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I’ve never been much of a drinker. In high school, while my friends started experimenting with alcohol (Lone Star and Keystone…mmmm), I was the extremely-nervous-they -were -going -to-overdose-and-die-designated driver. I celebrated my 21st birthday with a huge ice cream cone from Marble Slab (sweet cream, strawberries, and marshmallows). As pledge trainer in the Christian sorority, I’d signed a…pledge…that I wouldn’t drink while holding office. It would mess up my witness, you see.

Since college, I’ve been drunk exactly once. Slim and I always joked about playing a drinking game to The Biggest Loser (drink whenever someone says “journey” or cries) and finally, one night, we did. I had about 2.5 glasses of wine (on an empty stomach), which resulted in me sending this email to one of my friends:
WE LIKE YOWR ALNOST BOYFRINED! we wthced aweached WATCHED the bigggest loser tonight and had to tkae drish rinks drinks every tiem someone said JOURHEY JOUDYE JOURNEY and then we tid watch top shce. chef.


I havenht’ told jaohn jonhn jon about your almsoht date yeth though but I’ll tell hin= soon.

shehehehe, no – deqqua.

I thienk i hahd too much whine. whine. wine.

i’m felingh fmfffy. funghy. mfinny.

FIKEVE TIY!

Yeah. Fikeve Tiy indeed. After I emailed the important people in my life (AND updated my Facebook status), I got VERY sick. And then for days afterwards, I couldn’t stop talking about it. “Do you remember? How sick I got? I threw up a LOT. And I burst capillaries! In my FACE! DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN I BROKE CAPILLARIES IN MY FACE??”

Classy.

Yes, I’ve always been a one drink kind of a girl. Mostly I’m the designated driver. I’m the lightest lightweight in my family.

This weekend was a little different. Friday night I went to Open Circle Theater for their annual fundraiser. I offered to drive my friend Brady, which meant another night of being the DD. Totally fine with me. I like making sure my friends get home safely. I like having one drink at the very beginning of the night (if at all). The evening was wonderful; burlesque, an auction, dinner, drinks, and dancing, all capped off with delicious Seattle street dogs with cream cheese and grilled onions. Sure, the night wasn’t without its altercations (Brady nearly took the head off of a Belltown Douchebag because he was being an ass and he knows where I live) but overall, the evening was pretty magical.

Saturday started with brunch and a debrief of the night before with Curls and Betty Nebraska. Afterwards, Betty and I went shopping for a new dress for that night’s Black and White party. Betty found a gorgeous white dress while I decided to save money and wear a black dress I had in the closet at home. We met up with Brady and got our hair done at Swink Style Bar. I had to really encourage my stylist to go big (“Honey, it’s fine. Go big. I’m from Texas. We know how to do BIG.)

As I was putting on my black dress and looking forward to the evening ahead, I realized I didn’t feel like being responsible. I didn’t feel like worrying about getting home. So I called a cab and met my friends at the restaurant, where I proudly proclaimed my intent to have more than one drink. My friends cheered me on and toasted me. And we raised our glasses (mine contained an herbal martini) and celebrated the evening ahead, I felt happy.

One.

At dinner, I forced myself to eat many slices of bread because I’d learned my lesson about drinking on an empty stomach. Toward the end of dinner, I noticed my friend G hadn’t touched her lemon martini and so I asked if I could try it It tasted like delicious sweet lemon candy. Betty and I finished that sucker off in 15 seconds. So delicious.

Two.

After dinner, we walked over to See Sound Lounge and entered a Black and White Wonderland. The walls were red, there were black and white balloons everywhere, and little glass tables were covered with white linen napkins. Snuggled in the corner of one of the red couches were even more of our friends. I offered to buy a round of drinks. I switched from martinis to amaretto sours.

Three.

By this time, I was feeling GOOD. I was laughing with my friends, alternating my drinks with water and bartender’s ginger ale. I was dancing in the spaceboot. And my friends, who were so jazzed to see their straitlaced friend finally let go a little, kept buying me drinks.

Four. Five. Six.

Conversation with Paul:

Paul: You are having FUN.
Me: I KNOW!! I HAVE HAD DRINKS!
Paul: Are you drunk?
Me: I DON’T KNOW! I DON’T THINK SO! OOOH, MY DRUNK WORD!
Paul: Your drunk word?
Me: YEAH! I HAVE THE WORD I SAY OUT LOUD AND IF I CAN PRONOUNCE IT CORRECTLY THEN I AM NOT DRUNK, PAUL. NOT DRUNK!
Paul: What’s your drunk word?
Me: … … …
Me: I CANNOT REMEMBER MY DRUNK WORD!
Paul: HAHAHAHAHAA.
Me: NO, IT’S OKAY! I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS. IT MEANS HAVING THE ABILITY TO CLEARLY COMMUNICATE WHAT YOU ARE THINKING TO OTHER PEOPLE.
Paul: (looks at me like I’m nuts)
Me: I AM NOT TOO DRUNK TO RECOGNIZE THE IRONY.

(That word, btw? Perspicacity. It took me a good 10 minutes, but I remembered it. I will concede I was drunk for those 10 minutes. And when I remembered my drunk word? And when I said it correctly? My friends bought me another drink.)

(Seven.)

During all of this, a boy kept coming up to me. First he complimented my spaceboot. Then he offered to buy me a drink. I declined because I was still working on drink 4, but told him to check back later. Which he did. At that point he asked for my number and said he wanted to take me to dinner. I told him to check back later. Which he did and so I gave him my email address. More on this later.

The next thing I knew, it was last call. Brady got me my final drink of the evening and we all crowded together in a circle, singing along loudly and horribly to the final song of the evening: Total Eclipse of the Heart. It might have been the alcohol, but I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt so supremely happy.

Eight.

As the party wound down and Betty and I started to sign “hot dog NOW” to each other, everyone decided to hit an all-night diner. And over dry toast and 3 large glasses of water, I took a moment to savor my life and my friends.

The night ended. Betty and Paul dropped me off at my house. I took off my makeup, threw on an old t-shirt, and drank another large glass of water for good measure. It was 5:30 in the morning. I had to be up in two hours for toast with J. But it was worth every second of lost sleep. No throwing up. No hangover. Just an amazing night.

I’m ready to be the designated driver again. I like my one drink maximum. But for one night, it was fun to be a little irresponsible. See, I was surrounded by people I love and trust and they would never let anything happen to me. This is why I like to make sure they get home okay. Because I love them too.

Eight was a magical number, alright. It made everything sparkly, bright, and a little blurry around the edges. Sometimes you need things to be blurry around the edges.

Fikeve Tiy, everybody!

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PS: That guy? Sent me a FB friend request the next day. And can I just say thank God for facebook? Because of the wonder that is social networking, I no longer will waste an evening out with a guy who is completely incompatible with me. It’s not that I have a problem with a guy who thinks he’s Don Johnson (seriously). I just don’t want to date him. 🙂 And as he never sent me a message, I’m guessing he feels the same. Thank you Facebook, for saving us both a wasted evening.


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