Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Like a fish out of um... whiskey

I "quit" drinking two weeks ago for the following reasons:
I'm not getting any younger,
more creative,
or more productive
It'll be a bit of a laugh (actually it will quash all laughter from my life from here until the end but don't let's be pedantic about the matter)
Was bored and have tried all the other drugs, thought I might give sobriety a whirl
Forgot what it felt like not to be craving either alcohol, greasy food, sleep and/or ibuprofen at any and all times
Makes me more stupid than I am naturally, contributing to many a face-palmed morning
Stopped actually getting drunk, regardless of amount consumed

The last time I went this long without alcohol, I was doing just fine, until my *clenched teeth* mother-in-law broke out the champagne to celebrate the month-old news of our marriage. I felt somehow sabotaged, but it's not as if she could have known I was attempting to give up the sauce and that turning down a toast in honor of the marriage of her first son would be a faux-pas even someone as gauche and heartless as I could not bring myself to do... could she?

Of course, the second I got a couple sips of bubbly down my throat, all I wanted was just a splash more, and then just a glass more, and then oh fuck it let's just get out a few bottles of the cheaper Chardonnay, shall we? Then the MIL and I had a private, in-the-next-room and half-whispered, inebriated heart-to-heart and I was like, "Oh god, thank you for alcohol, thank you for making this conversation not only bearable but almost even enjoyable. I will want to stab myself through the eyeballs in the morning, but for now I am content."

Not Drinking isn't as hard as I thought it would be, except when stuff like my *new-and-improved!* crazy-pants boss calls me at my house to tell me I've nearly thawed down his establishment (that's a story for another day) or when I've talked to so many customers in the dreaded Krautian tongue and put on so many fake smiles that I fear my brains will bleed out my eardrums and all I want to do is drink away the memories of the day, pass out into blissful oblivion in front of the television, wake up, eat a cold cheeseburger, then pass out for some restless, uncomfortable slumber and wake up puckered with dehydration and craving biscuits and gravy. But other than the self-medicating kind of Drinking, I don't really miss Social Drinking (which, as we know is for Grammas anyway).

Since I've not been drinking, I've been to the library, begun to teach myself how to knit (OK so I ordered a book off Amazon and have been flipping through it the last couple of days--no I don't have any yarn yet, no you fuck off!) and started listening to classical music and bossa nova (two kinds of music known to be enjoyed by cultured and intellectual, non-stupid people the world over). I'm having thoughts and ideas and look, I even wrote a fantastically self-involved blog all about me, me, pathetically struggling to not drink, me which no one will read but that is ok because it is a sign, a sign!--that my brain cells are coming home from the pasture, are waking up from their 40 winks, back with the pack of fags, that they haven't really Gone Away Forever but are going to serve me again in the future. I couldn't be more thrilled.

People look at you funny when you order a fake beer or a mocktail, and if you have the privilege of the company of Irishpeople, you will suffer no shortage of cute comments about your lack of alcohol consumption ya fookin girl, fook me, I taught we was at a poob notter grade school cafeteria, but all in all, it's not been so difficult. I spend the same amount of money in bars and still smell like an ashtray at the bottom of a urinal in a truckstop bathroom after a night out, but I wake up feeling as if I can mingle with humanity without having to wear dark sunglasses or wincing every time someone with an annoying laugh comes too close to my central nervous system.

Now, if I can just give up smoking, swearing, caffeine, and dinner after 8pm, I will be golden.