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O Alcohol, I Still Drink to Your Health

Last night I announced to Justin that I hadn’t had any wine — or any alcohol at all, for that matter — since Saturday.

He made me hold out my hand to determine whether I had the withdrawal shakes.

As I held my hand out, palm-down, and feigned an exaggerated shake accompanied by an even more exaggerated eye twitch, I realized that sometimes it’s good to listen to your body.  And, after Saturday’s night out for my boss’s birthday following Friday night at Justin’s work Christmas party with an open bar, my body was telling me that it’s time for a detox.

Since my drinking habits normally don’t involve more than a glass (or two) of wine in the evenings, a binger I am not.  With the exception of this past weekend, obviously.

But I recently noticed something… something disturbing.  It no longer seemed as though, when I poured a glass, that I was taking the time to enjoy it.  To notice its color.  Its scent.  The way its legs coated the sides of the glass and the flavor as it rolled over my tongue.

It was just a drink.

Something to wash down my food.

And if that’s going to be the case, I may as well drink water.  Or tea.

Fewer calories, you see.

So, my body will remain vino-free until it tells me its ready to enjoy it again.  Which I expect will be Friday, when I take a girlfriend out to a new wine bar in town for a much-needed drink.  On her part, not mine.

The Christmas party was at the fancy, dancy Pinehurst Club once again this year, and this year I actually managed to don a dress.  Although no Kindles were won on my part, I did manage to make tipsy best friends with a Colonel’s wife before we (Justin, me, and some other enlisted stragglers, that is — not the Colonel’s wife) worked our way over to a low-key pub (much more my style) for a nightcap.  All-in-all, I paced myself well, drank plenty of water, and managed to feel decent enough to help a friend move on Saturday morning.

Then Saturday night happened.

It was my boss’s birthday party.  Food was ordered.  Bottles of wine were bought.  And somehow — somehow — my glass stayed full, no matter how much I drank.  For dessert, someone handed me a vodka tonic.

Then we went dancing.  I can’t dance to save my life.  I’m pretty sure I probably looked like a pug trying to swim — all wiggly and uncoordinated and ultimately spinning in circles when I knew more should be happening, if I could only just get all of my parts to cooperate.

Don’t think about it so much!” yelled my dance partner for the evening over the blaring music.  “Just let it happen!

Sarah, who was my boss’s business partner’s stunningly adorable fiancée (picture a young Jenna Elfman and just as cool), had professional dancing experience, it turns out, which allowed her to describe dancing like it can just happen, like an orgasm, and managed to make me look even more doofy than normal standing all gangly and awkward next to the petit blonde with the pixie cut and flying feather earrings who was trying her damnedest to teach me how to Dougie but it just. wasn’t. happening.

(Cali Swag District – Teach Me How to Dougie)

So I took another slug of my frozen chocolaty concoction, and while it certainly didn’t improve my dancing, it somewhat took away the fact that I cared.

And this is why, on Sunday morning, I felt like maybe someone let a donkey into our bedroom in the middle of the night.  A donkey that proceeded to kick me in the head.


And by Sunday afternoon, when my body felt like that of a withered 90-year-old man, I thought that maybe it was time to reevaluate this whole drinking-to-get drunk concept.  At 22?  Sure, it was no problem.  I could bounce back and rally with the rest of ’em.  But at 29?  Not so much.  It doesn’t help that my boss is 2 years younger than me.

Have I mentioned that?

It doesn’t really bother me.


So.  I’m making a declaration — it’s only like the 56th or 57th time I’ve done this — to not bother with drunkenness anymore.  A glass of wine?  Sure thing.  A healthy writer’s buzz?  Yessiree.  Attempting to dance with someone who knows how to dance and happens to be the only other white chick in the club?

No, thank you.

But that’s the thing about excessive alcohol.  Like a love-worn frenemy or a toxic relationship, you don’t even realize the bad stuff is happening until it feels too late to turn back.

Post title from the song Alcohol, by the Barenaked Ladies.  It’s surprisingly poignant.

Barenaked Ladies – Alcohol

I thought that Alcohol was just for those with nothing else to do
I thought that drinking just to get drunk was a waste of precious booze
But now I know that there’s a time and there’s a place where I can choose
To walk the fine line between self control… and self abuse


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It’s a permanent accessory ;)


Do you have that song stuck in your head now? Because that was the plan. :)


Good luck with that. Moderation is nice.

On another note, I just watched that entire video and still don’t even know what it means to Dougie. It looks hard though, with all the skateboards and breakdancing and full depth squats and whatnot. You should not feel bad that you couldn’t do that drunk. I couldn’t touch it sober.

