I have a love/hate relationship with Champagne. Ever since the New Year’s Eve dinner party I threw for my high school friends during my sophomore year in college, it’s been a long road to gain comfort drinking bubbly.
An evening of cooking, celebrating and reminiscing with friends–as we ushered in the start of 1984–turned into a memorable night of not only getting sick, but also experiencing the worst hangover of my life, during which I had to take an airplane.
I’ll never forget the waiting time in the airport terminal, where my grandmother doted on me, wiping my forehead and urging me to drink water. It’s hard to imagine a dainty 80-year-old woman nursing her college-age grandkid after a a night of too much partying, but that’s the kind of grandmother she was.
At least five years went by before I could even be near a glass of champagne, and many more passed before I could get my lips to touch a glass of it. Champagne has always been representative—for many—of New Year’s Eve, but I happily did without it.
Eventually, New Year’s Eve took on a new importance in my life. Not because I was growing more comfortable cradling a champagne flute in between my first and second fingers, but because it is the night I met my husband, at a New Year’s Eve party. It’s important to mention that he dated a friend of mine before it was my turn, and exactly one year later—on New Year’s Eve—we started dating. The rest is history.
Each year, we look forward to celebrating—not just the start of a new calendar year, but another year that we’ve been together. We’ve celebrated in some far-flung places and also in the coziness of our home. We’ve sipped wine and drank beer to ring in the New Year, and little by little, I’ve eased my way back to appreciate the flavor, glamour and buzz of a glass of Champagne. Minus the hangover.
Caren Osten Gerszberg is a co-founder/editor of the Drinking Diaries. You can see a selection of her work at www.carenosten.com, and follow her on twitter: @carenosten
Note: This post was originally published in 2010