Some Things You Learn in High School Really Do Apply to Life

Posted: August 26th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Friends and Strangers, Husbandry, Mom | 1 Comment »

Nothing makes me feel younger than faking sober for the babysitter at the end of an evening.
Back in the day I’d have to pass the gauntlet of my waited-up-for-me mother, who was typically in the kitchen working a crossword puzzle or getting herself a late-night snack. I’d make what I hoped was nonchalant (and non-slurred) small talk until it seemed a reasonable amount of time had passed and I could head up to my room to sleep with one leg dangling off the bed.

Not that this was a frequent occurrence in my youth. I wasn’t a booze-hound by any means, but I did have some nights of, uh, experimentation.

Funny how now that I’m a mother myself, I’ve had to dust this skill off. Except now I’m faking sober for a teenager instead of being one myself. It just seems so uncouth to be the boozy neighborhood mom whose kids you babysit for. I mean, I have a reputation to uphold.

Speaking of responsible winos, our friends Mike and Myra take turns being Designated Driver when they go out. But when it’s Myra’s turn to drink and she doesn’t take full advantage, Mike takes it as a sort of affront to his sense of fairness.

“Here’s Myra,” he says, winding up for a good rant. “She had one glass of wine–one!–and here I’m holding back because it’s my night to drive. I mean if I knew she didn’t want to drink anyway, she should have offered to drive! I could have been having a good time!”

Like any good conflict-averse spouse Myra’s come up with a way to get Mike off her back on this topic. She confided to me that at the end of some nights when she thinks Mike will feel she hasn’t sufficiently filled her role as Designated Drinker, she just plays drunk. You know, laughs extra loud and fumbles around a bit. Maybe slurs a word or two to ensure she’s gotten her point across.

How good is that? God, I’d love to see her act. 

Anyway, all this came to mind since it’s been a while since Mark and I have gone out on the town, leaving someone else as sentry for the sleeping kids. But today my mother-in-law, Peggy, arrived for a week-long visit. And Friday’s Mark and my fourth wedding anniversary. (What’s the gift for the fourth again? Tin foil? PVC pipe? Burlap?)

Mark booked us at an incredibly romantic, delicious, beautiful restaurant in the city called Quince. No getting up to re-supply chicken nuggets mid-meal! No ‘Please eat two more bites of broccoli’ entreaties! No ketchup present at the dinner whatsoever! All that, plus the company of my adorable smart funny husband whose company I remember really enjoying before the exhaustion of two weeks of Olympic-watching drained the life blood out of me. 

Even if we just drive to San Francisco singing songs from the radio together, it’s sure to be the best night ever. And if we do whoop it up a little, I’m not feeling any pressure to put on my sober act for Peggy. She probably wouldn’t buy it anyway.   

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One Comment on “Some Things You Learn in High School Really Do Apply to Life”

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