Being the only sober one in a sea of inebriation sucks. And a possibly unflattering window into my world of parties past. Now, I have never been hanging from chandeliers or initiating mindless pranks and skinny dips, but I have thoroughly enjoyed myself at gatherings. Ahh the stories of the inebriated… Where the most mundane of events become epic sagas.
My neighborhood is known for it events. I call them events because they go beyond the scale of parties. There are admission tickets, bands, beer trucks with the taps on the sides, food, and lots of people enjoying their red solo cups. These events, however, raise money for a good cause as we throw one heck of a July 4th! People come from all over to be a part of our parade, raft race, fireworks. I truly believe that people plan their attendance for the event in May as one would do if living in Kentucky and going to the Derby, minus the big hats. Actually I have seen some hats over the years come to think of it.
This year was no different. Despite the torrential downpours being forecasted, the party went on. Unfortunately for me, I had begun a round of seemingly poisonous antibiotics the previous day for a post-surgery infection. No big deal thought I. But to be safe, I read the warnings and discovered that this particular pill of doom would send me to grave in the form of vomit, unconsciousness, and hospitalization if taken with alcohol. All the good stuff. Armed with my Diet Coke, I set off to experience this get together through different eyes.
Oh my God the endless stories of a drunk person. The deep, insightful, witty stories I had once enjoyed participating in turned out to really be the dribble of a person having to think about how to stand up without falling while figuring out which hand their beer was in. At the same time as remembering where they were in the story they were telling for the fifth time.
But this scenario makes for excellent people watching. People become friendlier and huggy-er as the night goes on. Maybe not such a bad thing? Maybe people should be huggy-er more often and for no other reason than to just show appreciation and love. Conversations get louder. And from what I could tell, it wasn’t because of the band as their volume didn’t change. But the more visits to the beer truck, the higher the decibel of a drinking person gets. Which is unfortunate as this coincides with the phase of drinking where you tell stories you shouldn’t. The dancing gets, well, questionable. Either the younger crowd getting all “get a room” or the older crowd pulling out some long ago retired moves. But on the positive side of the questionable dance moves, people are having fun. None of them are thinking of the big meeting coming up or the interview they have for their first real job. Just enjoying the company of other like-minded folks, and by that I mean fuzzy brained and drunk. I wish I had snapped a picture of the tee shirt a twenty-something had on that summed up his experiences: “Bad decisions make good stories”. Hmmmm.
I have marked the day on the calendar when alcohol will no longer send me to the hospital. I am planning on`enjoying a drink or two in celebration of something. Maybe the end of the school year? This social experiment I never meant to conduct has given me some great insight and take-aways. Watch my speaking volume, always know which hand my drink is in, only tell a story once, and for God’s sake stay off the dance floor.