Thursday, May 18, 2006

Smashed: Not now, but maybe later.

I am currently reading a book that ever so nicely piggybacks the post below: Smashed by Koren Zailckas.

I see so much of myself in this book already and I am not even a quarter of the way through it. I have always been a big drinker. Not an alcoholic, but definitely an abuser of alcohol. I have blacked out. I have puked. I have woken up in strange places. I have done many, many things I regret. I have had more hungover weekends than not.

I started drinking in high school, heavily. We partied with people who were in college and who were over 21. We went to frat parties and got into bars around UVA. We thought we were cooler than our classmates because we drank and got high. We stole handles of vodka from the country club where we worked. We went to horse races in dresses and pearls and puked our guts out. We had keggers and bonfires and filled our parents' liquor bottles back up with water.

So this chick Koren wrote a book about doing the same things I, and thousands of other teens, did? I am liking her book because I SO see myself in it--not just the drinking and amount of it, but how I drank in high school to be social and to compensate for my shyness. And to be cool, to easily make friends. But I am not liking her patronizing tone...own up to the shit you did and admit it: it was FUN! Sure, no adult likes to wake up in someone else's clothes, but my god. I'm sure at the time you and your pal were giggling and high-fiving about it...maybe making each other colorful notes whereupon you brag about how much liquor you downed that particular night. This book would be much better if she weren't "lecturing" her younger self. Just tell the damn drinking story!

I grew up in a HUGE drinking town. Charlottesville VA, home to UVA....or, the "Wahoos," after fish that can drink half their weight. The whole school centers around drinking--big Greek scene, Foxfield (horse races), "Fourth-year Fifth," where graduating seniors drink a fifth of liquor at the last home football game ALL BY THEIR LONESOME. (I never did this, obviously, because I didn't go to UVA, but I witnessed it once. SCARY!). Drinking is what I was taught to do. And I did it very, very well!

I definitely thank my lucky stars that I made it to 30 alive. I did some stupid, stupid things. I could have been Natalee Holloway ten times over! (Give me a break when her mother says that "Natalee would never get in a car with people she didn't know...." If she was a shit-faced teenager she would!) But I wouldn't change a thing. Nothing. Not even those can barely can-stand-to-deal hungover mornings where the toilet in which to puke is the only order of the day.

I know there are a few people in my life who judge my drinking. Worry, maybe I can handle authentic worry, but not the judgment (or, judgment disguised as worry). I know I abuse alcohol. It's my drug of choice. It's MY liver. And wherein I become defensive: I have every right to be. I have 2 college degrees and I hold a very good job. I have a good relationship (although it HAS been strained b/c of drinking, so no need to call me out on that, people). I take cabs and for the most part, only go out on the weekends. I have never gotten a DUI or (technically) been to jail or killed anyone. Sometimes I even wonder why these people have beef? (Because it's what's for dinner?) Nay, I'll spare you the psychobabble about why others judge others (I gave it up for lent, personally, and feel oh-so liberated!).

Plus, I'm perfect, remember. And did I just say "Nay"?

Drinking definitely changes the older you get. I totally feel anxious and shitty now after nights where I black out (or as we mature adults say, "can't remember how I got home!"). I feel "too old" to be puking. I get angry at myself when I waste a day with a hangover. But still, drinking is very much an intrinsic part of my life. I love happy hour drinks with friends. I love bringing Bourbon on backpacking trips. I love beer with golf. I love wine after work. I don't know if I would ever completely give it up. All (most) of my friends drink too. I flock to these kinds of people.

I wish I could say I didn't care though, because I do. Sometimes I do think I drink too much. Not too often, but too much at one time. I get defensive because that's what people do who feel bad about some aspect of themselves. Don't think I can't see the other side: health issues, etc. I am cognizant of the fact that.....

Wait just a cotton-pickin' minute. I stopped being light and lively and yogurty! I don't like being this serious, at least not here for all the world to see! (Although this blog would be infintely better if I got more personal on you...)

Ok, how's this:

Dudes, until my conservative male boss witnesses me whipping my tank top off on the amateur stage at PT's Showclub after downing 2 mind-erasers, the drinking will righteously LIVE ON.

Anyway, I don't feel like talking about this anymore. It's making me want a drink.


Quick note. There are people in this office who either don't have brains or rely too goddamn heavily on MY brain. Cease, immediately! Do some brain using, for cryin' out loud! Sheesh, what am I, your boss?


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