Surprise! I like brandy.

It appears I like brandy. This is a surprise to me.

I recall having tried brandy before, with eggnog. The Narcissist was a huge fan and would always have some of each in the house at this time of year. I tried it but never developed a taste for it.

One of the friends who helped with my Christmas tree enjoys eggnog with brandy, though, so I made sure to have some of each in the house for him. Since I know nothing about brandy, I went to my favorite liquor store and asked what they would recommend.

Well. Hello, brandy.

This stuff I bought makes what the Narcissist used to buy taste like pure grain alcohol. (Actually, it tasted like that anyway.)

I’ve suddenly become a huge fan of eggnog with brandy.

(The brandy is E&J XO, in case you’re curious. Now that I’ve done a little research I’ve learned it’s a ridiculously basic brandy, but I know nothing about brandy, and to be fair I only bought it to have in eggnog. I’m curious to try other brandies (and cognacs) now, so if you have any favorites please let me know.)

I’m making my way through the carton of eggnog I bought, but even with liberal pours, I can tell I’ll have more than half the bottle of brandy left when the eggnog is gone.

It made me remember how the Narcissist would tend to run through huge bottles of brandy far faster than cartons of eggnog.

I then looked at my liquor shelf and realized something quite lovely.

When I moved into my home over two years ago, I provisioned my liquor collection so I had a decent bar set up for parties. I started with just the basics; gin, vodka, light and dark rum, and a couple of whiskeys.

Here is what is fantastic to me: It’s now two years later, and I still am making my way through most of those bottles.

I’ve collected a couple more bottles of gin because trying new gins is something I enjoy. And I’m sure I’ve run through at least one bottle of whiskey because it’s something that’s popular in my friend group.

But it’s safe to say any bottle of liquor I buy will last a bare minimum of six months or so.

Shoot, I still have a bottle of whiskey and one of gin I purchased when I was in Ireland and London in August of 2018. Neither is more than half empty. Both are quite lovely, and I love that they’re there for me to have some of whenever I might feel like it.

Having alcohol around is one of those many little things that makes me deeply appreciative to no longer be with the Narcissist. They strike me here and there, these feelings of gratitude, and realizing I take it for granted I can have a ton of alcohol in the house is something to marvel at.

When with the Narcissist, any bottle purchased would last an absolute maximum of one week. There was no ability for me to just feel like having a nip of something once in a while. If it was brought into the house, it would disappear. If he bought it, I was made to feel guilty for having any. If I bought it, it was considered communal property.

Of course, he wouldn’t admit to having any kind of a problem, because that was tantamount to admitting he had flaws, and that would never happen.

For the most part, though, it only bothered me because it seemed wasteful. I had bigger fish to fry than his drinking in the context of that relationship.

He would complain about money, would say I didn’t earn enough (I did) and that he paid for everything because of how little I earned (he didn’t). Then he would spend a disgusting amount on alcohol all the time. It annoyed me for the obvious reasons, but also because I hated seeing the craft of creating beautiful spirits shat on.

Alcohol, to me, is something one sips slowly and savors the flavor of. Spending a lot of money on expensive bottles that are drunk without appreciation multiple times per week became something that really offended me.

I am grateful to no longer have that in my life. Now, I can pour myself a drink once in a while if the mood strikes. And when that mood strikes, know that the bottles I purchased many months prior are still mostly full.

This delicious brandy I am enjoying today will likely still be here to be enjoyed at Christmastime of 2020.

If I ever become involved with someone in the future, that will still be the case. If something is finished, the bottle will be replaced, and it will last months before it needs to be replaced again.

I am surprised to find myself having these thoughts and wondering if perhaps next year there might be someone with whom to share lovely beverages during cozy evenings spent at home in warm pajamas. Someone who, like me, enjoys things slowly, and appreciates each distinct nuance of any experience.

Someone who, like me, doesn’t guzzle. Who, instead, prefers to take their time with all life has to offer.

Featured Photo credit to Urban Tastebud, “Gluten Free Cognac and Brandy List – The Ultimate Guide

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