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.