Catchy blog title, right? I struggled a little with this mostly because I kept deleting text instead of striking through it. Also, I’m pretty sure I went over the allotted 30 minutes.
Prompt: There are two types of people: drunks and survivors of drunks. Which are you?
I never saw my parents drink or express any desire to drink until I was in high school. Drinking and alcohol were pretty foreign to me; reserved for tales my grandparents told me about their young days, boisterous stories told by my Navy veteran uncle, and in whisperings of failed marriages.
I remember the day that it all changed; well not the exact day, but the place. The Sam’s Club in dusty, flat, waiting-for-another-oil-boom Odessa. Even though I was old enough to stay at home I always enjoyed those trips, mostly because it meant the possibility of buying a cheap paperback.
This time, before heading to the checkout lanes my parents detoured to the wine aisle. It was a foreign space to me and to my parents. They walked slowly up and down the aisle and stood around, seemingly confused by the plethora of chardonnay, shiraz, pinot, and malbec options.
The anger inside of me was quick, fierce, and (looking back at it now) comical. A fury burned in me guided by the fact that my parents did NOT drink. “Why are you even looking at this stuff? You don’t even know what it is,” I remember hissing at my parents. I remember a very distinct look, one of surprise, confusion, and mild amusement. They ignored me, and I huffed away across the aisle to the books and magazines.
we went home with a bot I went home empty handed and my parents with a bottle of some nondescript red wine. It sat underneath the kitchen sink for the longest time. “Right where it belonged,” I thought “with the other poisonous substances.” What a foolish girl.
Since my quest to stop them from purchasing the bottle didn’t work I changed tactics: proclaiming what had transpired to the high heavens. Well, not really; maybe just to my family.
I spent so much time hounding them about it that I never really paid attention to when they opened it. I remember one day opening the fridge and seeing it; unceremoniously jammed into a nook with the ranch dressing, half-used jars of pickles, and array of jams and jellies. It stayed there for a good, long while.
I took my first sip of alcohol a few years later, as a junior in high school. I was working at Texas Burger with a bunch of kids that were more worldly than I was. I was invited to go cruising down the drag (out of pity?!)stopping at the 7-11 to get a pack of beer–Coors Light. (one of the girls was over 21). By the time I drank a sip it was lukewarm, looked like piss and tanged all the way down my throat.