Off topic. When I was a teenager I could not WAIT for the day I would be able to legally buy and consume alcohol. I imagined a whole new world would open up once alcohol was in the picture. I would become a sophisticated adult. I would be witty. I would be the life of the party. My life would resemble a beer commercial. My shy, introverted nature would be overcome by liquid courage. I was in for a huge disappointment though because… alcohol is overrated and
I can’t tolerate alcohol.
For whatever reason, my body was not made to ingest alcohol. After too many nights, splayed out on the bathroom floor praying for death or suffering through another booze induced killer headache, I have come to accept this fact. I don’t care if other people choose to drink. Knock yourself out. I just can’t do it.
At a party, this makes me two things. I am the weird person drinking coffee and the designated driver. I am OK with this, but it seems to bother other people, and usually this exchange ensues…
“Do you want a drink?”
“No thanks, I am good.”
“Commmmmmon, have a drink with us, you need to relax. Reeeeeeeeeelax. Have a drinkie drinkie.”
This is sometimes followed by a person thrusting a beer, glass of wine or tumbler full of vodka into my hands. Gee, thanks. People, please stop doing this! Some people are recovering alcoholics. Some people are taking drugs that don’t mix well with alcohol. Some people are subjected to drug/alcohol testing as part of their job. Some people are pregnant.
Some people, can’t tolerate alcohol. That’s me.
Friends have suggested I go see a doctor to find out what is wrong with me.
What would I say to the doctor? I am suffering because I am unable to consume alcohol, you know, quality of life and all that.
I image my doctor would nod her head and say, “Yes, this is serious. I am going to schedule for some tests and I will refer you to a specialist. I must be honest with you though, this will not be an easy fix. We still don’t know what causes Vocatus Intolerantia. There is a new experimental therapy but if your case is as serious as I think it is – you could be looking at major surgery.”
I do wonder sometimes if I am missing out on something but for now I am happy to be the designated driver because…
I can’t tolerate drinking and driving either.
When I was in grade 2, I was cast as a dancing bell in our school Christmas concert. I spent weeks working on my costume, a red cardboard sandwich board bell, covered in crêpe paper. The night of the concert my Grandmother drove me to my school because my Mom was working late. My Mom was going to make it just in time to see me dance.
I remember that the roads were icy that night. I said to my Grandmother, “Gee I hope we don’t get in an accident.” I remember my Grandmother giving me the business because my comment was bound to jinx us.
I remember sitting in the school gym, with my class, waiting to go on stage and I heard my Grandmother being paged over the school PA system.
I remember dancing on stage to Jingle Bell Rock and looking out in the audience trying to see my Mom and my Grandmother. I never saw them.
These memories are burned into my brain.
My Mom was hit head on by a drunk driver on the way to the concert.
She survived. Thank God, she survived.
Years later, my Mom told me about that night. The driver staggered out of his truck and over to her window and said, “F*cking women drivers!” My Mom rolled up her window and waited for the police to come. There were no cellphones in those days.
Meanwhile his passenger got into the back of their truck and started throwing their beer bottles into the ditch at the side of the road. My Mom says that they were oblivious to the fact the police had pulled and they were watching him do this. My Mom’s car was destroyed, the steering wheel was broken in two and the top of my brother’s car seat had been chopped off by the hood of the car. That night could have changed my life forever. Maybe it did?