I have started reading Koren Z’s memoir Smashed. I’m not terribly far into the book yet but two observations are glaring to me. 1). She’s young. I think the book was published by the time she was 25. 2.) she fits the mould of the white girl wasted archetype. Middle class. Supportive family life. Community ties. She’s a Lana Del Rey song. There’s a festishizion of this narrative that gnaws at me. The white girl wasteds are under 26. By 30 they’ve gotten their shit together, are on steady and stable career tracks, and can subsist on a single glass of wine per night. Made for tv bliss.
Koren Z does touch on another type of female drinker: the matrons. These women are the keepers of the alcohol, the monitors of the parties, but always the ones with the full glass of sangria. They are portrayed in books and film as silently screaming into their glasses. Letting the wine wash the boredom away. Because of their status in the community (suburbia breeds this) they maintain their poise and composure. You would never know that they were drunk.