Ruby Red Monday

Eight years ago I worked at a pawnshop and I used to name days with the other employee, Tom. Good days were Martini Monday and Leave Early Friday. Boring days were Six Inch Veggie Sub Wednesday. Mean days were Balding Guys Shouldn't Wear Ponytails and/or Rip Off Your Neighbor Thursday.

Once Tom pulled an antique typewriter off the shelf and wrote a short story about how we were enslaved by the owner of the pawnshop and being forced to wash his windows with newspapers and pretend like it was okay for him to wear moccasins - all for minimum wage.

I thought about Tom today when the sun never really materialized and the grey clouds hung heavy over the city. Every single hour, from daybreak on, looked exactly the same, like dingy dusk. Like you should rush through rush hour just to get to the couch and the entire second season of Lost on DVD.

If you're like me and have already popped in the entire second season of Lost on DVD, you might opt to read a thought-provoking work of literature. Unless you find it's difficult to concentrate on anything more complex than the backstories of a fictional group of strangers surviving on a desert island, their jet having plunged into the ocean some 44 fictional days ago.

That's when I realized what it was: Ruby Red Monday.

As in Absolut Ruby Red. As in why did it take the Swedes so long (June 2006) to get this delicious grapefruit-flavored vodka on the shelf? My goodness.

Sunny and I unloaded groceries while taste-testing little glasses of ice and Absolut Ruby Red and I felt absolutely at least a tiny bit better than I did before and I felt SAFE.

In our house we feel safe when Shane comes home from Costco and restocks the bar with giant bottles of whiskey, gin and vodka. Sunny feels safe when the cabinet above the refrigerator is filled to the ceiling with a half dozen 2-liters of seltzer water and 16 rolls of paper towels.

She doesn't sleep well if there aren't several bricks of extra firm tofu waiting to be fried up somewhere and I get a little pit in my stomach if the soups in the cupboard dip into the single digits. I probably don't need to elaborate on the emotions associated with a case of Bud Light.

Where this sinister dependency and Depression-era mentality sprung from, I'm not sure, but I'm in no shape to deny it.

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