So before we get started today, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve somehow managed to type the term SPARKLING ASS twice this morning and it’s not even noon. It’s not worth explaining but definitely worth mentioning and I’m not at all joking. This is reality. It happened.
I had plans last night to go out to dinner with a coworker of mine. My boyfriend also knows her so we all decided to get together. It had been in the works for a few weeks and preliminary discussions had us meeting at a bar so I stealthily shifted the direction of our plans to dinner instead. I find that it’s so much easier for me to be around drinking people if I’m eating a ton of food. Don’t even talk to me about redirection of addict behavior or I’ll eat you. Not ready for that convo yet and I’ve been pretty good with my diet but splurged a bit last night and I’m okay with it so you should be, too. If you’re not, please call Samantha, your therapist, immediately.
During the day, the coworker came up to me several times about that night. She seemed very excited. The talk of drinking came up a few times and I very casually reminded her that I’m not drinking right now. I keep waiting for the questioning and probing as to why but it never seems to come. It goes in her left ear and comes out her right. But then the oddest thing happened. Towards the end of the day when were approaching the time that we were to leave for our outing, she mentioned to me that she’s a little short on money because she just helped out her son.
She asked, “Did I ever tell you my son is in recovery?”
“No,” I said, a little taken aback and creeped out.
“Well he is. And I just had to pay for the breathalyzer to be installed in his car. So expensive!”
“Oh. Wow. Well that was very generous of you,” I replied.
“Yeah. So are you ready to go?” she asked.
And we bounced off to the restaurant in a cab. It was SO FUCKING BIZARRE. Was she trying to get me to tell her that I’m an alcoholic? Was it just coincidence?
We got to the restaurant and of course our fucking table wasn’t ready. They suggested that we would have a lovely time waiting in the bar area. I really wanted to put my arms up and run out the door screaming ME GIANT ALCOHOLIC! ME CAN’T GO IN BAR! ME WILL DRINK ALL VODKA AND THEN STEAL POLICE OFFICER CAR AND DRIVE TO ATLANTIC CITY AND THROW UP ON PEOPLE’S SHOES! But I kept the sudden panic inside. The bar area was huge. And most of it was filled with comfortable little seats and booths scattered about. But none of those seats were open, obviously. There were, however, three ominous looking empty seats at the bar. The coworker ran over to them and climbed up in her miniskirt. Her enthusiasm for drinky time was contagious. She had a look on her face like a person who just ordered the never ending crab leg special and someone had just tied a hideous bib around her neck. She was googly eyed and happy. The boyfriend and I walked over and sat down. She immediately ordered sake and he ordered a glass of Malbec. He and I had talked about this before. I actually told him that I didn’t mind if he had a glass. I was very specific about it being only one glass because I didn’t want to have him act funny the rest of the night. He told me he didn’t even have to have one glass. He was fine without. But I actually thought it was a good idea that he have something because I knew this coworker would be extra aggressive with her questioning if we BOTH weren’t drinking. Now, I understand this plotting out drinking to produce a desired result IS addict behavior and that I essentially used my boyfriend as surrogate for my own drinking. I’m not saying this is what anyone else should do. And if I could do it over again, I probably wouldn’t have predicated the dinner on such a bizarre set up. But it did keep her from asking more questions because she had someone to sip something along with her. Going forward, I need to just start facing these possible inquisitions about my sobriety head on and stop pussyfooting around the inevitable. Baby steps.
Their drinks came and I ordered a club soda. They delivered it to me and I took a sip. While I knew it was club soda, I suddenly felt really weird. I DIDN’T SEE THEM POUR THIS. WHAT IF THEY THOUGHT I SAID VODKA SODA!? OH, STOP IT CRAZY. YOU TRIPPIN. CLUB AND VODKA SOUND NOTHING ALIKE! YEAH BUT WHAT IF I HAD A MINI STROKE WHEN I ORDERED AND DIDN’T REALIZE THAT I REALLY SAID CLUBKA SODA AND THEY HEARD VODKA? THAT’S RIDICULOUS. IT’S CLUB SODA! IT DOESN’T EVEN TASTE LIKE VODKA! YEAH BUT WHAT IF THEY PUT JUST A LITTLE BIT SO I CAN’T TASTE IT AND IT’S GOING TO GET INTO MY BLOODSTREAM AND SUDDENLY I’LL CRAVE MORE! GIRL, YOU CRAY. JUST DON’T DRINK IT, THEN. And I didn’t, you guys. I just didn’t drink the club soda. Because I’m apparently a fucking crazy person. But who cares.
Still wondering whether or not the coworker dropped the news about her son on me as an indicator that she knew what I was going through, I suddenly had a cup of hot sake shoved into my face. “It’s delicious! Try it!” she screamed at me over the pounding techno music. So that answers my question. Apparently the disclosure of her son’s recovery has nothing to do with her ideas about why I might not be drinking. Either that or she totally doesn’t know what alcoholism is. “No thanks! I hate sake! It tastes like if rice went pee!” I joked. She cackled loudly like a woman drinking sake does. I raised my glass of maybe Clubka Soda and toasted. And finally our table was ready.
We moved to safer territory and no more drinks were ordered. We ate yummy food, conversed, no one acted like an idiot, and I was totally at ease. Sort of grateful for the bar detour and view it now as a mini-challenge that I survived. And I was never TEMPTED to drink. Quite the opposite. I was so not interested in drinking that I didn’t even drink my non-drink drink because what if it was playing a trick on me and was actually a drink-drink!?
On a completely unrelated note, I have to tell you about my experience going pee before leaving the restaurant. No, wait! Don’t leave yet! Listen. So I climbed down the stairs of Tao to the restroom area and walked in. There were two stalls and both were occupied. It was a fancy-ish restaurant so there was a towel attendant. You know. One of those guys who wipes your butt for you and gives you mints? He saw that I was waiting for one of the stalls and then raised his hand and pointed at what looked like a black wall. I walked closer to it and he flipped a switch or something and the entire wall lit up bright blue! And then a waterfall started coming down the wall! And then I looked down and saw that I was standing over a little mini-trough with urinal cakes in it. The whole goddamned wall was a toilet that I was supposed to piss on! I was so excited! I’ve always wanted to piss into a neon blue waterfall. IT’S A MIRACLE. So I did. And it was awesome. And I thought about my dog and how fucking happy he would be if he got to pee on something like this.
HAPPY FRIDAY, EVERYONE! REMEMBER: WE DON’T DRINK ON FRIDAY!