Saturday, October 2, 2010
We Had Us Some “Real” Fun
Day 17: Today I'm "real" thankful for cosmic warning shots and "real" good non-authentic Mexican food. (The state where I live in Mexico in the winter is very proud of the fact that they don't serve Mexican food. They serve Mayan food. I wish those Mayans weren't so damn proud, the place could use a Taco Bell or at least some hard crunchy taco shells.)
I drove three hours west yesterday to my hometown and got together with my old drinking biddies. There is almost 30 years of history between us. We've been through childbirth and all things good and bad that come with children. Multiple husbands and all things good and bad that come with those bad boys. Affairs and divorces. The death of a spouse. Job losses and moves. A whole lot of nights spent either laughing uproariously or crying on each other shoulders. We might have changed husbands and hair color more times than we can remember but the five of us have been a constant. We started out as four but we added another soul to our elite group about 16 years ago. She's finally starting to fit in. There's a lot of mortar between the bricks of our sisterhood.
I was the first to show up at our host friend's house. She offered me the usual choices, wine, beer, or whiskey. I pointed to the jug under my arm and told her that this was my drink of choice for the night. Decaffeinated diet Pepsi. I explained to her about this journey I am on. She immediately started to tell me how proud she was of me and how worried she'd been. I cut her off with, "That's all I want to hear about that." and, mercifully, she shut up. I don't know why it bothered me so, except maybe it made the point that if people are concerned about me, I was worse than I thought I was and while I know that, I don't want to discuss it ad nauseum. I don't know if I'm feeling snarky because she was poking at my tender spots but I'm concerned about her, too. This friend uses religion as a crutch. Now while religion is probably the best crutch to have, when she goes all Tammy Fay Baker on me I know, from experience, she's masking some deep unhappiness. You know I love ya, God and you're my guiding force but, just like everything else, I don't want you force fed to me.
When the second friend showed up and was asked what she wanted to drink she asked, "What's Kary drinking?" thinking that would be her excuse to drink some damn good whiskey. She was disappointed to find out I was drinking un-anointed, un-adulterated Diet Pepsi. "To Hell with that!" she said, " Give me a beer." The other two eventually found their way and the first hour or so was spent catching up and reliving and rehashing. At one point there was an awkward moment of silence and I said, "What's this? This has never happened before." To which they all responded, " That's because when your drinking there's never any silence." It was funny and I laughed but it also reminded me of what my friends have had to put up with through the years. I remember the few times I was sober and someone was drunk and acting like, well like me, how uncomfortable and embarrassed I was for them. Now I know not all of you are blessed with the stellar personality that I possess and not all of your flaws can be resolved just by putting the cork back in the bottle but let me give you a little beauty advice. Alcohol only makes ugly uglier and bad habits badder.
The rest of the evening was spent listening. Really listening. One friend is going through one of the most horrific things a mother can go through. No her child didn't die. I'm sure there are days she thinks it would be easier if he had died. That's all I'm going to say about that. This morning I can sit here and feel blessed that I was there for her, "really" there for her. For once, I didn't have to be the center of attention. I didn't butt in. I didn't try to divert the attention on to me. All I did was listen and anybody that knows me knows how difficult that is for me. I was a "real" friend.
Last year when I left the last gathering of the coven, there was a DUI checkpoint smack dab in front of my hotel. I managed to sneak up the alley and come in the back way. Another cosmic bullet dodged. Last night I was almost disappointed there wasn't a checkpoint. "Come on, coppers, go ahead and stop me. I dare you. How sweet it is.
True Story. My dad used to have a favorite barmaid he called "Duck". She had gargantuan breasts and every time she would turn around my dad would yell "Duck!" So today I'm out there doing my best to duck bullets and keep it "real"
PS: I like talking but I don't like talking to myself. As you might have garnered this may be your only chance to get a word in edgewise so leave a comment, dammit!