Scintilla13: I’m Not as Think as…

Priests have drank wine in front of me since I was a baby.

When I needed a tooth pulled, dad numbed my gums with whiskey.

My dad taught me how to refresh his 7&7 when I was not much older than seven. This was during my parents wild “card” parties where couples came over and played a game I will never understand or or expect anyone to pronounce correctly: Pinochle. It’s PEEEEE-knuckle.

My older sister got drunk and puked right in front of me when I was about 12. This wasn’t a habit of hers, just a teen thing, but I do remember it.Vividly. That is a sound you just don’t forget.

My family grew up with a second refrigerator, in the basement. Now when I look back, I don’t think that all families had two fridges back then, the way everyone does now.

It was, in fact, a beer fridge, though mostly for storage. It really wasn’t used as a “we-have-to-have-a-second-fridge-because-we-go-through-so-much-beer-and-also-maybe-we-should-think-about-inventing-a way-to-tap-a-pony-keg-through-the-door!” sort of fridge. Actually I think we just had it because we had six kids and my mom’s brain curdled trying to figure out how to store normal food, plus all those frozen waffles and Swiss steaks, and cookie dough.

I actually came of age in the era of Bartles and Jaymes. These were not the alco-pops of nowadays, but they WERE the ancestor. Fortunately for young livers everywhere, they tasted like pure ass. I drank one. Exactly one. Then went back to Boone’s Farm.

Coming of (Almost) Age

Me Not Drunk, Just, Well, Inappropriate (Sorry Troy)

Me Not Drunk, Just, Well, Inappropriate (Sorry Troy)

By the time I made it to college, on my own, you can imagine how it all went down. That’s right.

I didn’t really drink.

Nah. I mean, at parties I have one now and then. A beer or three.

But I had a problem.

I was already a rowdy, inappropriate idiot WITHOUT alcohol. If I drank, I’d just end up tired and staring off to the right.

Besides, I was Pretty Well Certain (as all young people are) that everyone was highly amused by my Antics.

Now I can see (by both deep personal reflection and also examination of this photo) that probably only about 66.6 percent of the people were. At least one-third of the people were probably annoyed or unimpressed. Or maybe they were just kinda tired from drinking three wine coolers.

Fortunately I was smart enough to save up my really hard drinking days for when I was older, and legal-er and for after I met the “appropriate” people to drink with.

Most of those people were ALL of the people I drank with in The Warrington Hotel in London, including my alcohol-drinking training coach, Frances, who once, in the same weekend, hung out with Bobby Flay and also passed out in the gravel underneath an SUV in a parking lot. The two incidences are not related.

It was during that time that I actually fell down drunk. I was walking home from the pub and just fell. On the ground. No I didn’t trip. I was just walking along in my happy, post-pub jolly land and BOOM. Hello ground.

I have to admit: I sort of feel like I’ve checked something off my bucket list that I would never have thought to put on it.

Now I mostly only drink to relax, which since leaving London means one and done. And since I am a parent, I can feel the need to relax at any time of the day or night. So my latest skill is “flexible” drinker. I can also swing as well: from beer to wine to whiskey (thanks Dad!) to margaritas  though preferably not on the same afternoon.

Regardless, I still just prefer to be inappropriate, without having to rely on alcohol. It seems so much more sensible.

Thanks to the ladies from The Scintilla Project for today’s prompt:

Tell a story about a time you got drunk before you were legally old enough to do

 

 

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 

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  10 comments for “Scintilla13: I’m Not as Think as…

  1. March 13, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I want the stories of drinking with Bobby Flay and passing out under an SUV to actually be related. 🙂 Great story!

    • March 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Well, Renee, they probably ARE related, but Frances is such a lady, she’d never admit it.

  2. March 13, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Hahahahaha, you made me laugh out loud at the Bartles and Jaymes….
    And of course I smiled through the rest of the post….
    I had a button when I was 18, “I’m not as think as you” …. Well, never mind 🙂

    • March 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      BUTTONS! OMG, Kelly. Remember when everyone was all like: “Look at all my cool buttons!?” I had one I wore as a waitress that I thought was so hilarious. It said “Tip me or DIE OF THIRST!!!” It really wasn’t that funny.

  3. March 13, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    I read your words and I feel like I can hear you speaking them in that way that storytellers can capture the attention of a crowded room. It’s a skill I covet. I laughed out loud at the Boon’s Farm and Hello Ground. I’ve been to both of those places.

    • March 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      I am trying not to oversell it, but I sort of still have the feeling that falling down like that was one of my best moments ever.

  4. March 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Bartles & Jaymes was involved in my first drinking experiment, too! I’m laughing at that, and the part about ending up tired and staring to the right. That’s me, too! So funny!

    • March 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      Brandee, do you think that means we get more conservative the drunker we get??

  5. Tammy L
    March 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Ahh E – but don’t forget either my birthday or your birthday when we were dancing in the car going down Wornall, or Baltimore, or maybe it was Oak street. 🙂 Good times! And margaritas and buffalo chicken wings. MWAH!

    • March 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Really, Tammy, this post is about my drinking days. How long it could have been if I didn’t put a stop to it??! The margaritas and wings is such a perfect memory, it deserves a post all its own!

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