Saturday, November 17, 2012

Escape and Excuse

Many years ago, I used alcohol to escape from my reality.  I never feigned for a drink.  I really didn't.  I don't like the taste of alcohol.  I barely tolerate it.  Now, I drink only vodka and wine.  I can't handle any dark liquor, even though Captain Morgan and Crown Royal used to leave a mighty dent in my memory.....

From the moment I first got drunk when I was 15 or so, I viewed drinking as a mini vacation.  Alcohol allowed me to say what I couldn't, do what I couldn't, to not have to take responsibility for my actions.  Drinking gave me an escape from my insecurities.  When I was drunk, I felt pretty, I felt sexy, I felt popular.  I could flirt, I could make out, I could tell someone what I really thought about them.  And when I went too far....well, I had a beautiful excuse, "sorry, I was wasted."

As the years went by and high school turned into college, my drinking became a daily occurrence.  I do think I lived my college years right.... I acted wild, I put myself in major danger, I experienced some unbelievably terrifying situations, but, well, I got a lot out of my system.  I dodged many bullets and I had some of the best times of my life.  But, I still have total regrets about my drinking in college.  Because of it, other than the few best friends I made there, I know my drinking and my insecurities, kept me from developing any other long lasting relationships.  Alcohol was the additional company lurking in my shadows, peer pressuring me into situations I couldn't handle, or didn't even know I was stepping into.

After college, I remained pretty soaking wet with the booze, but work made it hard for me to get crazy as often as others my age were.  I have always worked in hospitality and I often work opposite the world.  Drinking alone isn't that fun for me, so I dried up a bit.  Yet, all of the men I dated in my 20s, loved alcohol, too.  I thought in a naive sense, that drinking equaled fun, so I wanted a man that drank because that kind of man was fun!  How young I was!  I actually thought a man that goes out to all hours of the night was a better candidate than a man who has hobbies outside of bar stools and beer taps because a drunk couple is a fun couple?!

Awful drank often.  He also drank a lot.  He never got violent and actually held his liquor quite well, but he made impulsive and idiotic decisions when he drank....he would drive and boat drunk and risk our friends lives, he would say moronic things, many of them total lies, and he would disappear for hours.  Mostly, he would lose track of time because he had a total processing problem and planning fallacy, but he felt that drinking gave him an excuse.  "Get off my back, I was drunk!!!!!!!"  I don't miss laying in bed waiting for him to come home, nervous that something bad happened.....because often something bad DID ACTUALLY happen: scooter accidents, car accidents, boat accidents, lost wallets, lost phones, you name it.

Crush doesn't drink.  Well, he drinks as much as I do, which really is very little.  I hold a glass of wine or a beer when I am out at a social event.  I enjoy a stiff martini with a juicy steak, or a robust red with some hearty pasta.  I toast with champagne and I cool off with a beer (if it is a craft beer), but drinking is not a real part of my life anymore.  It is simply an extra, not an everything.  Crush and I have never gotten drunk together and even though I know he will eventually see me over-served and perhaps have to hold my hair back while I puke as lately I can't handle my booze at all, it will be something that is unplanned, the night will simply and truly get away from me.  I really only love to drink with my best girlfriends without men around, as that reminds me of years ago and some of the silliest memories ever.  When us gals do get away without the significant others, madness can occur, but it is rare.  My hangovers last too long to make any drunk nights really worth it anymore and I see my besties so rarely, I crave their sober company more than anything.

Until Crush and I consummated our relationship, I had never had sex with a boyfriend for the first time sober.  This is not something I am proud of.  I was so self conscious of my body and of my vagina (something I have gotten totally over as WTF, vaginas come in ALL shapes and sizes and this is really too much), so I drank to get faux confidence and then I kept the lights off and acted like my version of a sexy seductress and I gave so very much and I never took a thing.  I wanted to be revered, but I didn't believe in myself enough to do it sober, only in pitch black darkness, I didn't know how to own my curves and all of my gifts.  I was faking it.

Crush makes me feel genuine.  This is simply the best way to describe it.  When I am with him, I am present.  I am really tuned in.  I am sober because I want to remember it all, I don't want to miss a single second.  I want to recall these first meetings in sharp detail and not in fuzzy flashbacks that sneak up on me and make me feel guilty.

Last night, I attended a party for a client of mine.  It was so nice of them to invite me.  Since, I am leaving, I am making an effort to attend most everything I am invited to.  I like to opt out of social events most of the time, but I am going to go places proudly and savor my last months in the city I spent my entire 20s in.  I want to really live the last chapter before I depart.  No regrets.

The client party was at a very trendy club and all the beautiful drunk insecure people were there.  There they were swaying to the music in their club clothes (mini skirts, high heels, breasts and crotches exposed....tight trousers, half buttoned shirts, shiny loafers) drinking overpriced vodka and looking over shoulders for the next best thing.  There I was, just a few years ago....a person that was so empty, a Friday night on the town could temporarily fill me just like the tequila and wine I would consume in excess.

After a few hours, I saw the ladies' eyes glass over, I saw them start to stagger and slur, I saw the followers in the dresses just a size or 2 too small, leave reality for a moment, escape from the madness of bottle service and champagne sparklers and men judging them based on only exteriors.  I saw them all escape.  I saw them kick their shoes off and stumble into strangers.  I saw them lean in for sloppy kisses from men that they wouldn't be able to identify in a police lineup if they ever needed to.  I saw my past. I know these feelings all too well.  The "there must be more than this....., but this will have to do for now......let me just make it until 1:30 am, so I don't look like a party pooper for leaving too early....."

I now own my reality.  Of course, I still screw up (I wanted to say "fuck up", but I am working on my "cussing" as Crush HATES it and thinks it is totally unladylike, which it is!), I am just a person.  I just don't drink because I really don't need to escape anymore.  I own my actions and I don't need Jim Beam excuses....

They are empty anyway.

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