Hey. In case you’re wondering, this post will be about alcohol. And why I am never ever ever EVER going to drink again. Ever.

Some background here. I started smoking when I was 13. Because it was (snorts hysterically, realizing what an idiot she was) cool. Alcohol and drugs following shortly after, our heroine (that would be me) falls in with a bad crowd and began to do stupid things. Some of these are funny, some of these are horrifying.

Some examples:

1. The night I was babysitting the four children from hell and my friend and neighbor suggested that we should get stoned before we go. Yeah, because that’s great AND responsible. Plus, we couldn’t get in touch with “our connection” and decided to try popping some pills instead. Except when she encouraged me to steal the Dexatrim from the corner store, I grabbed the wrong package and ended up with something else that started with a D. I do not remember what it was but it did not give us the feeling that we wanted. So then we raided medicine cabinets. I don’t remember what we ended up taking all together but it was enough, that when I went upstairs to get a blanket for one of the kids (because the parents of the spawn of Satan thought “Hey, I know! What will make Dana’s life more horrendous? How about if we let her baby-sit the demon children of our friends for the exact same amount of money? That’ll be great!”), I heard this crashing sound and then realized it was because I had passed out. I think we figured out later that I had taken the equivalent of 50-60 aspirins. God protects the stupid, is all I have to say, since there weren’t any more adverse effects.

2. The night I was dumb enough to drink 5000 kamikazes (okay, probably not that many) while in Stillwater and decided that, hey, I should protect my friend by distracting this really annoying guy who is hitting on her. And what better way to do that then have sex with him at a construction site! Wow. I sure have great judgment when I’m drinking! Here’s the link if you want to read about this night. And yes, if you read it and find yourself laughing in places, that’s okay. While it was a traumatic experience at the time, I am way over it.

3. When I was living in Madison, there was this guy that was gorgeous and wonderful and funny and sweet and quite perfectly perfect. And he liked me. And he would flirt with me in this gentle and caring manner that was leading up to him asking me out (or so I found out later). But then, one night when he was over at the house that my friends (down to just Becky at this point, I think) had rented, a group of us decided to play spin the bottle. With shots of tequila. This, just in case you hadn’t figured it out, is not a good combination.

Now, I used to have no problem with my liquor. None. In fact, I drank tequila all the time. When Becky and I used to hang out at the bar that our landlord bounced at (and he was wonderful and would get us in with no cover and for happy hour, they fed you and it was great because half the time we couldn’t afford to eat (although if I think about it, perhaps we would have more money for food if we didn’t drink so damn much)), I would go up to the bar and order a shot of tequila. When the bartender asked me if I wanted the salt and lime to go with it, I would scoff and say “Please. I drink my tequila like a man.” This would completely shame the five or six guys standing around with their salt and lime. Especially after they watched me slam the tequila right there. One night, Becky and I figured that we drank over 30 shots apiece. And somehow, miraculously, we made it home in one piece. This might be because not all of the shots were tequila.

But on this night, the spin the bottle night (sorry, I went off on a tangent again. I’m good at that), the tequila was having an adverse effect on me. All I really remember about this is that sweet, wonderful, attractive guy spun the bottle, the bottle pointed to me and he leaned in to kiss me. Finally, finally, our lips would touch and we would kiss and realize that we were meant for each and then we would make sweet, sweet love, quite possibly in the rain, and then get married and have the proper amount of children (2.5) with a white picket fence. Let me rephrase that. We would live in a home with a white picket fence, not have children with the white picket fence because then the children would have pointy heads and that would be bad.

Since I do not have children (that I know about), obviously something happened to prevent our miraculous romantic encounter. What was it? What could it be? Oh, I know. I came this close (holds fingers together to demonstrate hardly any space at all) to throwing up on him. One moment, his lips are right there, within reach, the next moment, I am gagging and running to the bathroom where I spend the next 30 minutes praying to the porcelain God (Told you guys I was religious). When I finally managed to stop heaving, I returned to the living room to find out that Mr. Wonderful was gone. Sheesh. Almost throw up on a guy and he loses interest. I don’t get that at all (yes, I am being sarcastic).

4. The first time I ever got drunk was on blackberry brandy. I was over at a friend’s house and, for some reason, she was in her room and I was out in the dining room with her dad and some guy and the dad offered me something to drink. Why he decided to serve me blackberry brandy when I was 14 or 15, I’ll never know. Why he combined the brandy with Cheez-Its is another mystery. I do remember staggering home and somehow my mother never found out.

