Monday, October 31, 2011

Sober October

About two months ago I realized that I really like to drink, and found a reason to drink during most occasions.  If there’s ever an occasion where I can’t drink I either A. sneak booze in, or B. don’t attend.  I also thought that I may or may not have addictions to other things, such as cigarettes, food, and generally being a lazy asshole.  All this bad behavior came to a head when on a road trip in September I realized that I felt like crap the entire time.  Eating out most meals, drinking at them too, and trying to climb a mountain when I hadn’t hit the gym in over a month – just hit the Camel Lights – was really taking its toll on me.  I really shouldn’t be feeling this old or unhealthy, and got this idea that I would try giving up some of these habits.  Like the Catholics do during Lent.

Let me clarify: no, I am definitely not Catholic, but sometimes I like what they do.  Like getting wasted on a Tuesday night, dressing like a carnival tranny, and flashing their boobies to complete strangers.  Or pouring water on a baby’s face, calling it a baptism, and hoping that the thing might drown in the process, solving a problem that arose nine months ago.  So the holy Catholics give up one thing every year during a 40 day period called Lent, intended to represent the torture and temptation that Jesus went through, trolling through the desert one time.  (I’m not really sure how Mardi Gras is supposed to honor God, but hey – to each denomination their own.)

So I got this amazing idea to do my own Lent.  Problem: how do I pick which vice to quit?  Those of you that know me know that I come up with ingenious ideas 90% of the time.  What if I outdid those hypocritical titty flashing Catholics and did a whole year of Lent?!  I would chew Lent up and spit it out, and give up a different bad habit every month for twelve months,   starting with the vice that may cause the biggest issues for me in the future, and the one that started this fantastical idea in the first place: alcohol.  I’ll give up alcohol first, for one whole month.  And if in the end I feel no better, look no thinner, and make it through without a meltdown, then I will know that I can go back to drinking with zero guilt and a whole lot of catching up to do.


Sober October began like any other month.  The crisp autumn air blew through the trees; their red and yellow leaves illuminated like flames, eventually falling to the earth below.  I had given my comrades plenty of pre-warning that sobriety would soon take place, to prepare them for the chain smoker that I would become.  I’d convince them to hang out with me by offering myself as a 27-day designated driver.  (The first of October I had a wedding to attend, and the 28th of October I had Halloween to celebrate.  Let’s not get stuck on the details.)  Here’s the thing about being the only douche not drinking.  Everything is lame.  People are lame.  Places are lame.  And most importantly you are lame.  Your friends don’t want to hang out with you because they can tell you are having an insanely miserable time!  (Which answered a question or two I had about some people.)  Every party has a pooper, and for an entire month that pooper was me!  I couldn’t wait to drink and be normal and pee 20 times in one evening and make friends with total ‘tards[1] again!

That’s not even the worst part.  Every 26 year old woman knows that the little extra lovin’[2] she has on her hips and can’t get rid of is due to eight solid years of Burnett’s flavored vodka mixed with Sobe.   The ‘Freshman 15’ doesn’t catch up to some of us until after college but it will, just you wait.  So when I decided not to drink for a month I assumed that I might lose at least a smidgen of tummy lovin’, maybe even a little in the face.  Nope.  This half saddened me, half made me extremely excited.  Saddened because a no-effort weight loss/but sober tradeoff would have been awesome.  Excited because it meant that my switch to vodka-sodas with a lemon hadn’t added any unnecessary lbs.  It took me until ¾’s of the way through Sober October to realize that 27 days without booze couldn’t possibly make up for the 2,920 days of beer pong, half gallon pulls, and tic tacs.  For how little alcohol I consume I’d have to think about calling it quits for a much longer period of time to see any real results.  (I might really need to take this diet and exercise thing more seriously.)

So in the end Sober October taught me that I have dedication, determination, an ass like Beyoncé’s, and an extreme desire to never go more than a week (2 days) without a glass of Chianti.  I can only hope that each coming month can teach me as insignificant of lessons as Sober October did.

Stay tuned to next month’s NO-BOVINE-MBER![3]  (I’m really sticking with the religion theme, aren’t I?  Hello Hinduism!)

[1] ‘Tard is not short for anything.  I pinky promise.
[2] Lovin’ is my new word for chub.  It makes it seem more attractive, right?
[3] I want to take this time to apologize to those who were forced interact with me this month; I won’t do it again until I know there’s a little hazelnut brewing inside my uterus.