Just the Tip: Carrying on with a handle of vodka
In this week’s column, Emlyn counsels a daughter who is worried about her mother’s alcohol consumption and helps a sophomore decide whether or not to get a meal plan next year. Be sure to submit your questions after the jump.
My mom and my dad recently got divorced. When I went home for break this year, it seemed like my mom was drinking heavily. I never saw her drink, but she would buy a handle of vodka, and the next day it would be half gone. The day after there would be a new one. She never seemed drunk, but she must’ve been considering how often she purchased vodka. I’m worried she has a problem, but I don’t notice anything else wrong. What should I do?
Good for you for being so observant and caring—your mom is lucky to have you. First of all, I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions. Since your mom, as far as you can tell, was never visibly drunk and you didn’t even see her chug vodka sours, don’t sit her down and have a major intervention just yet. If possible, I’d suggest talking to another trusted adult at home, someone like a neighbor or a friend of your mother’s that’s around her while you’re off surviving the daily grind on the Hilltop. They can keep an eye on her and check in on her periodically, and maybe they’ll be able to get a better idea of what’s going on. In the mean time, try to Skype with her a lot and maybe invite her to visit you for a weekend or something. I can’t imagine that the post-divorce stage is a walk in the park, so just do your best to be there for her and support her.
Here’s the thing that you should prepare for—if your mother is an alcoholic, there’s only so much you can do. It’s the same for people who are depressed, suffering from an eating disorder, coming to terms with the fact that nothing will ever be as good as Breaking Bad, etc. Suffering people can only change if that’s what they wish to do, which means that it’s just not possible to make your mom better in the blink of an eye—she’s got to be willing to accept your help and undergo some sort of treatment. You may be in for a tough couple months or years, but it definitely won’t hurt to be the kickass daughter that you already are—make sure she knows she can have honest conversations with you, offer to help move her in to a treatment facility, or help her find AA meetings in the vicinity. Good luck.
I’m really, really sick of Leo’s. It honestly makes me miserable and I never leave it feeling any sort of satisfaction. Luckily, I got an apartment next year and I don’t have to buy into the waste of a plan … but I don’t know how to cook! And What if I don’t have time? Is it worth it to just stick on some sort of meal plan? What does Block Plan even mean?
I saw a Facebook mupload the other day that showed someone’s plate from Leo’s with a spider on it. Near the end of last semester, I swiped in for dinner ($14.35) and subsequently got berated for “playing with the food” AKA opening the top of one of the soup vats and stirring it with a ladle. The only good part of Leo’s, Stacy, isn’t even allowed to express her creativity and genius anymore because they took her off of smoothies and make her mix gross chunky salads. You tell me if it’s worth it to stick to a meal plan. I know that people usually bump down to block plans when they get apartments or townhouses, which means that you get 180/135/75/45 meals per semester rather than a set number of swipes per week. But if I qualified to opt out of a meal plan and yet still chose to give my money to the tenth circle of Hell that is O’Donnovan’s on the Waterfront, I would assuredly regret it for a lifetime.
So allow me to let you in on a little secret. You don’t have to know how to cook in order to feed yourself outside of Leo’s. I swear. Stock up on sandwich meats, bread, yogurt, fruit, crackers, Gushers, etc. You can get pretty far with assembling meals rather than cooking them. If you’re feeling fancy, buy some premade pasta sauce, pour it in a pot, and go crazy with your bad self. It’s not that you shouldn’t try to cook, but you should definitely start out small and unambitious. That means, at least until you’ve got the hang of things, no seafood casserole like they serve at Leo’s. How will you ever survive?
Anonymously submit your questions to be answered in the next installment of Just the Tip below.
Note: All submissions become the exclusive property of the Georgetown Voice, which reserves the right to edit for clarity and length.
Photo: Shai Barzilay via Flickr