Thursday, August 14, 2014

Alcohol Is NOT My Friend

Because I am bad at consuming alcohol I was entertained by Rachel Page's project of captioning these products. As the article says, that's brilliant. And true.

I quit drinking on a (socially) regular basis after being married to (and abused by) an alcoholic. Before all that, I was never a big drinker anyway, but I will never forget my last liquor-fueled wipe out. It happened during a Mother's Day celebration.

The whole plan for that special day was put together by my brothers and their friends. I was included because, even though I'm not a "bio-mom", I put in some time as the working "dad" figure of a couple of my nieces. I take no full credit for the raising of kids and, after that Mother's Day, I take no credit for being able to handle more than my three-drink limit. One, if we are talking Long Island Iced Tea. Or maybe not even a full one of those!

For that Mother's Day, the guys rented a Hummer limo for me, two of my sisters-in-law and about four other women. My sister was lucky enough to miss my antics because she was home sick. I should have missed my antics.

We all started our day with an early wine and champagne type breakfast. That right there should have been our first sign. No one should have liquor for breakfast unless they are filming a porn movie or about to fly on an airplane.

I have to mention that this all took place in and around Phoenix Arizona. Arizona is warm in December. In May, the temps run about the same as those of Hell's play-cousin. I think we hit 150 degrees that day, but I'm told it was more like 115. Same thing.

So, I'm eating nothing for breakfast unless you count the pulp in my mimosa. At damn near 50 years old, I found myself buckling to the peer pressure of being around a bunch of wealthier, prettier women than I. Apparently, despite their glamour, they each had at least one wooden leg I wasn't told about. These gals were tossing back liquor like they were taking shots of Fresca. I stuck to one mimosa and a small hit of moscato. And started sweating like I was in full menopause mode.

The limo arrived so we went outside to take a group photo. I'm glad we took the pic because that's the last time I looked presentable for the occasion. After three minutes in that heat, my hair had transformed to a sort of processed nappy look that all the "sistahs" out there will understand. My one good (and expensive) outfit - that I'd worn to fit in with the Housewives of Phoenix - would have been soaked through with my hormonal sweating. Thank goodness for that blazing "dry heat" I'd heard so much about, right?

Here's something else that amazed me about those Arizona ladies: they don't sweat. Their makeup doesn't run and their hair doesn't look like they just rode a slip and slide through the desert. I couldn't get into the car fast enough. The other ladies probably thought I was just really impressed with my first ride in such a gigantic limo, but I was only crawling around like Ethel Mertz and Lucy because I was trying to find the controls for the air-conditioner.

Forgive me if I don't get the sequence of our ride correct, but I know that we drove from my brother's house in Gilbert to wherever the mall is in Scottsdale. I think we might have ridden through other areas, but someone gave me a wine glass and someone else kept re-filling it. At some point, one of my sister-in-law handed me a Visa gift card and explained that the guys had given each of us one so that we could play a game called "Best Gift".

I was already pretty lit up on all that morning liquor, but I understood the basics of the game. We were going to go into the mall and buy things that would make a cute Mother's Day gift. We'd get back together in an hour and vote on who chose the best gift. The winner would get another Visa gift card.

Okay. Sounded good to me. Of course, tipsy as I was, anything sounded good to me. Curling up on that beautiful leather seat and taking a snooze sounded best to me, but, hey.

I'm all about life lessons. Live and learn, right?

When I stepped outside the cool air of the car and into the heat that is high noon in Scottsdale, I learned that heat maximizes the effects of alcohol. I learned that it's tricky to walk in high heels and a tight skirt when you are drunk, hot and just really, really want to lay down and go to sleep. I also learned that those rich heffas I was spending my Mother's Day with could put down liquor like a rock band on tour.

The other ladies checked their hair and makeup and stepped out of the limo looking red-carpet ready. I stepped out looking like I was ready for rebab. I was drunker than I'd been on my wedding night. When the heat hit me, I was instantly more drunk.

I have no idea how I made it through the shopping part of the game. One of the other ladies paired up with me so we could pool our gift cards. We agreed that we'd split winnings if we won. I was so incredibly wasted that I would've agreed to stripping down right there at the mall and doing a pole dance for the other shoppers.

