Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vegas Baby!

Frank Sinatra famously said that he felt sorry for people who don't drink because when they wake up, that's the best they're going to feel all day. And I agree completely.

As a matter of fact, the hubs and I are in Sin City right now and great as I feel eating breakfast without a "hair of the dog," I know I've got a lot of fun waiting for me the rest of the day.

One of the reasons I hated the idea of quitting drinking forever is because I didn't want to come to Vegas and not be able to drink. And luckily that's not the case. The wine starts early and flows freely all day and night long.

However, I'm not suicidal (or even upset) if I'm not actually hooked up to an IV unit of pinot grigio. Yesterday we went golfing at the incredibly gorgeous Bali Hai golf club. Well, actually my husband went golfing and I drove the cart (another lucky thing for everyone's safety is that I never got my driver's license, so the novelty of cart driving isn't lost on me - I have a blast!).

I know that for a lot of guys who golf a big part of the appeal is that you can drink beer all day long. I was definitely hankering for some wine by the time we were on the ninth hole, but when the cart girl came by all she had was beer and mixed drinks. Not even a vodka cooler - and certainly no white wine. Since I try to keep my exposure to hard liquor down to a minimum (and since I did not feel desperate) except for the odd sip of daiquiri every now and again, I just had a water while the hubs had a beer. Probably for the best anyway - you really don't need a novice driver drunk behind the wheel of a golf cart. The greens keepers would've had to look out for their lives.

After the hubs finished an impressive round of golf, we went to the club house and sat outside for a drink. It's probably the latest I've waited to get wine into me in all the times I've been to Vegas. But you know what? It was not a problem. I didn't feel anxious or ripped off beforehand - and I enjoyed that glass of wine all the more because of the wait. But that's one of the great things about Plan C - since you're not usually drinking every day anyway (vacations excluded of course!) your whole system becomes accustomed to going without. As I've mentioned, one of the greatest blessings of the Plan is that you're not miserable when you're sober. Even when you're not drinking, you can still enjoy your life.

However, I did notice a table of four men next to us having a late lunch of burgers and clubhouse sandwiches. There were pints of beer on the table and they seemed to be having a good time. But then I saw the waitress bring over a glass of Coke and set it down in front of one of the men. That's when I noticed that only three of the men were drinking beer. For a moment, as that Coke got set down on the table, the mood of the men changed. A sort of pall came over the conversation and nobody said anything for an awkward length of time. I also noticed the man who had the Coke - the oldest of the four - seemed to have a sort of sad, self-conscious look about him. And the mood of the other men was also affected by it. I truly felt sorry for him.

I wouldn't be surprised if he was a "recovering alcoholic" and not allowed to drink at all anymore. I really wished I could've gone over and said, "Hey, buddy. Don't be so glum. Maybe there's another option for you ... here's the name of my blog. Cheers and let me buy you a drink."

I didn't do that of course. Hell, I haven't even given the address of this blog to a single person yet. But I still fantasized that if indeed he was in A.A., I could've made him a little happier by giving him another option for recovery. That's not to say everyone in A.A. should try this Plan. God no. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if total abstinence is working for you and you're happy with it, congrats.

But he didn't look happy. And neither did his friends. As if for that brief moment when the cola was set down, they were all forced to face the chilling proposition that drinking problems exist, that they may or may not have one themselves, and that the only accepted way of dealing with said problem is by quitting forever. I think just the idea of total abstinence makes a lot of drinkers uneasy. As it used to make me uneasy.

But now, after cleansing, whether you drink or not, whether you're in A.A. or not, whether I'm drinking or not, I don't care. It's not a loaded subject for me anymore. I feel free to enjoy drinking, I feel free to enjoy not drinking - and I'm comfortable with everyone else's situation, too.

Having said that, get some goddamn wine on the snack carts already.