Friday, 1 March 2013

This will probably read like a very bad after school special

Extra points for you if you remember those.

My last post actually had an alternate title: how to piss off and alienate people in 1000 words or less. I'm totally joking, I have no idea how many words were in the last post.  This one might be a close second.

I recently completed another solar orbit, I turned 35. Yeah. Whoopdie doo. I've decided I'm only 35 in pixels and on paper, because I certainly don't feel that old and I don't look it either. Anyway, I had a point here.

I had an absolutely wonderful birthday weekend as the actual day was a Sunday and the party was on Saturday night so I started my birthday on the right foot. Surrounded by all the adopted family of choice that I love dearly. Seriously, I cannot stress how incredible it is and how much it means to me that people came to see me and share time and food and imbibe with me.

I've spent far too much time in my adolescent years and my 20s, sadly, believing that no one would really want to hang around with me. I wasn't interesting/fun/pretty/clever enough to hang around with. I didn't have close friends that I'd like to keep for the rest of my days until 7 years ago when I met the friends I still have today. So yes, this is how much seeing my friends on my birthday means to me.

I drove to my own birthday party. I have rules about mixing alcohol and driving. In bold terms they don't mix. Ever. I never understood the rule granting me legal permission to have one drink and then go for a drive. I have a zero tolerance rule for myself, not just because it makes sense, but because I'm not so much a cheap drunk as I am an efficient one. It doesn't take much, and from one night of libations to the next I never know how quickly it's going to hit me or how long it's going to stick around.

I got some puzzling looks from people at the party who didn't understand why I drove to the party and why I wasn't going to drink. It was my birthday after all. A dear friend actually tried to make me take a cab so that I could have a drink, I very politely reminded this friend that they didn't get to make that decision for me (it's hard to be assertive about boundaries without worrying about offending people, but that's a post for another day). And I know that my friends mean well. I know they wanted me to have a good time at the party in my honour and believe me, I did. My face was actually sore from all the smiling.

What I found puzzling was the unconscious notion from others that I couldn't possibly have fun at my own birthday party without alcohol. Brace yourselves this is where the bad after school special part comes in. I don't actually need booze to have a good time. No, really. Depending on the circumstances I will have much more fun without it. See alcohol doesn't loosen me up in the sense that it lowers my inhibitions. I'm perfectly comfortable doing that while sober and I'll lower them as far as I please and is socially acceptable. I also like being in control of my limbs, fine motor skills and speech. Alcohol takes that away from me and I can think of nothing scarier or useless to me than that.

I do enjoy a glass of wine on occasion. Just one. It's a shame, really I have bottles of wine that claim to be absolutely wonderful and I'd like to try them, but I can only drink one glass. And I'm unlikely to finish it all before it's only good for cooking. Which seems like a bit of a waste to me. Clearly, I need to have people over and share it with them. And make sure they have a safe way home. If they want to.


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