I don't exactly recall what my shopping partner and I bought, but I do recall that we finished before everyone else. I recall that we decided to wait for the others by having a drink at this little outside bar. I recall that with clarity that is reserved for all of our deepest, darkest moments. That's because, drunk as I already was, I let my companion order a drink for me. She ordered something called a 'Saki Bomber'.

Right there is when I slipped from merely sloppy drunk to wasted to the point of all-hell-is-going-to-break-loose-. And no one saw it coming. (Don't blame me, I couldn't see my twenty fingers in front of my face.)

Have you ever experienced a Saki Bomber? No? Well, it's when you take mug of ice-cold beer and drop in a thimble of that Devil's brew called rice wine. You drop the glass of Saki right into the beer. Yeah. Then you slam the mug hard on the table - you know, to announce to everyone that you are an drunken idiot who is about to be even more drunk and more of an idiot. And you chug all that liquor right down, like the good and obedient girl who is trying to fit in with all the cool kids.
Said the spider to the fly
Except I was too old to be a 'girl' and too old to worry about fitting in!!!

Let me stop and add in a couple of details:

  • Our limo driver happened to be a tall, blonde-and-blue guy called Jimmy Hendrix. No lie (or so he said), that was his real name. Nice guy. Gorgeous guy. Or at least I think he was gorgeous. With that much liquor in my system, everyone and everything was gorgeous.
  • The mall wasn't the main stop of our day. We still had lunch planned at some restaurant. Which one? I can't remember. Doesn't matter anyway because... Well, you'll see.
Okay. So I'm two Saki Bombers in when the rest of our party shows up to head back to the limo. My shopping/drinking partner maybe realizes at this point that I'm no match for her and the other ladies when our car pulls around and I have trouble standing up. Taking off my shoes made standing up easier but did nothing for the walking part. Jimmy Hendrix comes to the rescue. He picks me up and carries me to the car. Like something out of "The Officer and the Gentleman," except no one watching is clapping and hooting. They are just staring. 

Here is where I have trouble remembering what followed. I know I made it to the limo. I know that Jimmy was a very prepared driver because he had barf bags on hand. I remember that we made it to the restaraunt. I even made it inside. I don't know how I made it inside, but I made it to the bar where we all sat to wait for our table. 

Let's stop again for a moment and ask some questions:
  • Question: Did no one in my party realize exactly how drunk I was?
  • Answer: Apparently not because someone ordered me a glass of wine.
  • Question: How did I end up outside, sitting on the curb with my shoes lost and my dress hiked up around my upper thigh?
  • Answer: I don't know but that sun was a bitch.
  • Question: How did I make my way into the ladies room.
  • Answer: Again, I don't know, but I do know that those wall tiles were so nice and cool that I wanted to make love to them.
So, I'm in the bathroom. I make it into a stall okay, but can't make my way back out without fighting with the door. I must have beat the crap out of that door because it took both my sisters-in-law to get me off of it. 

While my sisters-in-law helped break up the fight I was having with myself, another member of our party wondered if they shouldn't call an ambulance. All the ladies were having a panic attack because they just knew that my brothers were going to kill them for letting me get so messy drunk. 

I don't remember who was brave enough to do it, but someone called one of my brothers. I know they did because I remember him coming right into the ladies room, picking me up and tossing me over his shoulder like a sack of drunken potatoes. He carried me out to his car and drove me home.

I was drunk for two days. I'm not kidding. I was so drunk that, when I was able to crawl to the kitchen in the middle of the night for water, I learned another lesson: water re-activates drunkeness. I spent the rest of the night on the kitchen floor.

This was the worst bout of drunkenness I've ever experienced. And, guess what? I was supposed to start my new job at my brother's office that Monday. Didn't make it to work. Barely made it off the kitchen floor and back to bed. 

When I started my job on Tuesday, I walked in to an office full of people giving me a little welcoming standing ovation. How very embarrassing.

I lied when I said that was the last time I was really drunk. There were a couple more times. Once when I had my friend pull over at two in the morning so that I could get on my knees in the snow and throw up in a grocery store parking lot. Another time when I literally slid into a Village Inn to order an after-the-club breakfast and just fell asleep at the table while my companions made excuses for me. 

One thing I can say is that I have never driven drunk. After the third drink, I can't even walk drunk. So, yeah: Alcohol is not my friend so I quit hanging out with it. The most I'll do now is invite it in for one quick glass with dinner. No goodnight kiss and no sleepovers. (Except when I have to fly. Alcohol is my best friend then.)