Monday, May 20, 2013

Hubby's May-Day!

With all due respect to Queen Victoria (this weekend marked her birthday) and fallen countrymen (next weekend is Memorial Day), there's a side to May long weekends that's a little less thoughtful ...

I've mentioned that my hubs doesn't have a drinking problem - thank God - but he does have a whopper of a first-drunk story. And it happened on the May long weekend when he was 15.

btw, if you're eating, save this post for another time. If you plan on eating, save it for another time. If you don't want to eat for a while, go ahead ...

The hubs was at his best bud's cottage along with his buddy's older brother and a bunch of the big bro's friends. With all those older boys around, I imagine peer pressure ran high and the hubs - who'd only sipped wine with Italian dinners until then - drank more beer than he can remember. 

At some point in the night, he discovered how fun and charming alcohol could make him and began entertaining the gang by flying over the fireplace and breaking his fall in a pile of logs he'd spent most of the day chopping. The stunt earned him the nickname "Superman" with the boys.  For a couple of hours there, he said alcohol made him feel "invincible."

But, in the morning, he woke up with a five alarm hangover, the sun beating down on him through a bare window. When he could finally focus, he saw a boom box the size of a minivan in front of his face. His friend's hand came in to press 'play' and suddenly Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze blasted forth.


At the same time, the hubs realized that everyone at the cottage - friends, sisters, mothers, dads, brothers - were all gathered around, laughing and pointing at him. Some standing in the windows looking as if they felt sorry for what was going to happen next. With Purple Haze blasting in his ear drums, he shot off the couch, ran to the bathroom and upchucked what was left of his spleen.

Afterwards, he said he felt much better (ahh, to be fifteen again) but he still had to endure humiliation at the hands of the older boys who were now calling him "Ralph." 

The hubs thought he'd never be able to live it down, until one of the older brother's friends woke up from an even worse drunken stupor and ran to the bathroom to puke ... everywhere but in the toilet. The floor, the walls, the sink, the bathtub. It looked like a Jackson Pollock exhibit in there. 

This guy was much too sick to clean up after himself, so he dragged himself straight back to bed. Everyone immediately forgot the incident with my husband because it was so tame in comparison. They had a new Ralph now. Plus the hubs won everyone over by making bacon and eggs for breakfast. 

Unfortunately, Ralph had ruined the only bathroom at the boys' cottage and he was too sick to get out of bed to clean it himself. Nobody else wanted to do it, either. So they couldn't bathe or brush their teeth, couldn't even go in there all weekend. And the few times that they'd yell and cajole Ralph into giving it a try, he'd get up and start cleaning ... and then the puke would make him puke again ... and they were right back at square one. 


The hubs thinks that this violent drinking/sicking/shaming incident early on in his life curtailed whatever inclination he might've had to continue to party that hard. Because every time he started to, he said he remembered Purple Haze ... And he just couldn't do it again.

Let's hear it for the people who actually learn something from their mistakes. Where would the world be without them? 

Academic aside: Jackson Pollack, the American painter celebrated for his drip technique, died in a drunk driving accident in the Hamptons in 1956. The hubs and I have actually seen the old farmhouse in East Hampton where he lived and worked, now a museum called Pollock Krasner House. I saw an exhibit of Pollock and the other Abstract Expressionists on a cleanse a couple of years ago at the AGO. Going to museums and art galleries is a wonderful thing to do during cleanses ... or even on a cleanse day. It's a really rewarding, peaceful way to spend a couple hours ... :)