A friend asked my childhood besties on my 37th birthday, “What’s the wildest thing she has ever done?”, and I saw them stumble for an answer. They didn’t have one! I’ve always been above average when it comes to my “fun-to-be-around” score but I have never done anything that would qualify as wild in my life.
There was that one time in undergrad in Appleton, Wisconsin when I had my first drink, and we laughed all night- but I also refused to leave my friend, Michelle’s room, as she sensibly coached me through my first night ever of drinking (at 19!!! Eek!) So my actions were as wild as the sound of the town where I was doing them- sensible and civilized.
The other time was when I went back to visit friends in the same college, and drank so much I fell off the bar stool, but then we stepped out of the bar and the brutal winter air in one of the coolest places in the world smacked me back into my senses, and I was sober as gobar!*
The only time that things may have gotten a bit out of hand for me is when I forced my friends to have ‘bhaang’ with me at a Holi party, and the panwala gave us some nasty shit so I was left knocked out, throwing up, hallucinating, believing I had died, and my soul was moving through a tunnel of white noise for hours. It also left me partially delusional till 6 months after, questioning whether our dreaming state was really our true state of being rather than our waking selves.
Okay- so the bhaang incident was pretty wild but not voluntarily so because I had signed up for a ‘cute’ experience of hours of unstoppable laughter, and that’s it! The madness ensued due to a dishonest panwalla.
Which brings me back to the question that in a world of FOMO* and YOLO*, I feel like a sore thumb, especially after having had a child. My limit pre and post baby has been two glasses of wine, but one day, after drinking just that much, I almost fell off the bed with my infant in my arms. It’s a different thing that the intoxication had nothing to do with it (even I can’t get drunk on two glasses) but exhaustion was to blame: a baby who woke up every hour to feed! But after that day, I swore off alcohol. And that’s when I got MORE boring!
So 4 years into being a teetotaler, I find myself at my sociable best in the day, when I’m hanging out with other mommies as we giggle about the crazy milk mustaches our kids made at breakfast but as soon as I’m out in the drinking world with the night crawlers (taken kicking and screaming every Saturday night by the husband), I feel like a wallflower straight out of one of Jane Austen’s novels.
I realize how I’m unable to carry on an interesting conversation with these fascinating creatures as they get increasingly wilder as P.M. turns into A.M., while I mentally calculate how many hours I have left before the baby wakes up. As the clock gets closer to 1, I get more restless, unable to laugh at the deteriorating humor and when my husband starts suggesting that we go to a second location, I’m ready to scream like a kidnapped victim. After all Oprah always says, “Never let the kidnapper take you to the second location because if you do, there’s very little chance of ever getting back alive”. The same applies to me when club-hopping- I refuse to be clubnapped.
I feel awkward and boring (and oh-so-bored) in this heart of darkness but with a party-animal for a husband, I must venture into these spaces with wild beasts. My only hope is that every once in a while, I find a little sanctuary here, where mistakenly we land up at a place filled with retro music, peach schnapps shots doing the rounds (instead of flaming Jaegerbombs or whatever these young people drink now), enough of seats for everyone (without having to pay a lac for a table), music at comfortable decibels and 40 plusses like me, tapping their walkers as they groove to Vanilla Ice.
Nice, nice, baby!
*Gobar- Cow Dung
*FOMO- Fear of Missing Out
*YOLO- You Only Live Once