Today is my first real day off in nearly a month. All of the christmas rush is over, Greg is home, the house is fairly clean and at the end of it all my birthday is done with.
I achieved my goal last night of NOT getting drunk, despite people telling me that I should.
Many children these days hear two stories about alcohol; from their parents that it is forbidden and from the media and young adults that it is fun. Parents are often forced into this strict forbidden idea by laws, and naturally children pay attention to the latter. There is little opportunity for education on alcohol because the type of way I was raised is sometimes prosocuted as child abuse. Even allowing the smallest drink to a minor is a drastic legal battle. This is pretty stupid, frankly.
Personally, I have been exposed to alcohol my whole life. My parents believed strongly in raising me to know about it. On holidays we would have a toast and for us there was no sparkling grape juice. It was expected that even the children drink wine for the toast. My father would sit at the table and say grace and we would sit solemnly and listen to him thank God for our blessings of the day, year and life… And then we would drink whatever was in our glass. There was never MUCH wine in the glass, perhaps a shot at most, though more likely less than that, but it was there and some of my earliest holiday memories was drinking that wine and the pink-gold Fireking dishes sparkling on the table. And boy did I NOT like the wine, but I drank it out of respect for the moment. Us kids would literally shoot it down and cough a bit before going on to drink soda, juice or whatever else was the more age-appropriate fare.
As I grew older my parents were very liberal about sharing alcohol when asked. It was never offered but sometimes I would ask to try something and I could take a sip. My parents tended to drink very adult things. Wine, beer, whisky, scotch… And 151 rum which burned like flames on your lips. So whenever I asked to try alcohol the result was the same… Frankly it was gross. Who wanted to drink that stuff? I could not comprehend it. I also found the effects of alcohol were made clearer as I learned from tales about the vomiting, headaches and lack of control it brought. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to get drunk.
There were two defining moments for me that solidified my view on alcohol. The first was my first real drink; a shot of Bailies Irish Cream. Undeniably tasty, it’s sweet and creamy. I drank it very slowly and about half-way through the drink I felt pretty sick and handed it back to my parents. No amount of sugar was worth feeling ill. The second was when my mother went though a particular depressing month (I can’t recall why) and dad let her get very drunk. She spent the night throwing up in the bathroom and was in a lot of pain the next day. It seemed like whatever small comfort she got from the drink the night before was easily ruined by the worse feelings and was clearly not a good trade.
In addition to that all my mother carries some heavy Native American blood in her, I believe 1/8th. Now some people may be a little behind on their 5th grade history but native americans are very sensitive to alcohol and so alcoholism it runs in the family on her side. And while I appear to’ve inherited more of my dad’s german genetics (being tall, pale, blonde and strongly built) I would rather not take any risks. It’s pretty clear by the fact that I start feeling ill early on into a drink that I am a light weight and it is probably for the best that I not get drunk.
So I made it my goal to NOT do so. Why would I want to? By now I know what drinks I like and I know what I want to handle and why not to go over that amount. I did drink last night. I ordered my first legal drink as a strawberry daiquiri. My youngest-older-sister bought me a snow-cone drink that was just that, an alcoholic snowcone… And my next-oldest sister bought me a banana-coconut-melon cream drink. I tasted the drinks that most everyone else had (except for the one with pineapple as I am allergic!) and ran off to play games. Turns out I am too tall for the games where you are on a scooter/bike/whatever, but I made out like a bandit playing a coin drop game near my friends playing skee-ball. I came home with half-a-dozen cheap claw machine plushies, a pink well-made Domo-Kun, a shot glass and some koi fish ice cube trays. I received some other presents to open at home; some video games and a new Gentle Leader for my dogs and I am very grateful for all the gifts. But best of all I got to sit with Greg and shoot some dinosaurs in the Lost World; Jurassic Park game. Jurassic Park is one of my favorite things… How could it not be? Dinosaurs are absolutely incredible.
And today on my day off of all days I find myself extremely grateful for my fenced-in yard. I find I can simply let my dogs outside and leave them to run while I take care of other chores. They can’t escape, they can’t get into too much trouble and they can run like crazy and have fun without me freezing. It’s wonderful to watch my two beautiful sled dogs gliding across the snow. It’s better to watch it from the warmth of my dining room!
Tomorrow I will be going out to breakfast with my parents as a birthday gift and the next day I will be making curry with my sister for her new-years party. But today I will stay in bed as late as I want, take my time with chores and generally relax and not worry about anything at all. It’s nice to have a lazy day.