Monday, January 3, 2011

In which I am thoroughly humiliated. Again.

Goody Two-Shoes circa Grade 10
I loved that velvet blazer.
In high school, I was a Very Good Girl. I wasn't in the partying crowd, didn't drink (not more than one small glass of wine), never touched pot (let alone anything riskier).

Instead, I did all my sowing of wild oats when I was in university, and into the early years of my marriage. What can I say? I'm a slow learner.

So I was a relative neophyte when, one chilly fall weekend, Steve and I decided to meet up with his parents at his brother's house. Now, this brother had recently returned from a posting to Germany where he had acquired a sizeable cellar of wine. Sweet German Riesling. For a novice drinker, as I was, it was a disaster waiting to happen.

That stuff went down like Kool-Aid.

Now, some people, when they drink alcohol to excess, become physically ill. This results in humiliation.

Others will pass out, another sign of alcohol poisoning. This also can result in humiliation if you are not in the company of good people. It can also result in death if you happen to vomit while you are unconscious.

Then there are those of us who black out. The ol' Energizer Bunny keeps on ticking, but the brain is NOT engaged.

I, alas, am one of the latter. My memories of that evening go blank after a certain point of alcohol toxicity. I remember speaking (in all seriousness) in a British accent. (WTF?) The last thing I remember is reaching into a bag of popcorn.

I awoke the next morning wearing nothing but underpants. "That's odd," I thought. I NEVER sleep without pyjamas; I just can't do it. I've tried. To do so while we were bunking on a sofa-bed in the living room while Steve's parents were there? Not. Possible.

Here, according to Steve, is what happened between the popcorn and the next morning's coffee.

I wouldn't shut up. We all tried to watch a video, but I wouldn't shut my pie-hole. So they gave up and decided to go to bed.

I, however, was in full-on party mode. I was just getting started. And I decided that sex was next on the agenda. Steve, not surprisingly, was not interested. In desperation, he tried to sneak down to the basement. I followed, banging the pictures in the hall and bellowing loudly (and probably "seductively" in a British accent) all the way.

Aware that his parents were listening to the whole thing, Steve decided to take me outside in to the frigid night air. By now I had stripped down to my underpants. I followed Steve outside to our car. My underpants got snagged on the car's door handle. I yowled.

Somehow, Steve finally got me calmed down, and enough of the alcohol wore off that he was able to bring us back inside to sleep.

Moments after telling me all this, while I was still reeling in shock, Steve's dad stepped into the room and bade us good morning.

"I'm SO sorry!" I whimpered.

Fortunately, my father-in-law is a forgiving man and, as a military officer, has likely seen far worse in his day. "Oh," he said, "you're not really a full member of this family until you've gotten drunk with us."

Well, I thought, there's drunk and then there's make-a-total-ass-of-yourself drunk. But I didn't say anything. They had a good time ribbing me for the rest of the day.

Believe me, I never, ever drank to such excess again. Steve did not give me any kind of ultimatum, but it was clear to me that this was a dangerous precedent and I sure wouldn't want to be in his shoes.

Occasionally, even some 20 years later, I wonder what might have happened to me if I had been with strangers instead of people who loved me? What if I'd had keys to a car and decided to drive home? What if nothing bad had happened and I continued to drink like that?

I've told my kids this story as a cautionary tale. Especially my daughters. The most important thing they need, if they are going to drink, is to be with people who love them and will remain sober enough to take care of them if things go sideways.

Of course, I hope they won't drink to excess, but I am realistic enough to realize that they will have to learn their own limits.

And avoid Riesling.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, I can relate. :) Grey Goose vodka is my undoing, never again!!!


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