It’s five minutes past five o’clock and already I’m ready to throw in the towel. There’s a measuring cup in my left hand and an industrial-sized bottle of Pinot Grigio in my right and suddenly 5 ounces seems like nowhere near enough to get me through an evening unfolding in the form of folding more laundry that will promptly be unfolded because somehow the cat manages to kill exactly no mice but all of my bras.

I’m trying to cut back on my wine habit and wondering why I chose this day exactly, this exact moment to think the unthinkable, drink the undrinkable (yes, I braved some “healthier options” — definitely not tastier). I wince, and commence the evening with the unhappiest of happy hours.

Before we toast to the lengthy, liquor-required list of items that typically make me want to get tanked on an IV drip between the hours of 5-7 p.m. and admittedly 8 p.m. on some exceptionally bad days, I want to go on the record in saying, “I could quit drinking if I wanted to…”

“…said every alcoholic ever,” my older daughter snorts, eyeing me with the measuring cup. “You could at least put it in a glass, you know.”

“What’s the point?” The sink is already full of dishes, the dishwasher’s backed up until next Tuesday and I’m relatively sure whatever I’m drinking will taste just as good (or bad) in a Pyrex as it will in a pint glass so why dirty one more piece of barware that will inevitably just end up dirtier anyway and does anyone else have this problem? Not the drinking, the dishwasher … like is there some reason the dishes go through the equivalent of a tsunami cycle and still come out with stuff permanently plastered to them? Is this some sort of selling point I missed the fine print on? Like, just in case you weren’t finished with that spaghetti, fear not, because Frigidaire’s got you covered, quite literally.

My younger daughter waltzes into the kitchen with her math homework. “Hey, how do you subtract money?”

“Start drinking? Is this a trick question?” I don’t do math. Truly, no aptitude. You’d have better luck teaching French to a French fry.

“Get ’em while they’re hot!” I haphazardly toss the bowl onto the table and take another sip, its effect quickly lost on me because “this is not dinner,” she balks. “Tell me these … French fries and chicken nuggets … chicken nuggets …” She’s bordering on hysteria now. “Do you even know … do you have any idea even how sick to death I am of chicken nuggets and do you know what’s in these? Do you even watch TikTok, like ever?”

More like never because I’m pretty sure I still haven’t fully recovered from the last video she showed me … something about pineapple and its enzymes and how we’re not really eating the pineapple as much as the pineapple’s eating …

“Us. Just the two of us,” Milo says, holding his hand out like “come away with me” as he stands in the doorway, for how long I couldn’t say. Long enough for the cat to almost drag my bra through an open flame, long enough for my older daughter to shove her Chromebook under my nose because she needs help with the parent section of the common (I swear she said nap, she tells a different story). Long enough for me to text hubs…

What time were you thinking of coming home for dinner?

And get this response…

That is an excellent question that only the good Lord knows the answer to.

Long enough to realize I’m a mere ounce away from polishing off that Pyrex and I’ve still got miles to go before I’m done saving more bras from burning, more naps from being commonplace. (I wish they were. I’m really tired here). Long enough for my husband to think his texts are some type of foreplay? Long enough to decide I need some fresh air, try to rake the leaves with the kitchen broom only to have it snap in half.

I snap a photo of the broom, if only for posterity, if only to preserve this leaf sweeping, broom breaking, breaking bad, mother of a glass of wine I finally just gave in and poured myself because tomorrow will be better and we all do what we do to get by, I guess. One Pyrex at a time.

Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice.