Sunday, April 05, 2009

Surprise! She can be taught after all

I’m 39 years old.

Not to paint myself as an alcoholic or anything, but I’ve done my fair share of drinking over the years, though not too often to excess. The first time I was ever hung over was the day in May of my senior year in high school when my mom drove me and my friend Kim out to central New York to tour Utica College.

The night before, there was an incident involving a party, me and a two-liter bottle of raspberry wine coolers. I woke up still drunk, which simply put, is a really terrible way to start the day. Things went down hill from there. Let me assure you – wine coolers are not nearly as sweet or as pretty coming back up as they are going down.


But, being all of 17 at the time, I somehow rallied and the trip went fine, the tour was fun and I actually ended up going to Utica College that fall.

Utica, while touted by all the officials as being a “dry campus,” was actually anything but – something I learned within hours of orientation when two fraternity brothers came roaming the halls trying to persuade all the freshman girls to come to a party in another dorm later that night.

My new friends and I went (of course), but I was too terrified on that first night to do much more than sip at my cup of skunky keg beer. My first real drunken college night didn’t come until over a month later – right before a fall break when my friends and I finally screwed up the courage to attend a “bar night” at a notorious dive called Spilka’s. We were assured that we’d all get in with even the most rudimentary fake IDs, and with fraternity brothers at the door, we did.

Fuzzy navels were two for a dollar and I drank my fill. The night ended with me and my friends taking rides in the giant dryers at the all-night laundromat next door, a 2 a.m. visit to “psycho Burger King,” and unprecendented intestinal distress. That was 22 years ago, and I have not touched anything with Peach Schnapps since.

Fortunately, those really bad nights – the ones that resulted in day-long hangovers, popping of fistfuls of aspirin or Tums and late afternoon “breakfasts” of greasy fast food – were far and few between, but there’ve been enough that I really just should know better.

I’m fairly petite and it never took much to push my body from “happily tipsy” to “oh-my-God-what-have-I-done?!” Now? It takes a whole lot less. And I know my new limit. I know it because I’ve flown right over it a few times in recent years.

There was my sister-in-law’s wedding in 2007 when I not only crossed the limit – I punted myself over it like the star kicker attempting to make the final winning field goal in the Superbowl. I spent the entire day after wishing for death. Instead I got to board a plane for a five-hour cross-country flight. Good times. Good times.

But still, I don’t learn.

Two Saturdays ago, we went to a bar in New York for a college reunion of sorts. It was four hours of open bar.

Four. Hours.

Open. Bar.

Someone also bought me a shot, which tasted like death in a glass. I still have no idea what was in it, but given the impact it had on me, I'm guessing grain alcohol.

I should know better by now, right?

I spent the better part of Sunday in the fourth level of hell. Stomach roiling, head pounding. I drank four gallons of water before 11 a.m. and still couldn't bring my dehydrated body to pee.

What was different this time, is that Monday I didn’t feel much better. Part of it was exhaustion (I slept a grand total of 3 hours Saturday night), but it was more than that. My stomach was still shaky. I felt nauseous most of the day.

I hate to say it, but I think I’m just getting way too old for those types of escapades. My body doesn’t bounce back the way it did when I was 17, or 21, or even 35 for that matter.

I’ve also noticed it takes less and less to send me over the edge.

So I’m off alcohol for a while. It’s not worth it to me anymore, especially because it has such a negative effect on my training.

Friday night, I met a group of high school friends for a “Class of 1987 Turns 40” party. And I had two beers.

Just two.

Seems you can teach an old girl new tricks after all.

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Blogger Kate said...

Good plan.

I went through the same thing about your age.

I have a glass of wine or a margarita once in a while - meaning about once every six months.

But I just can't handle the heavy drinking. For some reason the alcohol affects my sinuses and my head is like one huge water balloon for at least 24 hours or more.

I'm not in training. And it's still rough. So I say kudos to you for making the choice to back off!

9:59 AM  
Blogger Momisodes said...

Oy. After going through that? I don't blame you.

I'm such a wuss.

2 beers would have sent me over the edge. Heck, I'll be honest. Just 1 would have done me over.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an interesting new side of you!! I believe my last night of excess was at age 35 and it was on champagne of all things. It took a couple of days to recover, but it smartened me up for good.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Kate - it's not that hard, since other than the occasional night out, I hardly ever drink. But I plan to be a tea-toatler even on my nights out for the foreseeable future.

Momisodes - I should say, that was 2 beers in about 5 hours. I nursed them.

XUP - champagne is the worst! It goes straight to my head. I can't drink more than half a glass without feeling woozy.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will never forget you smacking your face over and over and saying " I can't feel my face!!". A highlight of the wedding matched only by your husband being body-slammed by one of my bridesmaids.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Chris Curtin said...

So no stories involving Ris? I thought you guys partied together ;-)

I know Ris has more than a few about me, but with teen & tween daughters you won't see them in print anywhere!

We do mellow with age, but we can also afford to buy the good stuff so the hangovers aren't as bad.

Why wife's poison is white wine for some reason. Me, it is tequila.


8:47 PM  

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