Sunday, June 4, 2017
Sobriety starts out being conceptual. That might be the trickiest part. You have to realize it is possible. People do it. You can do it. It is allowed. You don't have to drink. Life still works. You do other things instead.
Thus I was intrigued and delighted to notice, while researching a column a few weeks back, this decanter full of M&Ms in the chambers of Ruben Castillo, the chief judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Clever.
I never quite understood decanters. I have a pair -- wedding gifts—but never used them. The decanters seemed props in search of a soap opera, something Susan Lucci could pause in front of, her hand on the stopper, before making some startling confession.
When I gave up drinking, a dozen years ago, I remember thinking, among the swirl of confused regrets, "And now I'll never use those decanters."
Boo hoo. The decanters had never been used anyway. Because it seemed an unnecessary step to pour the booze out into these heavy cut glass bottles. Toward what end?
This colorful repurposing seems ideal—a notion that had literally never crossed my mind -- and worth passing along, under the assumption it would be a revelation to others as well. I asked Castillo about it concerned that he might feel ill-used if I seized this personal detail from a corner of his desk and publicized it.
Castillo didn't mind. He said that sometimes his job requires him to interview children in his vast chambers, and a fancy bottle of candy comes in handy.
The only problem now is this: I don't like M&Ms. I suppose any small bore candy would work. Although, upon second thought, not liking M&Ms makes them ideal, as it would encourage moderation. I would have the repurposed decanter finally on display. And the candy would be safe from its owner, in the main, and thus available for any visitors who might want a treat.