Eggnog is one holiday tradition I always regret almost immediately after partaking every single time.
As the viscous, rum spiked drink is handed to me, I’ll remember with some dim recollection the previous year and yet each time I bypass that soggy memory and I take that drink. The first sip is delicious, because it’s like drinking rum spiked melted ice cream and I really like ice cream (and rum.) By the third or fourth sip I slip into the oncoming train of regret.
Generally I don’t care for drinks made of dairy. I love the idea of the milkshake or the caramel frappuccino or the holiday eggnog. I cannot imagine drinking milk, chocolate or otherwise and enjoying that for more than a sip or two. It’s just too much, too rich, too thick. Maybe I’m lactose intolerant, who knows.
In a few days I’ll head with my family down to Cincinnati to visit my parents and siblings. While in the grocery store with my son Henry we talked about the trip and he mentioned the egg nog and expressed his great excitement about said (non spiked) nog. And I thought, “I’m going to drink it again. I just know I’m going to drink it again.” I sat there in the grocery store, staring at the display in the refrigerated section and I puzzled over this long-standing tradition, the offering, the taking, the regret. It might have been cathartic, a final turning away from a thing that never does me much good overall but instead I sat there, resigned, knowing that on Saturday most likely I’ll be handed a tumbler of melted egg based ice cream spiked with rum and I’ll sip it even knowing how much I’ll regret it later.
It’s interesting how I continue to do the things I know are no good for me and maybe it’s that one or two sips that get me, or the tradition of it, or the habit I just cannot bear to break. I’ll take the tumbler and I’ll sip the eggnog and I’ll suffer the digestive consequences later and then next year most likely I’ll start the cycle again. I’ll start the cycle again because of temptation and possibilities and tradition and resignation.
Being aware of it is good, I suppose. The resignation I feel to continue that cycle is not so great though. That is perhaps where the shift in me, that possibility of making a new, better choice, needs to make camp, in between this season and next. It’s a start.