5. A few times with the really bad influence that lived next door to us (I called her Lorna (fake name) since really bad influence that lived next door to us is really a long name), we decided to go roller skating (Saints North. Before roller blading and inline skating. And the song that would play a lot was Stroke Me by Billy Squier. God, I’m old) because it was a great place to meet boys. I have no coordination whatsoever. What helps you in this endeavor, the needing to balance on a total of eight tiny wheels? Oh, let’s slug back half a bottle of vodka! Or, oh, hey, you don’t have any access to vodka? How ’bout you drink some cold medicine. That’ll help. Oh, and hey, some girl cut you off on the rink? How ’bout you try to take that bitch down a peg or two? That’ll be fun. Although I must say that the look on Lorna’s face when she saw me try to fight this girl who was probably four inches taller than me was priceless.

6. When I was 16 or 17, my mom had me in counseling because she was worried how I was reacting to my parents divorce (which I never understood since I was the one that said “It’s about time” when she told me she was leaving my dad (loved him dearly but he was not a good husband or father when he was drinking (hmm, perhaps I could have learned from this lesson)). One day I went over to my friend Kathy’s house to spend the night with her and my other friend Sue. I remember that we spent the night drinking Sloe Screws (Sloe Gin and orange juice) and I was mixing my own drinks. Not aware of the power of the Sloe Gin, I decided to fill my glass about 1/2 Gin, 1/2 orange juice. Yeah. Because I’m brilliant.

After a few of these glasses, I am feeling no pain and enjoying the movie we are watching (Grease 2. Which explains, now that I think of it, why I defend this movie when people are running it down. No wonder I enjoyed it. I was drunk! I don’t think I’ve seen it since).

I do not remember this at all but apparently, I got up to go to the bathroom, staggered down the hallway and stopped to ask Kathy a question:

DM: Kathy?
K: Yes, Dana?
DM: What’s this on the wall?
K: That’s a candelabra, Dana.
DM: Oh. Okay. Excuse me, Mr. Candelabra.

The next morning, my mom is calling and is furious because I didn’t come home in the morning like I was supposed to and we’re going to be late for my counseling appointment. I had best get myself home right now.

Kathy drives me home and Mom orders me in the car. I get to counseling in time (barely).

After counseling, Mom and I are getting into the car, when I lean out the door and throw up on the ground (yuck). I sit up slowly, waiting for the lecture I know is going to come. Crap. I am so busted.

Mom: Were you drinking last night?
DM: Yes.

There is a slight pause. I wait for it. The lecture is coming, I can sense it. The “You’re too young to drink, I can’t believe you did this, you are grounded forever, missy” lecture.

Mom: You realize that the headache you have now is the result of 100s of brain cells dying, right?
DM: Yes.
Mom: Good.

Wait. That’s it? Dying brain cells? You’re kidding me, right? But apparently she felt that my hangover was enough. The horrible headache would teach me a lesson. I never told her that, other than the vomit, I felt just fine.

7. Last night, I drank 7 shots. Seven. Seven wonderful little concoctions called the Buttery Nipple (dumbest name in the world but so yummy). And then I did the worst possible thing I could ever do under the influence of alcohol.

I tried to have a conversation.

I am not really sure what I said but I am afraid that I made a complete fool of myself.

I do remember watching Poker (why, why, why do people watch poker? It is so boring) and seeing the word flop. I think I said something about flop being a fun word. And then mentioned segue. And then Char said you could take a segway tour of the Mississippi and she would fall over. And I said “You could flop on the segway.” And I laughed. Because it wasn’t funny at all but hey, I was drunk.

I’m sure Beth and Char remember more of what I said and how I embarrassed myself. I do know that Gil’s name came up and I’m sure I said something really stupid about how much I like him. Thank God he was not there.

I am never ever drinking again. Ever. I don’t care how good the Buttery Nipple tastes. Mmm. Butterscotch Schnaaps and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Little drops of heaven on your tongue.

Here’s a picture of one. Beth took it.

Okay. Maybe I’ll only have one more. And it’s not like I have to drive. And maybe they’ll come up with a non-alcoholic version of schnaaps and Bailey’s? Hey. It could happen.

And our title comes from the Barenaked Ladies song entitled (You guessed it!) Alcohol.

Alcohol, my permanent accessory
Alcohol, a party-time necessity
Alcohol, alternative to feeling like yourself
O Alcohol, I still drink to your health

I love you more than I did the week before
I discovered alcohol

Forget the cafe latte, screw the raspberry iced tea
A Malibu and Coke for you, a G&T for me
Alcohol, your songs resolve like
My life never will
When someone else is picking up the bill

I love you more than I did the week before
I discovered alcohol
O Alcohol, would you please forgive me?
For while I cannot love myself
I’ll use something else

I thought that Alcohol was just for those with
Nothing else to do
I thought that drinking just to get drunk
Was a waste of precious booze
But now I know that there’s a time
And there’s a place where I can choose
To walk the fine line between
Self-control and self-abuse

I love you more than I did the week before
I discovered alcohol
Would you please ignore that you
Found me on the floor
Trying on your camisole?
O Alcohol, would you please forgive me?
For while I cannot love myself
I’ll use something else.

Would you please forgive me?

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