Drinking has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  My parents believed in pre and post dinner drinks and of course the occasional night cap.  They threw epic parties.  I can remember my father teaching me how to mix the perfect drink, when I was around 7 or 8 years old.  One tall glass.  Four ice cubes.  Two overflowing *jiggers* of Lord Calvert (handle bottle) and top it off with a symbolic splash of 7-Up.  Stir with index finger and taste.  If your face screws up like an onion and you gag, it’s perfect.

Oddly enough, I never touched the stuff in high school.  Whilst my pals were partying under the bleachers during home football games, I was annoying Miss Goody Two-Shoes working in the concession stand or rooting on the team clear eyed and squarely sober.  I wasn’t afraid of alcohol, of course, but I knew the rules and it never occurred to me to sneak a sip at any juncture.  In fact, I found myself mortified when my high school sweetheart caught me trying to stealthily pour out most of what was a Bartle’s and Jayme’s strawberry wine cooler during a hay ride.  I couldn’t tell him I didn’t drink, I mean, all the cool kids did, right?

Now.  College was another story altogether.  I found myself out of town and off my parent’s leash for the very first time.  The party simply never ended.  I learned how to shotgun a beer and take off my bra (without removing my shirt) within the first week.

Naturally my next move was to California.  The call of the beach and long-haired rock and roll boys of Sunset Boulevard were too much for me to resist.  Insert frying pan to fire metaphor here.  I spent the next ten years roaming from state to state and honing my skills.  Party girl.  Wild child.  Reckless and independent.

And just like that, I was about to go Pro.

*it would serve to mention here that my father wore the balance bar off of that jigger not once but twice in its lifetime and my grandfather, a tool and die maker by trade, soldered it back together.  Both times.

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