Now that I’m 40, I don’t party like I used to. Which I guess is a good thing, lest I be the creepy 40-year-old at the frat party.
But the good news is that I can now hold my liquor, unlike my younger, frat-party-attending self. Now, I am a woman. Whiskey? Yes, please. Neat.
I recently had a fun girls’ weekend in New Orleans. We didn’t hit Bourbon Street or dance on any tables. No. Instead, we did a walking tour of the French Quarter called Drink and Learn. At 2 p.m.
You guys. This tour was beyond excellent. It was really fun. Each of us got a little cross-body bag with four sealed cups, some straws and napkins, and a recipe card. We’d walk to a spot in the French Quarter, and then our hostess would tell us to open up the cup with the pink sticker, and then we’d drink while she told us about the history of that particular beverage and New Orleans as a whole.
Super fun. Super interesting. Except it was super hot that day. So, there was some a-drinkin’ going on when there should have only been a-sippin’.
The tour was 2 hours. At the end of those 2 hours, we were … happy.
There was a guy on our tour by himself. We adopted him. All 5 of us then hit another bar, wherein we drank grasshoppers and pink Cadillacs. Then, we hightailed it to a bar with … karaoke.
On the way, BFF was feeling the NOLA vibe. “I could really go for a cigarette,” she said.
She is a nonsmoker. She bought some cigarettes. I am also a nonsmoker. I smoked a cigarette and felt ALIVE! I felt like I was in college and invincible! I figured I should probably buy some overalls and get my hair cut into The Rachel because it was the late 90s all over again and I was soooo cooooool.
Well, I was cool when I wasn’t focusing intently on the lit end of the cigarette because I vaguely remembered that of the 10 cigarettes I smoked in college, I used roughly 8 to accidentally set things on fire. I wasn’t meant to be a real smoker. I didn’t have that coordination.
So, we smoked our cigarettes and then? Well, after an afternoon of drinking, we did what any normal women would do. We sang karaoke. And at 5:30 on a Saturday, the karaoke queue was wide open, so our little group did some serious damage.
And yes, BFF and I did sing “Islands in the Stream.” And I was Gladys Knight to my sweet friends’ Pips for “Midnight Train to Georgia.” But, perhaps most importantly … I belted “Delta Dawn,” in honor of my dad.
|Yes, I’m under a disco ball, wearing a giant scarf. It seemed like a good idea.|
For some reason, this song is just kind of Our Song. I felt kind of guilty singing it without him, but BFF contended that I did him proud.
At some point in the evening, we ate. And then we went back to the karaoke bar and I sang “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes. Yeah, Phil Spector is crazypants, but he produces a heck of a karaoke song.
It was good, good times. Until it wasn’t.
It was in the back of the Uber that I started feeling a little green. This was around 11 p.m. And by the time we were back in our condo – because ladies of a certain age need nice accommodations – I was feeling more green. Yellowish green. Ugly green.
I hadn’t puked from over-imbibing since the night I got drunk off cheap vodka after dropping my brother at the airport so he could move to Europe. The day before that, our mom had had major surgery.
That was 12 years ago. I’d slept on the floor of the bathroom and prayed, promising God that I would never, ever, ever drink again if He’d just let me live. Or, if He wanted to kill me, would He mind doing it right quick-like so that I could stop praying for death?
But that was then. As a 40-year-old, I decided that I would probably feel better if I threw up. I was rational as hell. I went to the bathroom, shut the door, and took out my contacts. Then, I pulled my hair back, because women are always prepared. I puked in the toilet, flushed, washed my hands and mouth, and then brushed my teeth. Like a fucking lady.
I didn’t sleep on the bathroom floor, convinced that tile was the greatest invention in all the universe. I just went to bed with a bottle of water. And although I felt crummy in the morning, I wasn’t desperate for McDonald’s french fries.
No, I just felt dumb. Dumb, but human. Really dumb once I realized that yeah, it wasn’t the liquor. It was the cigarette and being too buzzed to realize that I was drinking beverages with cream in them. Because that’s a good idea when dairy isn’t your friend.
I guess you’re never too old for bad decisions.