Monday, December 28, 2009

I Wasn't Nearly Drunk Enough

The suburbs really do put a damper on serious stress drinking. After all, if you can't tie one on at Christmas, what other good excuse does a functioning adult member of society have?

Christmas Eve. A nice if noisy restaurant with lots of starchy Italian food. Ordinarily, this would be a great excuse to chug down cheap red table wine. And most years, I would have. But this year I was able to excuse myself from church services because I had my own car and lived nearby. Though, having one's own car means one must be sober to drive it. And judging by the number of police officers I encountered on the 15 minute drive home, Christmas Eve is a big drinking night in Fairfield County.

Christmas Day started really really early. There were good reasons for this, but I was at mother-in-law's by 10 minutes past 9AM - so it would have been indelicate to commence boozing - though there was bloody mary mixtures available. But what if devoted partner, a devoted bloody mary enthusiast, wanted to drink. One of us should stay sober to drive us away from mother-in-law's and back to our house so we could exchange gifts with one another.

The day after Christmas Day, I came into Manhattan (yes, I know I was supposed to slothfully enjoy wii all weekend lone) to spend time with best friend. So I had to drive to the train station (no morning drinking) and be sober enough to drive back (no evening drinking).

The first holiday drink I had was at about 8:00pm last night - a single glass of red wine to finish up the bottle I had opened earlier in the day to make a braise with.

I do not have records of holidays' past and how much liquor I consumed, but I do have a very poignant memory of Christmas Eve in, I guess 1996 (or 1997), with Jamie, his college roommate and wayward Irishman Nick, stumbling out of Doc Watson's on 78th and Second and singing Christmas carols and the Spice Girls loudly into the frigid Christmas night. I also remember an earlier Christmas (let's call it 1994) walking across the transverse at 4:00am quite drunk (and for some reason all out of money for the bus or a cab - possibly the money had been spent on drink). More recently, I remember spending a Christmas Eve at Davy Byrne's the Port Chester bar devoted partner and his friends have been frequenting since high school (which is coincidentally walking distance from our current house), almost getting into a fight with a local. Sigh. Memories.

So next Christmas, I hope to be drunker. If our plans come to fruition, this seems to be all but impossible not to achieve, since the family we will spend Christmas with is very into wine and apparently trots out the oversized bottles come Christmas.

I hope you had a sedated Christmas, either naturally or artificially, and that, without knowing it, you raised a glass on my behalf.

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