Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Home Sweeter Home

I mentioned I was home for my mother's b-day party last month.  She lives in the same house my grandparents owned when I was growing up. The same house we moved into after my parents divorced. '65' as it was known, merely by its street number, became the scene of many 'Happy Divorcee' drinking parties after that. It was real Mad Men material. Mini-skirts. Men. Music. And muchos booze. Throw in a few packs of cigarettes for the mandatory smoky haze and you've got all the makings of raising your very own alcoholic kid!

It's where I got drunk for the first time and also the scene of countless (and, unfortunately, I mean countless) drag-down, no-holds-barred fights I had with my mother when one or both of us were drunk. In other words ... this is NOT a picture of my family.

But this time around - blessed be!! - it was a peaceful, happy loving trip. There were no drunk fights. No projectile vomiting. Not a single angry drunk word traded. 

That's not to say there wasn't drinking! God, no. We're still talking my family here. Though it's changed quite a bit since the old days (i.e. my uncle has given up drinking completely; incidentally, they rented an apartment at '65' for several years while I was growing up, so for a while there, it was multi-floor partying). As for my mom, she's become a very light drinker in her old age, so no problem there.

Me, on the other hand? Well, you know how you're supposed to 'know your limit socially and stick to it?' That's Rule #5 of the whole system!! Well, occasionally, I get cocky and say: "F*ck it!" Because even if I go overboard a bit - I don't fall overboard, if you get my meaning.  It doesn't become traumatic for anyone. Especially me. So it's a lot more fun to throw caution to the wind - on rare occasions. ;) 

The day started off with wine at the house in the afternoon. More wine with dinner at the restaurant. Then more wine at the house for gift-opening. At one point, sitting in the setting sun on the back deck, I had a glass of wine and a glass of champagne for toasting in front of me on the table. And holy crap, it was one of the fondest memories of my life. Not because of the wine (at least not just because of the wine). But because I was just buzzing with so many happy endorphins at a peaceful family get-together surrounded by people I loved so much. It was really just a perfect night. 

Unfortunately, I woke up with the kind of hangover usually reserved for Vegas. 

But strangely - unlike the myriad times I've woken up in my hometown after a bender - I did not feel guilty. Or worried. Or afraid. I did not say "Never again!" or "I've gotta quit this stuff!" Nor did I feel I had to pick up the phone (and/or roll over in bed) and apologize to anyone for being a jerk to them.

Instead, I said, "Holy crap, Ms. F! That was an awesome night!" Even the hubs was impressed. Because in the old days if anyone drank too much at '65' it usually ended up in ugly drama. 

Alas - it was sweet, super-fun and loving family reunion. I believe I can report such a victorious (if uneventful) trip home simply because of cleansing. It helps me to stay in a good mood the whole night. And despite the fact I amped it up a bit, I didn't 'lose control.' It didn't get sloppy or scary. Nor did I keep reaching for more to drink after I felt buzzed. There was even a bottle of wine waiting for me back at the hotel. In the old days, I'd have polished that one off asap.

Instead, I washed my face (believe it or not) and went happily to bed.

Wait, I swallowed some Advil and gulped some water - then I went happily to bed.