A few weeks ago I hosted a party and I was entirely wasted before the guests arrived.
This marks the second potluck in WA my husband and I have hosted since moving here, almost three years ago. The event was a big deal to me, and I loaded my grocery cart to the max to insure plenty of booze and munchies.
The last time I threw a party for my neighbors, which was also the first time, I was politely informed by my good friend’s husband that there wasn’t enough alcohol. He then left and brought back four bottles from his house. This time I was prepared. I bought the hugest bottles of Rum and Tequila I could find, and several bottles of wine. I am not a big drinker. No, sir! Never have been and doubt I ever will be. In fact, before the year 2012 I probably averaged between two and three glasses a year!
Since finding out I am aspie, the intake may have increased a wee bit.
My reasons for not drinking are multi-faceted; like everything else in my life, nothing I do is simple. I focus a lot of conscious thought and unconscious thought on the “right path;” even though I recently have come to terms with the fact there is no fricken right path and it’s all a big game, I still have that old “right path” mentality, much like a gag reflex.
Not following the right path, makes me want to gag and come up for air. Not doing the “right” thing feels like a recent ordeal I underwent at the orthodontist’s office, in which I was being fitted for a new retainer device. (The diagnostic x-ray revealed that I have unusually large sinus cavities; no big deal or of special interest. But I mention it just in case you are collecting random data about me.) At the orthodontist the lady worker gently shoved a metal contraption filled with cold grainy-cementy goop atop the roof of my mouth to take impressions for my new retainers. As she delicately shoved the banana flavored pink goop into my mouth she said, “Remember breathe slowly through your nose.” While my mouth airways were obstructed, I kept saying to myself: “You aren’t going to die. You aren’t going to die. You aren’t going to die.”
That’s how I feel if I don’t follow the right path, or rules, or guidelines. (A right I am very much aware doesn’t exist, but I have to find and try to adapt to nonetheless.) I feel like I am being gagged, out of breath, and will die. Makes no logical sense. I know this. But my brain has “follow the rules” tattooed around its frontal lobe. I am still working on the removal process of this tattoo; it’s slow going.
For me, the day of the party, the right path meant: Temperance. A word I had latched onto and deciphered and longed to apply in my life. Temperance meant no indulgences and no drinking alcohol. The party would be the perfect stage to practice my temperance and do the “right” thing. At least according to the recent “rules” I was applying.
The gods laughed at me.
For by the time the first guests arrived I had downed three glasses of port wine. But trust me, I had good reason!
In the end it turned out fine, except for the time the one guest mentioned how her memory is bad and then she laughed in jest saying, “It’s because I’m a genius.” Totally joking she was. And then I, being so very much beyond tipsy, blurted out: “The funny thing is, I am a gifted-genius, a professional just recently verified this.” And then, after slapping my knee, and elaborating about my big brain and Aspieness, I went into a full confession about how I was trying to release ego and be filled with humility. I ended this, I think, with telling my neighbor, a woman I barely see anymore, “You know you want take walks with me now; a gifted, published genius I be.” I’d thrown in the whole publishing story in there somewhere, I suppose.
As I have mentioned before, I don’t drink much. I am an extreme light weight. A half-glass of pear-cider at the local pub and I am saying to my husband in a very loud voice, “That guy is checking out my butt.” I try to curb my alcohol intake, not so much for the constant records that play when I am drinking: Destroying liver, destroying liver, destroying liver and/or you’ll become an alcoholic. But because I become a dang fool. I really do. I lose all inhibition and feel like I am freeeeee. One of my (drunk) relatives once got onto my aunt’s electric wheel chair and flew up the freeway onramp to take a ride on the freeway. And I think that’s me. I think when I drink I take a ride on the free-way! WEeeeeeee.
So I don’t drink much.
But that evening, an hour before the guests arrived, as I was putting the freshly made salsa into a pitcher, I began to burn. At first I didn’t notice. I just kept rinsing my hands under water, thinking the burn would pass. But, no! The burn did not pass. It grew increasingly worse, like my hands were in the snow without gloves and the frostbite was setting in; it was a deep, unreachable burn, penetrating and erupting from the inside of every finger, and the guests were to arrive in less than an hour.
My husband was not home, and I was in a pure panic.
I rationalized and reasoned, and then concluded the culprit was the Serrano peppers! I had used my bare hands to not only cut the Serrano hot peppers for the salsa, but when my food processor stopped working (as all electronics like to malfunction around me) I had dipped my hands in the freshly ground peppers to scoop out the remains and transfer the mixture to the blender.
Oh, my gosh! I had soaked my hands in hot pepper oil!
I quickly went to the internet for help. Google God to the rescue. I soon found other people who had been as dim-witted as me. The remarks were reassuring. There were some helpful tips to end the horrific pain.
Eventually I tried everything listed as remedies: butter, milk, yogurt, sugar scrub with olive oil, etc. But nothing decreased the pain. I thought for certain my flesh was going to peel off. I was going to have fleshless fingers! And still the pain intensified. At this point, my feet broke out in hives from the stress. Yes, with the guests arriving in less than a half-hour, I had burning flesh hands and hived up feet. Glorious!
When my husband came home with some cortisone cream the local pharmacist said would stop the pain, I shook my head nooooo. My husband insisted, and I gave in. Soon I was screaming at a high pitch and downing wine as fast as I could. The cream had only served to intensify the burn. Dumb pharmacist.
My husband at this point is saying, “You are like Lucy from I Love Lucy, you know?”
That didn’t help.
At last I found the answer in one of the comments online: “Called ER (emergency room); there is nothing they can do. The pain will last four to six hours.”
Really? No one could say that from the start.
What should have come up on the top of the comment section was: You are so screwed!
And that’s how it began, how I began slurping the port wine. The pain-relievers I took did nothing.
The wine really didn’t decrease the pain much either, but by the time the first patrons arrived, I didn’t really care. And eventually the margarita helped to ease the ordeal to a hilarious event.
As our first friends arrived, I confessed, “I am already drunk. Let me tell you a story….”
And towards the start of the party, to another couple I said, “I am not rinsing my hands under cold water every minute because of OCD, just so you know, let me tell you a story…”
And by the end of the night, three hours of hand rinsing later, shortly after my gifted-genius, I am zen and ego-less spill, I said, “And you know what the best part about being drunk before any of you arrived is and especially about being in so much pain?!” I paused, dipping my hands further in a bowl of cold water. “I really honestly don’t care what you think of me.”
And that was that.