How to Have a Päntsdrunk Weekend (with Wine Pairings)

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UGH.

This week though, am I right? It’s felt like an entire year of bad news and gut-wrenching images rolled into one giant horrible week.

Which is why I think most of us are just really looking forward to sitting at home, drinking wine in our underpants this weekend. Like, REALLY looking forward to it.

Well, good news. 1) You can (at least, I think you still can in this current, messed up iteration of America) and 2) the Scandinavians have already beaten us to it and they even have a name for it. Because—of course, they do.

Yes, the genius people from the cluster of countries who have already brought us the awesome celebration of all things cozy and comfortable (#hygge4lyfe especially in winter), have now given us a new lifestyle/wellness trend. Or, if not new, at least have given us a name for it. Two, actually.

Päntsdrunk, aka: kalsarikannit

Kalsarikannit

And, it’s specifically the Finnish who are responsible for this one. I don’t know any Finnish people (other than that they are consistently ranked as some of the happiest people on Earth), but I feel like it isn’t really overblown to describe them as geniuses.

As Elite Daily describes it:

“Päntsdrunk is basically what happens when you refuse to let FOMO get the best of you.”

OK, I’m already in. But, please, tell me more.

Päntsdrunk is a ‘path to recovery and self-empowerment,’ defined by utter relaxation and temporary escapes from real-world stressors, such as work emails or annoying small talk.”

I am all about self-care. I love to relax and escape. But not the type of self-care I have to actually leave the house to enjoy or participate in or be around other people to partake in. I get annoyed by people at THE SPA. Do you know what kind of self-involved, anti-social hermit you have to be to get annoyed by people at the spa??

So, it goes without saying that I’m only interested in self-care that can be practiced in the privacy of my own home in its utmost, laziest forms. This one, according to Finish journalist Miska Rantanen, simply involves “drinking at home, alone, in your underwear.”

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Oh yeah. I’m (mostly) down. I do have a couple of slight alterations to make, though. 1) Change “underwear” to pajamas or loungewear, and 2) swap out “alone” for “with my beloved significant other who is in the same room but likely doing his own thing, with his own drink and doing it silently.”

I love this bit in the Elite Daily article, because holy hotdog, this roundup of activities just speaks to my soul.

“To be clear, at no point does Rantanen suggest that Päntsdrunk should be equated with binge drinking. Rather, it’s all about allowing yourself to relax while being totally sequestered from the ‘real world.’ An ideal Päntsdrunk night for me would assuredly be homemade cucumber jalapeño margaritas, along with a few seasons of Girls, a face mask or two, followed by a bedtime of 9 p.m. sharp……It allows everyone to do exactly what they’ve always wanted to do (and have probably already been doing in secret), without feeling bad for it on a Friday or Saturday night.”

Since I am so here for this trend, I want to offer up some wine pairings with some of my favorite self-care activities.

  • Reading celebrity magazines at the kitchen bar while XFE cooks us an amazing meal – This is one of my favorite activities, and one that I am very good at. I usually offer up a weak, “Anything I can do to help?” while distracting him with various celebrity gossip tidbits. Pairs well with a nice, rich Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Playing with/grooming/caring for Pinot and Port (our cats. Yes, they’re named after wine) – There’s a bit of an age discrepancy here, so I actually have two wine pairings. For Port, who is just over a year old and very active, I recommend a glass of crisp, dry Sauvignon Blanc. Because odds are pretty good that either myself or the cat are going to knock the glass over and spill wine all over the cream living room rug, so white wine = easier clean up. For Pinot, who is 7 years old, kind of lazy and literally plays while laying down, a bold Pinot Noir, naturally.
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The squad, ready to chill. 
  • Bubble bath and face mask – Light a scented candle, fill the tub with a healthy dollop of Laura Mercier bubble bath, slap on some Caudalie instant detox face mask, and pour yourself a glass of spicy Malbec. Just don’t fall asleep. I always do that and there’s nothing relaxing about being startled awake by a mouthful of heavily perfumed bubbles. Or spilled wine.
  • Organize and purge – There’s just something about color coordinating your closet/significant other’s tie rack/pet supplies and/or throwing out all your unused and unloved crap that is so, so satisfying and relaxing. You’ll need a mellow Chardonnay, some equally mellow music (Might I suggest some 90’s trip hop, ala Portishead or Sneaker Pimps?) and a couple of hours to just disappear into the trance that can only be brought on by Marie Kondo folding techniques.
  • Pinteresting – While I mostly think you’re supposed to keep distracting and upsetting technology at bay, I’m pretty sure Pinterest gets a pass. It is probably the most used app on my phone and my go-to when I want to kill time and dull brain cells. I can save and organize pretty pictures of pretty things all damn day. Plus, Pinteresting is just so hopeful for the future! Am I ever going to live in a mid-century modern bungalow in LA with a sauna room built in? Eh, probably not. But it doesn’t stop me from pinning every damn photo I see. Will I ever have a need to make frozen bowls with delicate herbs and greenery suspended in them to hold votives in? No! But their so pretty and Scandinavian! Do I really need to save all these fondue recipes when Trader Joe’s has a completely serviceable fondue kit? Nope. Not even a little bit. But I like to save and organize all these ideas. Which calls for a delicate and eminently drinkable Rose that can carry you through a wasted afternoon of picture sorting.