I noticed that there are at least twenty other videos on how to Dougie. Is this a cultural phenomenon that I was completely unaware of? Does the fact that I never heard of it until now mean I have reached a new level of unhipness?


Moderation is nice, but soo so hard to maintain. ;)

You crack me up! I’m even worse sober… I think. Not that I would try. Ever.

I’ve heard it at some bars with dance floors every now and then, but since I don’t frequent those very often, I couldn’t tell you how far this goes back. But you’re definitely not alone in your unhipness, if that makes you feel any better. Which it should.


Oooh, the holiday parties, yes navigating them can be exhausting, especially when you are paired with a larger partner (chauffeur is 6’4″, I’m 5″4.75) who can usually drink and eat waaay more than I can. And although we have been married for almost 30 years, he still tries to pawn food and drink off on me…”do you want this, do you want some of that”…sheesh…AND everyone seems to fill my wine glass while I’m not looking. It takes all the will power in the world to practice moderation during the holidays. My plan is to once and for all train chauffeur to STOP offering me food and drink, so far it hasn’t been too successful, but it is getting better ;)


See, the problem isn’t Justin (he’s not big on drinking and is always my DD), but it’s the fact that I find myself feeling socially awkward in “professional” social settings so I drink to make myself feel better. Because, you know, THAT leaves a good impression. ;)


Lol, nice! Parties around the holiday are good enough excuses for a little excessive drinking though. No harm done.

It sounds like you could use a trip to Italy. Nothing like fine Italian wines to bring back that love for the color, taste, and feel of vino. If you go let me know. I’ll give you the name of a restaurant in Rome with the best wine I’ve ever had, as well as money to bring me home a few bottles.

Great post and, of course, wonderful writing.


p.s. I brought home bottles of wine by wrapping the glass completely in ductape and socks. I have no idea how I didn’t get stopped going through US customs. I got quite a few questions about the duct tape bottles when guests opened my refrigerator, though. But needless to say, I was happy to have them. :D


Italy is definitely on my list. :) And I should definitely try the duct tape thing… I’ve brought back several bottles in my checked bags before from France and Spain, but I panicked the whole way because I figured I’d get home and all of my clothes would be stained red. But those things are hardier than you’d think! (Several stolen bar glasses also survived the trip from France by stuffing them with socks and inside rolled clothing.)

Uggghhh I’m still so envious of your trip to Peru!


First, this: “Then we went dancing. I can’t dance to save my life. I’m pretty sure I probably looked like a pug trying to swim — all wiggly and uncoordinated and ultimately spinning in circles when I knew more should be happening, if I could only just get all of my parts to cooperate.” made me laugh out loud. So thank you for that.

Second, I’m finding that the sooner we figure out to not care what other people think about us the more fun we’ll have in life (i.e. wearing ugly sweaters when we’re 60 could start now). So dance it out… because even if you’re not drunk, other people will be, and/or they won’t care because they’re too worried about how they look. :)


… and third, not that I have mastered the art of not caring what other people think… because it’s easier said than done. But dancing? You can do it! I promise.


Haha, I don’t care! I swear! But for some reason my dancing looks like I care, if that makes any sense. Let’s blame it on stiff joints. ;)


The hubs makes that declaration after each and every dalliance with whiskey. It lasts for a couple of weeks. I on the other hand, have never sworn off alcohol. I’ve had exactly one hangover in my entire life because I usually metabolize the stuff shockingly well. That morning – head pounding, mouth like the Sahara, nauseous to the core – I asked the hubs why normal people drink if that’s what they feel like the next day. I know if I felt like that each and every time I drank too much, I’d have sworn it off.

And the dancing, really does have to come organically from the music. Or choose to hang out with people who can’t dance. It’s like bringing a homely girl with you to the bar. Instantly hotter.


Bwahahaha! Girl, with the way I dance, I was the homely girl at the bar. ;)

And I’m jealous. So jealous of your liquor holding abilities. Seriously. If you could bottle that, you’d be a bajillionaire.

Kat Richter

Don’t feel too bad about the Dougie– I’m a professional dancer and I can’t even do the Dougie. Obviously this is because The Dougie is a stupid dance :)


Ha! This totally cracked me up. I mean… obviously. ;)


As long as this new resolution doesn’t keep you from joining me at the lake this year… although we need to practice some more moderation. I was a mess last time!


Oooooh…. lake. And warm weather. And goats. How I miss thee…

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