Yesterday I traveled to a rural town in Kentucky to attend a celebration of life ceremony. Despite the somber purpose for the trip, I was thrilled about spending the night in a hotel solo. Having a busy life and a husband and kids and whatnot, this is a rare occasion and I intended to take every advantage of the opportunity. Hog the bed. Order room service. Watch something non-sports related on tv. Read uninterrupted. You get it.
As I settled into my room I realized that room service wasn’t an option. This isn’t the Waldorf, y’all. As luck would have it I found a pizza place that delivers and I placed my order and changed into my comfy sweats for a night of unadulterated solitude. Heaven.
Not long there was a knock at my door. When I opened the door there stood a big ole corn fed young buck named Justin. He was over 6ft tall with curly blonde hair that spilled out from under his ball cap that was emblazoned with a slice of what appeared to be pepperoni pizza. He presented the box to me with a big smile and exclaimed “here’s your piping hot pizza pie”! I’d also ordered two 20 oz bottles of water and a Hershey’s creme pie for dessert (don’t you judge me) so I grabbed one of the bags as Justin set the pizza down on my hotel room dresser. We chatted for a moment about the town and what I felt was their serious lack of streetlights.
“Seriously”, I said. “This place is impossible to navigate! Where are the street lights? Where are the helmet laws? You wouldn’t catch my old ass careening down these mountains on a motorcycle without one! I hope these dumbasses are signing their organ donor cards”. I realized as the words were coming out of my mouth that I sounded like a cantankerous old bag. This kid was half my age and as I stood there in my sweatpants, ponytail and glasses I’m sure I looked like some paranoid insane crone that he’d surely have avoided in the grocery store.
I was surprised when he started laughing and nodding his head. He said I was “his kind of lady” and while flattered, I kind of died a little inside at “lady” but I digress. He proceeded to tell me that he was off in an hour and he and a few friends were gonna grab some beers and whiskey and “drag the gut” and asked if I’d like to join them. After clearing up the meaning of that expression, read: “cruise the local strip”, I politely declined but told him I appreciated the invite.
“Well, if you change your mind, you know where I work – give me a call!” I gave him a fat tip and told him to be safe.
End of story? You’d think so, wouldn’t you? Well, you’re probably not an alcoholic. As soon as the door shut I felt a rush of adrenaline hit me like the cold spray from a garden hose. The logistics of my situation were indisputable. I had already called and said goodnight to my husband. I was 150 miles away from my home. NO ONE would know if I went and had a few with the local yokels. In fact, I could have an EPIC binge and no one would be the wiser. JUST ONE NIGHT FOR GOD’S SAKE. I’ve been sober TWO years now. Surely I could go out for a couple, right? Just let my hair down and have some laughs, that’s all. I mean, I won’t even TOUCH the whiskey – beer only. These are the things that raced through my head as I stared at the clock and did the math in my head of how long it would take for me to get dressed again and catch Justin before he left work. I WANT TO DRAG THE GUT.
I wish I could say I’m kidding. And I know what you’re thinking on top of the initial horror of my mental incapacity…I’m married. HAPPILY. What kind of gal would even CONSIDER getting into a vehicle of unknown 20-something dudes to get drunk and DRIVE around a strange town when she can’t find her way out of a paper bag with one end open? WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?!?!
I could literally lose everything…my sobriety, my husband or even my life. In no parallel universe is this a good idea. And yet, there I was…heartbeat galloping in my chest at what I envisioned in my delusion as adventursome possibilities. I’m rationalized that I’m a free spirit, after all. I cannot be tamed!
In reality this entire dreamed up scenario lasted less than a minute, maybe two. I settled in with my pizza and The Conjuring and had a perfectly lovely quiet evening. I told myself that I “still got it” and then laughed at my reflection in the mirror over the dresser. An almost 50 year old gal in sweats and a Dolly Parton t-shirt wearing nerdy glasses and a ponytail. Notsomuch glamorous, no. But sober and staying that way.
For tonight, anyway.