Tuesday, July 15, 2008
3 year anniversary
As Naomi and I were enjoying the atmosphere (notice how I didn’t say food) of one Bozeman’s fine eateries (rhymes with Plonk), my wife leans over to me; glass of “cucumber flower” spritzer (cocktail) in hand, and demands from me, “describe in ONE word what this last year was like for you.” Now I did what any person with the vocabulary of a 10 year old who can’t finish a single book would do…I stared up at the ceiling and looked around the room for any words that I could possible remember how to read and identify with this past year’s experiences (cheese..goat...Dick…Jane…run….wine….chicken…beef….good), cause well I just don’t got a good vocabulary.
One word, one word to describe buying a house, having a baby, starting a new job? One freaking word? Come on! As I did my best to consciously collect myself and think of an appropriate answer without hurting my wife’s feelings or allow her to presume that this last year was horrible, unbearable, or defeating, my own cocktail in hand gave me the perfect word. A word that trumps all other words describing a year. A word that my wife would later tattoo to her forehead as a profession of her confidence in my amazing intellect. Calmly, I looked into my wife’s eyes and said, “intoxicating.”
Now after the tomatoes were thrown from the crowd that hates clichés, I humbly wiped the rotten mess off my face, stood up onto a nearby apple crate and said, “now wait, please let me explain.” The crowd’s jeers and boos subsided as I began to defend my answer.
“Naomi and I celebrated our last anniversary on July 8th 2007. Before then, we had recently bought our first condo/home, moved in, and then traveled up to Alaska for a couple of weeks for vacation (Naomi 7 months pregnant mind you). What was about to come next was probably the craziest year to date of our lives. Okay, I must preface before I begin that I don’t get drunk very often, so perhaps I’m not the most credible source for describing such a word as “intoxication.” However, I’ve been drunk enough times to have gathered enough raw data that could be used for describing the sensations one experiences when intoxicated. So please, put down that tomato, and you lady, yes you the “saint” in the back row, put down that sign that says “Getting Drunk is for Punks” and let me explain.
Imagine yourself in your most favorite place in the entire world. Maybe you’re next to a river, a lake, in the mountains, and next to you is your gorgeous and beautiful spouse. Life is perfect, not a care in the world, and the rays of sunshine basking on your face (comfortable living…two incomes and no mortgage) remind you of such over and over again (life before kids). You have a cooler nearby that holds your favorite cocktail (the concept of “starting a family” aka Pandora’s box) and you are tempted to the point of opening that cooler and drinking that favorite beverage (Naomi finds out we’re pregnant). You decide to drink some more because you’re enjoying your surroundings and the idea of savoring this moment (the idea of being parents). You’re not intending to get drunk, but you’re definitely enjoying the buzz as the alcohol begins to affect your senses (Naomi’s Pregnancy..Kale’s inevitable arrival). Then there’s a conscious decision that one makes to go from nonchalant drinking, to purposefully getting tipsy (buying cribs..diapers..baby clothes). Maybe it’s a decision that you don’t make, but rather the alcohol makes for you - convincing you that “hey man…you’ve gone this far…why not ‘all the way?’ (Kale’s arrival)” As the drinking ensues, you feel your senses and cognitive awareness start to slip away from you – but you’re okay, the euphoric experience is well worth it (First month after Kale’s arrival). Then the inevitable happens. Webster’s definition of the word “spins” states – spins (prepositional phrase) example - “Oh man, last night I got the spins. Definition - the feeling one gets when they try and close their eyes to forget the belligerent drinking one inflicts on self. Synonym – delirious, self-denial. Antonym – stable, comfortable (Life with Kale after the relatives stopped coming to help). The next thing one tries to do is what is referred to in some AA circles as “throwing out the anchor.” This is a term used when one has identified that they do in fact have the spins (aka a drinking problem), and uses their leg (one or both depending on the storm) as an anchor to hold to the floor to make the room inside the mind stop spinning (Naomi trying to get Kale to sleep through the night). However; still, in the morning you feel the urge to throw-up last night’s mistake and vow to never ever do that again…well at least not for a really long time. (Life with Kale now…contemplating the question that everyone asks “So, when are you going to try for another one?”). And while your friends who didn’t “get drunk” (aka don’t have kids) are out having yet another day partying and enjoying their independency from having to recover from the night before, you’re stuck at home (without a babysitter) the next few days (years) drinking water and eating small meals that mostly consist of saltine crackers (the sacrifices one makes while starting a family).
So there you have it. My explanation to the question during our 3rd wedding anniversary dinner – why the word “Intoxicating” describes my last year of life/marriage. Now, pass me the juice.”
posted by peter