Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Alcoholic Meme

This meme is forever indebted to its wonderful friends, those friends it could not live without, who brought it home in the wee hours of the morning and made sure it made it through the front door. Once through that door, it stumbled into the kitchen, ate half a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream it doesn’t remember eating, apparently put some Peter, Paul, and Mary on the stereo (probably for a little childhood reminiscing with Puff), because the CD is still in the CD player, and then staggered up to bed. It woke up this morning, sprawled out on the bed, only half undressed (happily, there is no weird stranger in bed beside it), immediately decided -- despite the fact it's a misty, foggy day -- it was just too bright to get up, finished undressing, and crawled under the covers. Soon it will creep out from under the covers -- head throbbing, no doubt -- and will venture downstairs for some tea and toast. Meanwhile, I’ve arrived on the scene to pose its questions for it, with the hope that this will be of help to those of you who are stuck in the middle of NaBloPoMo.

1. What’s your favorite drink?

3-way tie: Bombay sapphire martini straight up with olives, mint julep, gin and tonic. I'm also partial to the following "girlie" drinks: dark and stormies, apple martinis, and mai tais (if they're made right, which they usually aren't unless they're being made in my own kitchen).

2. Do you prefer red or white wine?

Red and so dry a dust storm swirls around every time I set down the glass

3. Do you prefer dark or pale ale?

Like my chocolate: the darker the better, and I like it so heavy it could stand in for dinner, especially if it's served with an array of cheeses. Better yet, though, it's accompanying a pub lunch somewhere in the Lake District.

4. What was the worst hangover you ever had?

That would be the night I introduced Becky to mint juleps at her house. We drank not only (how many? Three?) mint juleps but also had wine with dinner and whiskey afterward. I remember eating some delicious ginger chocolate chip cookies Becky had baked, drinking some tea and musing from her sofa with her while the boys watched baseball, then passing out in the car and falling down in the yard (I must have sprained my pinky finger doing that, which hurt for months afterward) when I got home. The next thing I remember is the worst hangover of my life (I didn’t drink any alcohol for weeks after that night), followed by a book discussion group in which the other members (mothers) seemed to be a bit envious of Becky’s and my carefree lives, while I was thinking, “Maybe children are a good thing if being responsible for them would keep me from ever feeling this way again.” And that's what a hangover will do to you, which is why it's much, much better just to have one or two and then stop.

5. Would you describe yourself as a mean drunk, a happy drunk, or a maudlin drunk?

I am most definitely a happy, albeit argumentative, drunk.

6. Are you a two-fisted drinker or a light-weight?

I am such a light-weight, I’m surprised I haven’t floated off into some black hole in outer space long before now.

7. Do you drink while reading?

Bob and I have a “cocktail hour” every evening that doesn’t always involve cocktails. Quite often it’s tea or lemonade and a light snack before dinner. Other nights (depending on the type of day we’ve had), it’s a true cocktail and a light snack. We often read during this period, so yes, I do drink while reading. I’ve also been known to sip sherry while curled up with a ghost story collection on a chilly, stormy Sunday afternoon. However, I much prefer tea and something sweet (cake or cookies, it doesn’t much matter) or hot chocolate with a good book (habits developed as a child that I’ve never outgrown).

8. Reading what makes you want to drink?

(Barring, of course, many of the manuscripts I have to edit) that would be any hard-boiled mystery.

9. Which favorite fictional character of yours has got to be an alcoholic?

Lauren Henderson’s Sam Jones. The way I drank that night with Becky is a pretty standard night for Sam. I would imagine her liver could probably win a pickle contest at a state fair. I love her, though. I'd like to go bar-hopping with her (she ends up in some very interesting bars), which just gave me an idea for the next question.

10. Which fictional character would you most like to bar hop with?

Any of Marian Keyes's Walsh sisters (even Rachel who, since her "holiday," no longer drinks. I'd be perfectly happy to sit at the bar and drink seltzer water and lemon with her), most especially if it meant we would be doing our bar-hopping in Ireland.

11. What’s your favorite scene from a movie involving drink?

That has got to be Katharine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart in A Philadelphia Story (who wouldn't want to be kissed like that?) and her oh-so-realistic hangover the morning after. A close second would be Harrison Ford with Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, for his being SUCH a gentleman -- sigh! (What girl, working or not, wouldn't want Harrison Ford to put her to bed?)

12. Watching what movie makes you want to drink?

Any James Bond, despite the fact he drinks vodka martinis. And Sideways (which also makes me want to hop a plane to wine country).

And there you have it. I think I hear the meme stirring under the covers. I’ll be nice and bring it some tea and toast, along with a bottle of Excedrin, in bed, because don't we all want someone to do that for us on such mornings?


All NaBloPoMo participants who are reading this

Anyone who has ever woken up with a hangover and sworn never, never to drink again

Anyone who felt like mixing up a favorite drink/pouring a glass of wine/pouring a glass of ale while reading this


Anonymous said...

I'll drink to that meme!
I vaguely remember mint julep night. I have tried to forget the morning after. Shudder.

Charlotte said...

I guess I'm tagged, since, as I read this and even though it's 5.23am, I began to long for a gin and tonic.

Watson Woodworth said...

Gin is lovely. It smells like flowers.
Whereas vodka smells like rubbing alcohol, which isn't lovely at all.

Anonymous said...

When I was nine months pregnant with my first child I went out and bought a bottle of Chardonnay that had a 95 point rating in Wine Spectator and with my second I was counting down the days to a vodka martini with salty salty olives. It's 9:08 AM and I am at work - probably not a good idea to start drinking - yet!

Anonymous said...

Ok, wait, I'm fairly certain I sound like an alcoholic now!

ZoesMom said...

I could definitely go for a drink right now. It's 9:48 AM but that doesn't rule out mimosas.

I also consider myself tagged even though despite some killer hangovers, I've never sworn off drinking. Probably never will.

Emily Barton said...

Becky, will that cup you're raising hold a mint julep or a gin and tonic?

Charlotte, oh, the meme is so happy to have you join the party.

Nigel, which may be why vodka has to be mixed with nice-smelling things, like lime juice, in order to be palatable.

Sara, reason number 1,000,506 for me never to get pregnant...Oh, and you don't sound like an alcoholic anymore than the rest of us do. The meme is raising its martini glass to you.

ZM, can't wait to read your answers.