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I can't work out if this was Odd or not - and should I have said anything?

(70 Posts)
GlomOfNit Sat 29-Feb-20 00:18:11

I stopped off at a small indie coffee shop in my local market town for a lunchtime coffee after using the market today. It's somewhere I go quite a lot, alone or with a friend. I nabbed a seat on the sofa and had my habitual latte. Another woman on her own asked if the armchair opposite was taken, I smiled, said no, she sat down with her phone. I continued knitting and drinking coffee.

A few minutes later, I look up and she's got a large glass of white wine in front of her. I'm a bit taken aback, as you absolutely never see anyone in this cafe having a glass of wine, even though they do sell it, people theoretically order it with 'posh' cream teas etc. However, I think perhaps she's waiting for a friend to join her, it's friday, etc. Soon, a small sandwich arrives. Meantime, she's pretty much inhaled the wine. Nobody joins her. I ask myself why I'm so concerned about a woman on her own having a drink. She's an adult, she doesn't need permission.

She gets up and I assume she's leaving, but she comes back a minute later and a few minutes after that, another large glass of wine arrives. (And a small chocolate brownie.) She drinks that one in short order too. By this time I'm worried about her. I'm not sure why. Wine at lunch is ok, right? But normally we do that with friends. She has necked two big glasses of wine in about 25 minutes. She's looking at her watch quite a bit as if she needs to be back somewhere, and at 5 to 1 she gets up and leaves. As she gets up, I see that her work clothes indicate she works in a local chemist. So this was her lunch break, during which she had what I'd consider a lot of booze.

So why am I so concerned about this? I've been wondering - is it because the context was off? If it'd been a pub I probably wouldn't have blinked at a woman on her own enjoying a glass of wine, at any time of day. You don't tend to see boozing in coffee shops like this one though - it's half full of mums and toddlers and half full of elderly people. Was it the fact that she's a woman on her own? Men are 'allowed' to get away with solitary drinks. I've rarely had a drink on my own and despite myself, it feels a bit contraband. Was it the amount she put away, or the fact she was clearly on a lunchbreak, or the fact she works in a high street chemist (and might even work in the pharmacy)?

I just want some other takes on this, I suppose. I kept thinking I should ask her if she was ok, but that's stupid - what was she going to do, break down and tell me she was really struggling? She'd have told me to sod off and mind my own business!


ErrrNo Sat 29-Feb-20 00:23:28

I'd mind my own beeswax

Comfortzone Sat 29-Feb-20 00:33:18

Maybe her shift had needed?

Maybe she'd be sacked?

Maybe just received bad news and was given permission to leave worn early?

Business is hers, not yours

Mumsn0t Sat 29-Feb-20 00:33:25

I wouldn't have done anything it's not my business. Two large glasses of wine at lunch time isn't my (or your) normal but it's not for us to pass judgement!

If she works in a pharmacy in theory if she's doling out prescriptions they'd be double checked anyway wouldn't they?

If this is regular occurrence and she has a drink problem then it wouldn't have gone unnoticed at work.

If she feels nothing is wrong with it then there really is probably nothing wrong-people who have a drink problem are often quite secretive about their drinking.

Maybe she just needed a bit of Dutch courage for something at work?!

Iamthewombat Sat 29-Feb-20 00:39:26

Two glasses of wine at lunchtime was once quite normal. In the nineties. How I wish those days would come back once more.

Are you horrified because she was drinking wine in front of ‘mums and toddlers’ and ‘elderly people’? Quelle horreur!

I expect that cafes love customers like her. In and out, free spending on sandwiches, cake and wine. Not sitting for two hours over a latte, demanding that they heat up baby food and letting the toddlers run riot.

GlomOfNit Sat 29-Feb-20 00:41:39

Yes, of course it's her business. One reason of many I didn't say anything. I was just wondering - what would others on here have felt? Aside from 'mind your own business' which is pretty much a MN given ... hmm

MumsnOt - I did wonder if she was having a really shitty day and needed the Dutch courage, yes. (initially I thought she was dressed entirely in black and wondered if she'd been at a funeral, until I noticed her chemist uniform. And no, I wasn't gawping at her the whole time, I was being very English and looking at my coffee.)

DropYourSword Sat 29-Feb-20 00:41:52

What would I have done? Loosened my judgey pants as they were clearly on far too tight!!

GlomOfNit Sat 29-Feb-20 00:44:20

Iamthewombat - nope, not horrified she was drinking in front of toddlers. I'm not like that. (nor do I spend two hours over a single latte...) My main feeling was that it was very unusual in this particular context and that maybe I should have asked her if she was ok.

