So I had my two regular nights off this week, welcome, quiet - and totally necessary.
But it's Friday today and I'm meeting a friend for lunch. Luckily, this girl (woman, yes, of course) will just be coming from a job interview and will have to pick up her beyond-adorable son from daycare before the end of the afternoon. Meaning it will just be one nice, long, chatty, responsible lunch. But otherwise - who knows what will happen with this girl. She is one crazy party head.
A 34-year-old beauty - who still models professionally, but has also spawned said perfect child, and works in finance, has a beautiful house, a wonderful husband, an ancestral home in the south of France where she's summered every year of her life, and can speak about six languages - earned her drinking stripes modeling abroad.
The first time I met her, I thought she was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen in the flesh. She looked about 18, with long honey-blonde hair, those ice-blue, narrow-wide model eyes and high, arched brows. Fresh back from a summer modeling in Japan, she was so cool. So bawdy. So confident. Don't ask me why I would befriend a model a dozen years younger than me, but if you haven't figured out that I have a masochistic streak and don't mind a challenge, then maybe you should start paying attention.
I'm not lying when I tell you that I love this girl so much, she was the inspiration behind a character in my last novel. And one of the things I adored about her was the fact she could party just as hard as I could - even harder, considering she was so much younger than me.
The night started with dinner and wine. There was sparkling stuff. And something pink. (I knew I was drinking too much but was gladly a victim of peer pressure. But that's the great thing about cleansing: once you've started doing it for a while and are out of the addictive dopamine/depression cycle, you can really let go every now and again without any really negative repercussions, besides hangovers!).
At one point, she said, "Baby, baby, we've got to do vodka bread shots!" For any of you who don't know what they are, skip this whole blog so you never have to be tempted. But this is how it went. She called our waiter over to the table and in her gravelly voice she told him to bring over vodka shots for all of us - including one for himself - and a fresh baguette.
When everything got to the table, she put a shot of vodka in front of each of us. Then she made us each tear a chunk of bread off the baguette. "Okay, down the vodka shot," she said, "and after you're finished, just take a big, long sniff of the bread."
We're all like, "What?!" And she's like "Baby, just do it."
So down the vodka went. Up the bread went to the nose. Sniiifffffff!! It smelled delicious, but more than that, it totally covered up the aftertaste and after-burn of the vodka. It was as if you hadn't had a shot at all.
I don't know how many of those shots I had that night - suffice it to say, I've never had another since. But I do know this: we went back to our place and I turned green within a few minutes. I had to excuse myself without any warning or good-byes, had a tete-a-tete with the toilet for a while, and the next morning I found myself fully dressed, crossways on the bed with sheet indentations deep as faultlines all over my face.
It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
And the end of my relationship with vodka shots.