Why I seldom drink
The first time I got drunk was in a french night club. I was in 8th grade and had accompanied my parents and the group of high schoolers they were chaperoning across France. One of our hotels was a converted castle with a “disco” (deees-co if you’re french) in the basement and after a hard day of touring the countryside my mom’s students decided they needed to unwind and would I like to join them? Hails to the yes I’d join them, especially since I had a huge crush on the boy asking (even though I was technically “going with” his little brother back home). So yeah, I went dancing with the school high school kids and had my first beer. And then my second. And then part of my third. And then someone said, “Your dad’s here. Don’t act drunk.” I am still not sure if my father knew his 13 year old daughter was 3 sheets to the wind. If he suspected he never said anything to me.
I liked the immediate results of alcohol. I liked the sudden freedom, the lack of fear. For the first time I didn’t care what anyone thought about me. I didn’t feel like I was being watched and scrutinized. That was a big deal for a chubby adolescent with both braces and thick glasses and a mother with a questionable sense of fashion on a tight budget. I liked it. A lot. But because my mother and father (mostly my mother) were what one might term “unreasonably strict” I did not get another chance to head down the path of liquid sin until two years later when we accompanied another group of high schoolers to France.
This time I was among peers. One of the boys there had been my first kiss in 8th grade, and he and I buddied up for the trip. Not like that – although it wasn’t that I wasn’t willing. To quote Tracey Edna Turnblad, I wouldn’t go all the way, but I’d go pretty far. If only he gave me the signal. Which he never did. More’s the pity. He was pretty cute.
Annnnyway, so Mike (the object of my crush) and his roomies had gotten hold of some beer – and by some I mean A LOT, and my roomies and I had stolen three bottles of wine from the hotel kitchen. Long story short, there was a party and yours truly ended up trashed and roaming the hotel halls in my new “J’adore Paris” sweatshirt and my panties trying to find my room.
The next time I drank was with Glenda. We were 17 and we’d decided we’d been good long enough. We’d decided to make jello shots – except I think we used peach jello or something and peeling the jello from the tray looked too much like peeling off chunks of flesh and that turned my stomach so it took a long time to get drunk. I vaguely remember the conversation being something like this:
Glenda: “I don’t think this is what Bill Cosby had in mind when he created Jell-o jigglers.”
Rosie: “Is it working? Are we drunk yet? I don’t feel drunk.”
Glenda while peeling some jell-o loose: “Donner? Party of 10? Your table is ready.”
Rosie: “And the vodka shall become flesh….”
Glenda: “Yeah. God? That wasn’t me. Aim your vengeance right over there.”
The next time I got drunk was at the Adam Ant concert in 1993. I hadn’t set out to get drunk, but one beer at dinner turned into a pitcher, and then suddenly Glenda’s cute brother was holding me up and saying, “You’re going to get arrested for public intoxication if you don’t quit falling down” while we stood in line to get into the club. I kind of remember the concert I’d been anticipating for months and months, working out for, losing weight for, learning to be edgy for. I remember the giant half-dollar sized sequinze on Adam’s pants. I remember Glenda’s brother (who had come along purely to keep us safe – and thankfully un-arrested – he was NOT a fan) yelling to the stage, “Hey. Faggot. Where’d you get those pants?” I remember pushing my way through the crowd, stumbling down some stairs, and throwing up in a public restroom. I remember vomiting on my sleeve and realizing that the smart thing to do would be to stick my sleeve in the toilet while I flushed so I could rinse it off. Oh yeah. So. Damn. Sexy. So. Damn. EDGY! And exactly how I wanted to remember a night that I’d spent almost 6 months looking forward to.
The last time I drank to the point of intoxication was at my brother’s wedding reception. I didn’t ruin the reception. It wasn’t Sandra Bullock pre-rehab movie moment or anything, but looking back I cringe. Had I really danced like that in front of all those people?! OHMYGAWD. Had I really asked the DJ to play Abba’s Dancing Queen and then proceeded to lip-synch and disco The ENTIRE SONG? People have done far more humiliating things I know, but wow. The potential to embarrass my family and especially my brother and his bride on their special night? Well done, Rosie! Well. Done. I will admit that I did have drunk sex with one of the other guests, but since he was my husband and we were home by then I don’t think it’s Springer worthy.
It was also the last time I let myself drink more than one drink, because it was then that I realized that I had zero in the way of self-control. I’m the same way with Coca-Cola ™. If I get 1 refill, then I’ll get 3 more. If I have 1 can, then by day’s end I’ll have the rest of the 6-pack and by week’s end I’ll have gone through a case. And that is why I seldom drink alcohol, why I don’t buy soda outside of restaurants, and why I steer very very clear of any sort of illegal drugs including cigarettes. It’s also why I don’t keep chips in the house and why I only buy those pints of ice cream – because I would eat the entire half-gallon.
Such is the life of a person with an addictive personality.