Family Tradition

It’s confession time you guys. Part of my journey is making amends for the wrong doings I’ve done. Another part is acknowledging my responsibilities and my part in each and every situation. Owning your shit, for lack of better semantics.

This is really neither of those things but it’s a little window into my sickness. Since starting this blog I haven’t delved into what really got me into my circumstances or the gory details. Trust me, those are coming. For now though, enjoy this little snippet from 5 years ago. When sobriety wasn’t even a word in my vocabulary.

The year was 2012 and for some insane reason we had Thanksgiving dinner at our home and I still cannot for the life of me remember who the fuck thought that was a good idea. Regardless, I did my best. I enjoy cooking and my in-laws are pleasant enough but suffice to say I’m not really keen on obligatory family get-togethers. This year was no different which is still why I cannot fathom that I volunteered to host the event. Best I can come up with is I probably had a drunkenly ambitious evening and blacked out and called everyone I knew after scrolling through Pinterest and invited them to our home for Thanksgiving dinner. That is some shit I would do. And then not remember, naturally.

So, I had to make good on my promise and boy, did I. We had turkey and all the fixin’s! We cleaned the house! We lit candles! We had kids setting the table! There was a floral centerpiece! It was glorious!

And all the while I was sneaking off into the guest room to take hearty throat-burning shots of whiskey every half hour or so. You know. . . to cope. This is on TOP of my mixed drink that never left my hand AND the wine I served with our dinner. A deadly trifecta my friends.

In an act of divine providence I got lucky. I managed to stay upright during the meal and only slurred my words a teensy little bit. Everyone enjoyed themselves and all in all, the dinner was a success. I’m still not sure how.

After everyone left I felt VICTORIOUS! I did it! I AM a good wife! I’m a fantastic daughter-in-law! I can do no wrong! Let’s celebrate with more whiskey! And I did. Repeatedly. We changed clothes and sank into the couch to relish our blessings and bask in the glow of pulling a family dinner out of our asses.

This is where I may end up divorced over what I’m about to confess.

As is sometimes typical in an alcoholic celebratory frenzy, I felt a wee bit amorous. OH COME ON. Like you’ve never gotten a little kissy-face after eleven a few drinks? My sweet husband had helped all morning with the festivities and well, why the hell not? We were finally alone with a four day weekend ahead of us! Let’s get kinky! Heck, I may even take off my sweatshirt! WOOT.

Well. That’s seriously about the last thing I remember. I hear that we I disrobed while going up to the bedroom leaving a trail of clothes behind on the stairs, while doing my best Mae West. I then proceeded to pass out during mid-pucker and consequently remained unconscious slept for about 4-5 hours. When I awoke, I was really confused.

I came downstairs to find my husband watching football.

He looked at me closely as I stood there teetering in front of him with my bathrobe on, hair askew, and mascara smeared.

“Hey sleepyhead,” he laughed. I stared at him and then at the kitchen where all the dishes had been put away and the counters were sparkling. Um, now I’m perplexed. And still very drunk.

“When is it?” I stammered.  He looked at me, eyebrows raised. “What do you mean, when is it?”  I looked around again and out the window. I was still so wasted that I was unsure as to the time of day, and to WHAT exact day it was. I started wondering if I was in fact late for work. Is it morning? Is it evening? When the hell was Thanksgiving?!?

Frustrated, I looked pleadingly at my husband and fought to find the words to express myself and my bewilderment. “Noooo“, I slurred. “WHEN IS. . . NOW?!?” I pointed down towards the floor repeatedly as if that was the universal sign for “present day and correct time, please”.

Seriously. That’s what I came up with. When is now? I somewhat pride myself on my vocabulary and yet I could’ve consumed a can of alphabet soup and shit a more sophisticated sentence than that.

Yes, folks, that was FIVE years ago today and yet my husband finds cause to mimic my performance that day quite often. Anytime I get confused or misunderstand something, he’ll laugh and bellow WHEN IS NOW?! out of nowhere and laugh uncontrollably. Yeah, it’s hilarious. I have to laugh because if I don’t, then it’s just sad.

I anticipate today’s Thanksgiving will be a little different than five years ago, and I’m so grateful for that. I’m thankful for the absence of blackouts, and for clarity where there was once chaos. Now is the time to take inventory of our blessings and say thanks. Now is the time to look back and forgive, and to look forward and be of service. When is now, you ask?!?

Now is all we have. Happy Thanksgiving.

I’m still grateful for John Cusack.

My Granny just told my Mom that her dressing looks like cat litter.OH FOR GOD’S SAKES I’M ALREADY BEHIND.  I had such high hopes to be on the ball this week with my Thanksgiving posts and coping strategies but . . . oh hells bells, y’all . . . the holidays are upon us. Again. This is a SUPER FUN time for folks that struggle with alcohol because, well . . . isn’t it obvious?  Family. Stress. Holiday guilt. Political divides. There are a zillion reasons to get twitchy around the holidays, especially if you’re trying to protect your sobriety AND your sanity. I’m by no means an expert, this is only my second year of sobriety. I’m still baby stepping and navigating the land mines myself.

I’ve had some funky Thanksgiving’s.

One of my most memorable ones was back when I was living in Hollywood.  Me and my gay mexican BFF Jerry (this was my dead friend Ben’s roommate and how I met him, incidentally.  YES, BEN AND JERRY.) decided to say fuck it and go to a bar, (surprise!) and avoid all things turkey. As we sat in the dark solace of The Frolic Room on Hollywood Boulevard, I noticed John Cusack sitting at the end of the bar. He’d been out riding his motorcycle. We chatted and I was even on the receiving end of a delightful Jagermeister shot. He wouldn’t let me return the favor. “I’m not drinking that piss and getting on a bike”, he said. Smart dude.

One year my live-in boyfriend of two years broke up with me promptly after our dinner with family. Was it the brussel sprouts, honey? I proceeded to get Yeltsin drunk and after a hysterical phone call my Mom came over and helped me start packing. THANKSGIVING NIGHT. Moms are awesome like that. She also “accidentally” spilled an entire bottle a wee bit of her red wine on the very light beige carpet that evening. Oops.

One year another friend of mine made me an impromptu Thanksgiving dinner. Incidentally, he has one arm. The only thing I did all day was open some evaporated milk with a old school manual can opener. Remember those? You really need two arms.

Another year a casual friend of mine invited my Mom and I to her house for Thanksgiving and due to some plumbing problems she had all of our dishes and prep work in her bathroom and was using her tub as the “sink”. It wasn’t so much disconcerting as it was vomit inducing. I remember bringing jello shots as my side dish. I can’t even make this up.

Reminiscing about these Thanksgivings makes me realize just how much things have changed. How this path that I’ve chosen or that chose me has led me here. This year more than ever I’m thankful for family and old and new friends. I’m thankful for an asshole cat. I’m grateful for a husband that supported me in the fight for my life AND in this writing endeavor. . . and he still makes me laugh every single day.

And of course, thanks to you guys for reading. I’m just getting warmed up.