So go ahead. Get Päntsdrunk this weekend or sans-pants-drunk, if semi-nudity is your thing. We’ve all certainly earned it. Plus, we’ll probably need to store up our emotional wellness reserves to face the next 942 days.

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Carmageddon, Schmarmageddon

Have y’all heard about this Carmageddon thing out in California? Of course you have, what do you live under a rock?

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“We’re all gonna die if we can’t drive on the highway!!!”

I think California’s just jealous that they don’t get any Snowmageddons or Snowpocalyses like we do here on the East Coast and decided to start their own hysteria about something. “Let’s see, we have nothing but sunshine and beautiful weather year round….hmmmm, I know! Let’s close the 405. Somebody start a Twitter feed, stat!”

Now, I come from a car culture state myself. There’s nothing more that a Texan loves than to get in your car, roll down all the windows, and let the wind whip through your hair on a dusty backroad with some Old 97s blaring out of you radio (by the way, The Grand Theater Vol 2 = kick ass). I understand urban sprawl and suburbia, I really do.

But there are times in all of our lives when your car is indisposed or otherwise unavailable. Maybe you broke the timing belt on your beige Toyota Tercel and it’s in the shop for at least a week, or in reality, until you can scrounge up the $1,000 a stupid timing belt replacement costs on your meager waitress salary. Should be called a really bad timing belt.  Maybe you lent that Honda Civic to a no-good friend of a friend who really, really needed to get to Phoenix to pick up his pet iguana because his girlfriend dumped him and abandoned the poor lizard.  Or, maybe you got just one too many parking tickets on that Subaru and it got towed finally and it would cost more to get it out of impound than the damn 20-year-old car is worth. (Disclaimer: none of these things have ever happened to me, per se. I just hear things. Stories, so to speak).

Regardless, there are times when we’ve all be carless. And we did not die. There are lots of times when I have a perfectly good car at my disposal and yet, I don’t leave the house for the whole weekend! Especially in the winter. No way. I only go out under threat of imminent and painful starvation.

Yesterday, for example, I had the car. I did use the car in the morning to do the grocery shopping. This did not require me to get on any major roads or highways. When I got home, I parked the car. My friend Linda came over and we went wandering around Old Town (my hood), poking into some shops (Pretty People Vintage, Current, Treat, Mint Condition, BR) and stopping for a drink at a place with some tables outside, just watching the weird world go by and chatting. It was really, really nice. No car necessary.

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Toonces checking out the loot. A skirt, a dark gray tank and a necklace.

Last night I went over to running buddy Amy’s house and had dinner with Amy, her significant other, and a charming five-year old hula-hooping prodigy (she seriously was cracking me up). I did drive the 8 blocks to Amy’s, mostly because I didn’t want to walk home after dinner in the dark. But I probably could have, and I would have strolled over for those grilled pork chops and peaches. Again, no major roads required.

Here’s a list of other things I like to do that don’t require driving or even leaving my neighborhood:

1)      Go for a run. Amy and I ran 4.5 miles the last two mornings. No car required. Although, there were a couple of times I wish somebody would come and pick us up.

2)      Sit on your back patio with a pile of magazines (and fall asleep). I did this yesterday morning after I was done with grocery shopping. It was pretty awesome.

3)      Weed your garden or water your plants. This usually keeps me busy for a while. I actually have come to like weeding. It appeals to my anal retentive side. And, there’s such a sense of pure, visual accomplishment when you’re done.

4)      Wash your car. XFE washes his damn car every weekend. If you’re not using it, might as well make it purty.

5)      Clean. Or do laundry. Or do some organizing. I’ve got some major tie rack organizing on the slate today. Not mine, XFEs. The magazine basket could also use some weeding.

6)      Tackle a project you’ve been putting off. I need to do something with the slew of recipes we constantly tear out of magazines. Yeah, that probably won’t get done today……

7)      Mess with your pet. They’ll love the attention and they can be pretty distracting from other chores.

8)       Watch TV. There’s a ton of really bad reality shows out there that are also begging for your attention. Have you seen Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars?” What about History Channel’s “Mounted in Alaska?” Or the Discovery Channel’s “Sons of Guns.” There’s a whole world of obsure shows out there. Get on it! Those shows are not going to watch themselves! (In case you are wondering, yep, we watch all three of these shows. And a bunch of others.)

8)      Try a new recipe or two. Speaking of which, I’m making banh mi sandwiches for lunches this week and I’ve never made them before so I better get cracking.

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THIS is what they’re supposed to look like? Oh crap.

Stay strong Californians, stay strong.

What do you do when you’re not in the car? I’m actually pretty content when I’m house-bound. Anyone else feel that way?