From time to time, 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.
After 20 years as a stay-at-home mom, Sharon Greenthal found her new passion and purpose by reviving her college English degree skills and writing once again. Sharon has been blogging on her personal blog, Empty House Full Mind, since August of 2011, and is a blogger on the Huffington Post. Sharon is also a frequent guest on the Huffington Post’s online news show, HuffPost Live.
A passionate advocate for social media engagement for midlife men and women, Sharon has helped to create the dynamic Generation Fabulous community.
Sharon has two children, a 23 year old daughter who works in the entertainment industry and a 21 year old son who is a senior in college. An empty-nester, Sharon lives with her husband and their perfect dog, Lambeau, in Orange County, CA. Though she’s lived in California for most of her life, Sharon will always be a New Yorker at heart.
Drinking Diaries: How old were you when you had your first drink and what was it?
Sharon Greenthal: I was 14. Vodka and Coke while watching “Night of the Living Dead.” Horrifying – the drink and the movie.
How did/does your family treat drinking?
We raised our kids to be comfortable around alcohol. They saw us drinking. No one in our family has a drinking problem, so we never had to deal with that. Chocolate – that’s another story.
How do you approach alcohol in your every day life?
I no longer drink alcohol except on very rare occasions, but I’m happy to serve it in my home or be with others who drink. Alcohol is essential to most good dinner parties, in my opinion.
What was the worst time you’ve ever had drinking?
I’ve never been a big drinker except for those stupid days in college. Now I rarely drink at all.
The last time I drank to excess – 3 years ago – I felt horrible the next day. That’s when I decided not to drink anymore, except for a glass of champagne or two every so often. I’m just too old to be getting head-crushing hangovers.
Has drinking ever affected–either negatively or positively–a relationship of yours?
Sometimes I think some of our friends are less interested in spending time with us than they used to be because I don’t drink anymore, but to be honest it doesn’t bother me – none of those people are close friends, and if my not drinking makes them uncomfortable, that’s not my problem.
Do you have a favorite book, song, or movie about drinking?
“One More For the Road” by Frank Sinatra
Why do, or don’t you, choose to drink?
I choose not to drink 99% of the time because it makes me feel physically not well. I get headaches, it makes me sleepy… and then I can’t sleep in the middle of the night. I eat too much when I drink. It’s just not something I enjoy very much anymore.
How has alcoholism affected your life?
When I was 18, I had a boyfriend who was an alcoholic. He was out of control and had a terrible temper. It was a very disturbing experience to watch him spiral downward.
If you could have any drink, what would it be? Why?
If I could drink a good cabernet without it causing crushing headaches I would be drinking it every night. Unfortunately I can’t. It’s really too bad.