtering bits of cork from between my teeth. Yes, my glass of red is beside me. But the path in getting it here was not pretty. It was not taken with the graceful, artistic flourish of sophistication and suave I had so envisioned.

No, my bottle of French wine was opened with a cheap corkscrew bought in haste this evening. By sunset I realized the night was coming on…I must ready my accoutrements! So I loaded up my son and drove to the nearby mini-mart where I found a cheap metal, two-for-one bottle-opener-slash-corkscrew hanging among the band-aids and double A batteries. Four dollars? Great. Love these simple pleasures!

The mini-mart’s in-house Subway sandwich bar sourced our dinner a la six inch subs (how convenient!) and by 9pm my mom duties were completed. Forget the sink full of dishes, I was breaking out my trusty corkscrew, going to pour a glass of wine and do some writing. This was ‘me’ time with a flair.

You must realize by now, I’m not much of a drinker and obviously I’ve not been imbibing wine at home. So the combination of a cheap corkscrew and my less-than-experienced hands, produced the very result I had hoped to avoid: a broken cork, not yet removed. This scenario was far from the sacred writer’s ritual I had imagined. There was no artistry here. No grace.

After repeated efforts and a minor cut to my hand on the shoddy metal of the opener, I determined there was only one way out – and that was in. So I pushed the cork into the bottle in the way of a clueless, yet persistent teenager sneaking booze in a low-lit parking lot.

The cork went into the bottle with a small pop while the red wine spewed out in a minor explosion, covering the yoga t-shirt I was sporting. I reasoned that while I was with the Spray and Wash, the wine would have a chance to ‘breathe’.

As I spritzed stain remover over half of my shirt, I contemplated the deeper meaning of red wine splatter all over the logo of the yoga studio I no longer went to. I hadn’t been to practice in a year. Was it not poetic that the prodigal daughter one day return to the shala with wine stains upon her yoga tee? A telling story of what she’d come to – drinking French wine alone on a week night, but not even able to get the cork out.

Maybe she would still be greeted by her fellow yogis in an unconditional namaste.

It would be Ok that she was pretending to be a grown up. Drinking cheap wine laced in cork pulp. Making like she’s an artist, a writer even. They would know she’s just a single mom in a stained yoga shirt, donning the logo of the classes she never attends. Maybe all of the truth would be known and released in a great exhale and mula bandha.

But for tonight,the yogis need not know of my French wine fiasco. The Spray and Wash works magic as I type. This evening I am not the prodigal daughter. My chalice glows ruby in low light. Right now I am a woman writing, quite at peace with the cork in my teeth.

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