I might have had two drinks at lunchtime as a student but not if I had to do anything sensible afterwards! Right now it'd floor me for most of the afternoon if I needed to function.

GlomOfNit Sat 29-Feb-20 00:46:14

<sigh> No, wasn't judging. I was concerned. I just wondered if others would have been too, or if I'm now so middle-aged and parochial that this strikes me as unusual but doesn't strike anyone else as such.

TooTrueToBeGood Sat 29-Feb-20 00:48:20

Someone drinks wine in an establishment that sells wine and you start a thread about it? How many wines have you had? Either too many or not enough, evidently.

MrMeSeeks Sat 29-Feb-20 00:49:33

Maybe she’d finished work (shock horror) just because she was in work clothes doesn’t mean she couldn’t have ended her shift confused

safariboot Sat 29-Feb-20 00:50:44

I think nowadays the idea of being even slightly drunk at work is pretty much unacceptable. As mentioned she could have finished for the day though.

I guess it's an unusual place to have a drink. Then again, probably less likely to be harassed by men in a cafe rather than a pub.

GlomOfNit Sat 29-Feb-20 00:56:43

TooTrue obviously if the coffee shop sells wine, there's nothing wrong with ordering it. But like I said, I've never seen anyone on their own with a glass of wine in there - so in terms of this particular context it was really unusual. Not sure what this has to do with how much I've had to drink tonight, though. hmm

Ok, clearly I've been unreasonable and judgy and mean.

WhiteBadger Sat 29-Feb-20 00:56:56

I understand where you're coming from OP. No matter what the rest of Mnet say it is slightly odd.

All the recent organisations I've worked with recently do not approve of alcohol at lunchtime anymore. I certainly don't think a pharmacist should be drinking at lunchtime!

Like you say if it was in a pub you wouldn't have looked twice. I think it's just the Cafe surroundings that's thrown you or maybe you've unconsciously picked up on some body language.

You'll never know!

Go back there the same time and day next week and see if she comes in again!

Mummyshark2018 Sat 29-Feb-20 00:57:46

If she was literally sitting opposite me I'd have struck up a friendly conversation, regardless of whether it was 2 wines or 2 coffees. Who knows or cares what she was doing. I'd not judge

user1471453601 Sat 29-Feb-20 01:00:02

To be honest, if raise my eyebrows (if they could be bothered, which I doubt)it would be at you knitting.

Caveat, I knit and I drink during the day. Shock, horror. But I never knit in public

PickleMyPepper Sat 29-Feb-20 01:05:14

If I'd 2 glasses of wine at lunch and some busy body came over to me and asked if I was okay I'd be likely to say 'mind your own bloody business.'

What a strange observation to make.

StinkyWizleteets Sat 29-Feb-20 01:09:31

Must’ve been awful not having a net curtain between you for you to twitch

Sobeyondthehills Sat 29-Feb-20 01:20:47

I think my only issue would be that she was going back to work,

I also think given your op you are been given a hard time, you clearly show that maybe its your own preconcieved thoughts that make you think you are unreasonable.

finn1020 Sat 29-Feb-20 01:29:59

Non event.

Bouledeneige Sat 29-Feb-20 01:33:27

It might actually be nicer for a woman on her own to drink wine in a cafe rather than in a pub on her own.

Bouledeneige Sat 29-Feb-20 01:33:46

Unless she's surrounded by judgey people.

BreasticlesNotTesticles Sat 29-Feb-20 01:34:42

2 large glasses of wine in a lunch break points to an alcohol problem.

EnidButton Sat 29-Feb-20 01:35:19

If you saw her go back to work then you're right to be concerned. Absolutely not okay to be working in a pharmacy in any role after drinking alcohol. A pharmacist doesn't usually wear a uniform so presumably she's be a medicine counter assistant, pharmacy technician or dispenser. None of which would be allowed to consume any alcohol during their working day. (Pharmacists don't just 'dole out' medicines btw Mumsn0t. They have as much responsibility to a patient as a GP.)
If she works in a large store that isn't just a pharmacy, she might work on a beauty counter or be a general sales assistant so that'd be different, very much frowned upon and an issue, but not dangerous.

However if you didn't see her go back to work then maybe her shift had finished in which case she can crack on. Lots of reasons she might want a drink. No one else's business. I don't drink but wouldn't judge someone in that circumstance. Might wonder if they were feeling shit and be concerned maybe. Like you said.

EnidButton Sat 29-Feb-20 01:37:12

Mumsn0t not having a go btw. Came out a bit too blunt! I just mean their job is a very serious one and much more complicated than a lot of people think.

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