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.

The Paradox of Pizza

Best case scenario.

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.