Interview with Sally Koslow, author of “Slouching Toward Adulthood: Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest”

by Caren on August 1, 2012

Sally KoslowEach week, we post short interviews with interesting people about their thoughts and feelings on women and drinking. There is such a wide array of perspectives about this topic, and we are excited to gain insight into as many as possible and to share them with you. 

Sally Koslow is the author of Slouching Toward Adulthood: Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest, a hybrid of memoir and reporting on the lives of Americans in their 20’s and 30’s. She’s also the author of three novels, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, With Friends like These, and Little Pink Slips, all available in paperback and Kindle, and a writing coach and creative writing teacher. Sally invites you to follow her on twitter @sallykoslow, to friend Slouching Toward Adulthood on Facebook and to explore her website, www.sallykoslow.com, which features excerpts of her books, as well as many essays.

Drinking Diaries: How does your family treat drinking?  

Sally Koslow: Raising my sons, drinking was in no way a focus of our home life. We’d never, for example, serve wine at regular family dinners. So it was with great surprise that when my kids went away to college they didn’t just drink a little. They drank a lot. Beer was king, but since then, wine (about which they know far more than I do—one son lives in California and makes regular pilgrimages to wineries) and mixed drinks reign. Their behavior is on trend, something I learned when researching my new book, Slouching Toward Adulthood: Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest. For young women, the enduring legacy of “Sex in the City” turns out not to be buying shoes, but $15 cocktails, a badge of honor and artificial measure of success. Young men love their Mad Men spirits. It’s all very two-generations ago. This drinking lifestyle is in harmony with 20- and 30-somethings being food snobs. Oh, excuse me, I meant “sophisticates.”

How do you approach alcohol in your every day life?

I can take it or leave it. When I’m out with friends I have a drink or two mostly to be sociable. My husband wishes I’d drink more. I recognize that I’m a buzzkill, but if I were told I could never drink again it would be a fraction of the tragedy of being told I could never eat chocolate. I love to entertain, however, and couldn’t imagine hosting a dinner party without wine, Champagne or Prosecco.
What’s your drink of choice? Why?

I opt for red wine because I’ve been convinced that it has health benefits. When I’m near Trader Joe’s I load up on Blue Moon Shiraz, which impressed an oenophile I know with 500 bottles in his new wine cellar. He thought I was kidding when I told him it cost, say, $8 a bottle. It’s fair to say I’m not too picky.

Has drinking ever affected—either negatively or positively—a relationship of yours?

In my 20’s, both of my bosses got drunk at regular three-martini lunches. One would return and act silly, which was embarrassing, but the other would reverse directions he gave me in the morning. Nightmare.

Do you have a favorite book, song, or movie about drinking? 

“The Hangover.” No contest. Best drinking movie ever.

What do you like most about drinking?

I love the way cocktails look in a beautiful crystal glass and the romance of having a leisurely glass of wine with my husband when we’re on vacation. Paris + wine = heaven.

Why do, or don’t you, choose to drink?

Honestly, I don’t like the taste of most spirits or beer and I drink so slowly it takes me a long time to get mellow, which I admit, is terrific. I’ve left a lot of good wine in glasses. Often I’d just as soon save my calories for dessert.

If you could be any drink, what would it be? Why?

A Tequila Sunrise. It’s exquisite yet casual, a perfect combination I associate with relaxing at sunset in the tropics. Ahhh.

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