Thursday, November 8, 2007

Bravery in a Bottle

I was a serious young person. Good student. Quiet. Small group of friends - although I got along with people from any group or clique. But I feared striving for popularity and never wanted to put myself out there at risk of rejection. I did once. I had a HUMONGOUS crush on the star basketball player in junior year of high school. We had been friends for a while before he became the STAR athlete, and I plucked up all my courage and asked him to take me to the junior prom. His response?

"'m not actually going to the prom."

I was crushed when he refused, but it got worse. I found out that the very next day he asked one of my friends. She was not a close friend, by we were friend-ly. She was actually cool enough to come to me and say, "I think its awful that he told you he wasn't going and then asked someone else. If you don't want me to go, I won't. "

Can you feel my pain and embarrassment?

Of course I wasn't going to say - "Don't go. Make him feel the way I felt." But I wanted to. It was bad enough that she knew I had asked and been rejected. of my few vivid memories of high school. And one of the few times I really stuck my neck out and man it did NOT pay off for me.

Then...I found alcohol. I was a late bloomer to the party scene. But my very first night of college my new roommate poured me my first drink. About 1 splash of Sprite to a glass of vodka.

Did you ever read the book/see the after school special, "The Late Great Me"? All about teenage alcoholism. Well, that was me, kind of. I wouldn't classify myself as an alcoholic. But I definitely used alcohol as a social lubricant for the first couple years of college.

Suddenly it was viable to take risks, be center of attention, act like a complete fool, and not worry about it. In fact, it was the source of great legends in our dormitory: the antics of our gang.

Once, we had an epic water fight that involved spray bottles, cups, and eventually buckets of water. We dumped so much water on one another that it dripped through to the floor below. When we were "called to the office" for our reprimand we couldn't stop giggling. I still smile when I remember this - we were so silly. And so drunk.

Once, I danced and made out with a total stranger on the dance floor on "hell night" (when the frats finish their hazing) and all I know about him to this day was he was wearing a football jersey with "THUMPER" written on the back.

Once, we got so drunk at a pre-dance party that my roommate ate shrimp (including the tail) and threw up under the table at the restaurant. (I at least waited to hurl until I got back to the dorm). Oh. My. God.

People who know me today totally think I'm lying about my crazy drinking days. But I have the grades to prove it folks. I was out of control. Now I had many a roommate crazier than me, which is why even though I was miles nuttier than I had been growing up, my nickname was still "Mom" to my college buds.

Probably because I would always say things like:

"But we just got back from Spring Break, what do you mean you're taking off for Myrtle Beach?I know you had to work during break, but we have CLASSES now."

"You ran up a $400 phone bill? Did you not realize how much it costs to be on the phone long distance every night for 2-3 hours?"

"Do you really want to drink that 21st shot?"

"Are you EVER going to wash your sheets?"

"Are those rug burns on your ass??"

"Mary - there are 12 pairs of shoes under your covers in bed. Do you have to go to bed with your shoes on?"

"Mary - that is not a toilet it's a magazine rack."

And remember...I was usually drunk and crazy too while all this was going on.

In my sophomore year, it was during a marathon game of quarters where we were consuming pitchers of seagrams and cherry kool-aid (ugh...I know...) that I met my hubby. The alcohol gave me enough courage to talk to him and do a little "snogging". But I credit him with all the courage to come find me the next day - sober and hungover as hell - and ask me out.

So, today, I'll down the occasional cocktail, but given that there is usually driving to be done, or work the next day, or some such grown-up responsibility, (not to mention I have a much lower tolerance for the 2-3 day hangover!) I don't get much bottle time any more. So I have to seek my bravery elsewhere.

Maybe hubby can give me a hint as to what he had that got him to come to my room on that February afternoon in 1986 and ask me out without the benefit of beer goggles.

Thank goodness he did.


AmyBow said...

Umm...maybe because your husband knows AWESOME when he sees it?

Wenderina said...

verbal comment from hubby to me:
I totally agree with Amy.

He said this right out of the blue. How AWESOME is my hubby?

Jude said...

And I can add first hand, that he is AWESOME!! where would our lives be today with out the start of alcohol!

Boogaloo Dude said...

Helloooooo, soul sister!

This post has earned you a spot on my RSS feed, my blog roll and my heart.

I'm going to read some more of your stuff now.