Last night’s party was a sober first for me, a holiday party that is a nineteen-year tradition for us. I’m pretty sure the only time I’ve done this event sober was during my first pregnancy, so about sixteen years ago, and not exactly by choice.
It turned out to be a really good experience for me. Some truths became crystal clear:
I feel jealous of the wine drinking in the beginning when everyone is sober and pouring their first glass. But once the room gets noisy, that fades. By the end of the night I was very happy to be sober. And this morning when I dumped out the dregs of a couple bottles, I didn’t like the smell at all.
I do best when there are things to do other than mingling. Last night’s activity was cookie decorating. The biggest drinkers didn’t participate but lots of people did. There is something special about watching adults work with frosting and sprinkles. Very fun.
Some of our friends like to stay up much too late drinking and carrying on. I do not. I don’t think I ever really have. In my drinking days I couldn’t stay up past midnight (especially towards the end when just four drinks made me semi-catatonic). And now I don’t want to.
Sometimes drunk people can be funny and sort of endearing, but mostly they’re obnoxious and annoying.
Most of our friends and family have reasonable drinking behaviors and know when it’s time to go home. And I enjoy their company even after they’ve had a few. We invited the family members we like to socialize with so there was none of the tension that was present on Thanksgiving.
My husband enjoys it all. The kids, the drunks, the non-drunks, the noise and the chaos. That’s ok for him. But I don’t need to be the same. I can enjoy the quieter spaces and people, go to bed earlier than he does, and even express my annoyance with those who always seem to overstay their welcome. He can be him. And I can be me.
Maybe I’ve had these realizations before, but not lately, so I’m glad.
Happy sober Sunday,