Day 53: The Sober Jack-o-lantern

You know how I spent last Halloween?

Absolutely shitfaced.

And the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that…I could go on, but, you get the point.

So begins this holiday season. And, while I am generally nervous about going into the holidays without a rocks glass of vodka or Jim Beam, Halloween marks a special day in my lengthy inebriation history.

The other holidays, with the exception of New Years, are family oriented for me. And that, mind you, in no way means that they have been sober. But, Halloween and New Years, they are the “friend” holidays. Those days where I went out with every intention of coming home, if I made it home, or remember making it home, completely and totally fucking blotto.

My ex was the big Halloween guy, mastering-minding elaborate and hilarious costumes. Me, I just put on a headband with some cat ears, maybe a little more make-up than usual, and hit the sauce. When I lived in New York City, it was a bar marathon. Drunken train rides from borough to borough, paper baggin’ it all over the city. And, for what? We were adults in stupid costumes. For me and my friends, it was a drinking holiday. No matter that we drank every night of the week, regardless of the year or season. This night, was always going to be epic.

Isn’t that always how all the worst benders start? “This is going to be epic, man!” And, almost always, it’s never quite as good as you imagined. Half the time, I couldn’t remember most of the evening. But, received little reminders when I’d lost something out of my purse or checked my bank statement to find I’d spent half my paycheck on getting myself and my friends loaded. And, to add insult to injury, you’re dressed in a fucking stupid costume all the while you’re doing these things.

One year, my ex and I got so loaded, when we arrived home to our apartment, I stayed outside to smoke one last cigarette. He went in and inadvertently locked the door behind himself, locking me out. He then, passed out cold, not answering the doorbell or his phone. I, fucking Princess Leia, was on the cold ass street at 3AM, no way into our place. Eventually our awesome neighbor heard me making a racket and offered me his couch until my ex was coherent again. I was extraordinarily drunk, and, subsequently, quite belligerent. I refused his kind offering and slept in the hallway until 7AM. White Princess Leia costume: Totally ruined. Then, pounded on the door, and  finally woke my ex inside. He came to the door befuddled, totally unaware of what had taken place. And, later that afternoon, we thought this whole episode was funny.

Today, I cringe thinking about it. I think about my poor, kind neighbor, whom I undoubtedly woke up and then was incredibly rude to. I was an asshole. Drinking, it makes me a total asshole. And, I didn’t get sober until 3+ years after this event.

This year, I’m going to be different. Fuck this holiday. I associate it with so many bullshit events, people, and places. I’m going to hand out candy to little kids. This holiday belongs to them. Not me, not my drunk friends.

I am 53 days into my sobriety, and, so, so far beyond the wretched places that this night has taken me in years past. Tonight I celebrate how far I’ve come. How, now, I can recognize that every night is a night to drink if you want to live that way. You don’t need a stupid costume to prove your idiocy.

Tonight, it’s all about jack-o-lanterns and waaaaay too much chocolate.

Try saying boo to that…I dare you.


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