Vena, I appreciate your take on this. I do in fact live a relatively privileged life, one where — as you note — my alcoholic drinking was seen as a mark of sophistication. I’m not a social scientist and this is very much a personal essay, so I made a couple of deliberate choices. One was not to wade into areas where I have zero credibility — for instance, I’m not a mother, so I only skirted the edges of the drinking-mom thing, which is huge in the world I live in.
I also chose not to hide the fact that I live in a bit of a bubble. I could have made myself seem (maybe) more likable or relatable by putting on more of an everywoman persona, but that wasn’t very interesting to me as a writer. I’m self-aware in some ways and blind in others and, at least in this instance, I decided to put it all on the page.
So TLDR is that I 1000% agree there are fascinating, infuriating, important stories to be told about how people of color and/or economically disenfranchised people (that’s a true and/or — I’m not conflating the two groups) drink or don’t drink, or just about how their drinking choices are perceived. Those are stories I want to read. (Actually, if you have recommendations, I’d love to hear them!) But I’m not qualified to write them.