“I’m not going to get drunk,” I said.
G. shook his head. “OK, honey.”
“You’re smiling! You don’t believe me!”
“I’m just prepared for it to be like your reunion.”
I made a face. He was referring to my fifteen-year high school reunion, which was held four years ago at the Cancun Cantina. I’d lost count of how many cranberry and vodkas I downed, and while there were no social disasters, five things happened on the drive home, in this order:
- I started saying phrases in Italian that were not relevant to the conversation.
- I sent several poorly-spelled and incorrectly-punctuated texts to my best friend, who was still at the reunion, because she was wearing very high heels and I was seized by a paranoia that she would get too drunk on the Cancun Cantina loft and fall down the stairs.
- I regaled G. with fascinating facts about Emily Dickinson. (Did you know she was a redhead? I bet you didn’t.)
- I forced him to listen to Rufus Wainwright.
- I fell asleep.
All in all, I didn’t think that was a terrible deal for my husband, who could have suffered through a lot worse. However, this reunion would be different. It was at a winery, for example, instead of a roadhouse-style bar where the servers wore cowboy hats, bikinis and assless chaps. Also, it was G.’s graduating class, which was a year ahead of me, so while I’d know most of the people there, I somehow felt less traumatized by the thought of hanging out with them. So I was fairly sure that I would be able to limit myself to two drinks.
I don’t know what I was thinking. After the first glass, it became clear that wine was the magic elixir I’d always needed and that the only possible course of action was for me to continue to fill the glass in front of me once I had emptied it. G. told me to go eat something, and as I made my way to the sustenance, I vaguely remember a half-second in which I interpreted “eat something” as “get another glass of wine.”
Alcohol made everyone there—including myself, I suspect—less threatening and more interesting. Women who never spoke to me in high school touched my arm and smiled and spoke lovingly of motherhood. No one called me “nerd” or “goody-goody” or “Little Miss Perfect” or laughed at my outfit. Things were going swimmingly. I made a mental note to configure a double line graph to show the positive correlation of “Comfort Level at Reunion” with “Amount of Alcohol Consumed.”
Partway through the reunion, while visiting the restroom, I began to think in Italian, which meant that I was on a slippery slope. The only logical thing to do next was text my ex-boyfriend in Italian–which I do because he’s the only person I know who speaks it—thereby combining two of my most annoying drunk habits.
Sono ubriaca and I’m going to make poor dietary choices.
(Translation: “I’m drunk and I’m going to make poor dietary choices.”)
Which was at least better than what I once drunk texted another of my ex-boyfriends:
The best thing about me is that I always let cats smell me before I touch them.
The next morning, G. let me sleep in until 9 a.m.
“I wasn’t that bad, right?” I mumbled when he woke me up.
“Well, you told me we had to have another baby so we could have two boys ‘like the red-headed boys who know everything about the presidents’.”
“I remember that!” I squealed. “Atticus and Rainer! I saw them on Ellen!”
He kissed my head. “How do you feel?”
“Ehh. OK,” I replied.
“Good,” he said. “Then when you go in the kitchen, look at the fridge.”
I rolled my eyes. “You’re not funny!” I yelled.