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.
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.
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