My Drinking Hiatus: How I Taught Myself To Drink Responsibly

I frantically searched for my phone in my mess of blankets. Must make it stop ringing before head explodes. “Hello,” I croaked when I found it, barely able to get the words out of my parched mouth.
“We are ridiculous,” Sara groaned from the other end, sounding equally as down for the count as me.
“This needs to stop,” I agreed, as I knocked over the glass of water on my nightstand. The glass of water I had meant to down before I passed out with my clothes still on (somehow I took my contact lenses out, go me!).
Yet again Sara and I had gone out agreeing we wouldn’t drink a lot, and yet again some kind stranger had bought us round after round of shots. And we accepted (because I’m pretty sure there’s a law that says you can’t turn down free alcohol). And yet again we were paying for it; and regretting it.
So, we decided we’d go two full weeks without drinking. Two weeks proving we could have fun without going out and going crazy. Two weeks without waking up with pounding headaches and feeling like we need to stay in bed the entire day. Two weeks without having to call each other first thing in the morning to find out exactly what happened the night before and wondering just how big of fools we had made of ourselves. We are getting too old for this ridiculousness. We wanted to see if we could go two weeks without drinking at all.
“OK, let’s do it,” I said, knowing I would have no problem swearing off alcohol. The thought of drinking was already making me sick.
“Yes!” Sara replied, “except I probably can’t this weekend, I’ve got plans.” Her high school friend was coming to visit and they were planning to go out on the town.
“Ooh and I have to go to my family reunion vacation for a week,” I realized. Not drink on that vacation? Not an option.
We mentally went through the rest of our summer calendars and realized there was no good two-week spread in which we could not drink. I mean, it’s the middle of summer; so precious and so fleeting. There are only so many days where margaritas and mojitos are acceptable. And we want to force ourselves to throw that all away? Was this drinking hiatus really necessary?
By the next day, fully recovered from our hideous hangovers and ready to sip some sangria on Newbury St. we had changed our minds completely. We decided that what we need is simply to drink more responsibly. No more shots. No more full bottles of wine before going out. Stopping when we have a good enough buzz going on.
Drinking responsibly will prove more than just stopping cold turkey, right?
So, the drinking hiatus only lasted 5 minutes, but it allowed my friend Sara and I to have a serious chat about our summertime habits and come to terms with the fact that we’re growing up and should probably start changing our wild ways.
Of course, drinking a bottle of wine before going out is fun sometimes and seems perfectly reasonable when you’re dead-sober and have completely forgotten what a hangover feels like. And that’s OK, especially when you’re with friends who you can trust not to leave you in any sketchy situations. But that bottle of wine should probably be reserved for special occasions and celebrations. Instead of celebrating every Friday night, maybe we’ll stick to celebrating every other Friday night for now. Baby steps, baby steps.
I’m currently writing this as I sit by the lake while on my family reunion with a pomegranate vodka martini by my side. Trust me, I’m trying to be responsible. I’m trying. But family reunions are no time for that. Right?

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