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Lyndsey McFail
Oct, 20, 2017

Remember the scene in Waiting to Exhale with Savannah (Whitney Houston) and Robin (Lela Rochon) when they’re at the water park? Robin tells Savanah about a girl she saw on a talk show who moved cross-country for a man, got pregnant, had an abortion and never told a soul —not even her momma. When Savannah inquires more and Robin admits she’s never been on a talk show and it cuts to the next scene. I always remember feeling like, “Wait! What just happened? We are not even going to talk about this?

Well, We’re Going to Need More Wine is like that moment of intimacy between girlfriends. You can feel that same closeness as you tear through the pages of this book. It was as if Gabrielle Union and I were hanging, enjoying wine and just talking about growing up as little Black girls, racism, sex, relationship, sexual abuse, career aspirations and whatever else we could think of.

Here are five things we learned from We’re Going to Need More Wine.

Family and close friends call her "Nickie."

In the memoir, Gabrielle (who is referred to as, "Nickie" her childhood nickname) talks about how to get over a break-up with red wine and tequila. She explains red wine is great because it’s like a big, warm and fuzzy hug. While the tequila will get you right, make you forget about your woes and give you the courage to have a F-you attitude. She warns never to mix the two. But all bets are off because she failed to take her own advice when writing this book because she giving out warm hugs and giving us straight talk about life and loving ourselves.

Being the only Black girl in the room was rough.

In chapters like Black Girl Blues and Code 261, Nickie gives us a hug as she takes us on a journey through her childhood and how she felt in her own skin growing in a predominately White environment. She dives into her insecurities about being “pretty for a Black girl”, her hair at sleepovers with her White counterparts, and, of course, who would dance with her at school dances all loomed her thoughts as a preteen but years later.

She's never going to stop sharing her most traumatic life moment.

Like therapy, Gabrielle is candid about her rape, which she goes into detail about in the book. The accounts leading up to, during and after, to this day how it made her feel at age 19 and how years later the things she deals with daily. What sets We’re Going to Need More Wine apart is that you feel connected to the stories and Gabrielle, even if this is something you have not gone through personally.

While she’s telling these stories of pain and awkwardness she endured, she still makes sure to give us a warm hug of comforting words that weren’t always available for her when she was going through various stages in her life. While the book is full of ‘just keep going sis’ and be true to yourself moments, the tequila kicks in many times.

Even she has hangups about her career.

In “Grown-Ass-Woman Blues”, she starts off talking about brunching with girlfriends then goes into careers woes. What stood out the most was how, in an ever-evolving world, she remains positive her career despite not being a "spring chicken." As a 30-something woman with a career in a competitive field, that hit home. I am right in the middle of trying to climb the ladder where my superiors may (or may not) feel threatened by my skill set. Until this chapter I hadn’t realized how relevant of a conversation this is to have. 

Oprah was impressed by her honesty.

Gabrielle even talks about getting an ESSENCE award and in her speech she talks about the jealousy she has had towards other actresses and how she’s rising above. Her honesty hit so hard that even Oprah Winfrey complimented her on baring her soul by saying, “I’ve never heard anyone be that honest in public nor in private.”