The First Time I Got Drunk – A Parable

Seems an odd thing to blog about, I know.  However… this incident happened in the 80’s and plays a big part in who I am.  Rather than sit here and regurgitate 80’s crap you are already familiar with like: stickers, video games and Madonna (and we 80’s heads love all these things!) I thought I’d share a bit of personal nostalgia.

Sharon Howard will be guest blogging here on The Great 80’s soon.  Stay tuned for that.  Her blog is awesome for a  lot of reasons.  Two of them being: She writes and lives in England! 😀  Her guest blog will reflect on growing up 80’s in England.  I am looking forward to hearing all about it.

Now, on with the show!

Rational people usually learn that if they do something (A) and it turns out a not so pleasant experience (B), then (A) no longer fits in their lifestyle because (B) is no fun.  Right?

Right… for rational people this applies.

For people like me (slightly neurotic, alcoholic (sober!), obsessive, and with an alarming lack of common sense) rational thinking is was a foreign concept.

Let’s  take the first time I got drunk.  I was thirteen, gangly and had a severe lack of self-esteem.  On the flip side of that: I was taller than the average bear, athletic and silly. These traits offset each other, which I believe lead to the perception that I was a) normal and b) not to be messed with.

It was a cool night and my sister and I happened to finally get to hang out with Julie who did not live on the street.  Hell, she didn’t even live in the same neighborhood.  Julie’s brother Charlie got us two six-packs of Budweiser from the Cannonball Tavern.  I sat there staring at the cans of beer.

Should I? Shouldn’t I? What’s gonna happen?

After about three hours of drinking and acting like imbeciles.. the three of us walked back down to my neighborhood.  I think I uttered the words  “I’m straight” at least 25 times (implying that I was not inebriated).  The three of us made it to the neighborhood park where we sat on the steps.

We sat on those steps because I had a moment of clarity. I was 13, drunk and I had to go home.  The short version of this was: I was deader ‘an dead meat.  As I sat there I had a revelation.

We could walk to the candy store and get Lemonhead’s, soda and play pinball. THAT would get us (or me at least – I was feeling very narcissistic at this point) feeling better and home safe.

Well, the whole night just went downhill.  I managed to make an ass out of myself in front of a boy I liked.  I fell (twice) and cracked my head on the step (which I just told my mother about this past Thanksgiving).  When I made it home, my mother was still awake and asked me a series of questions which required me to answer with a lot of words that contained the letter “S” which came out like “shth” of sorts.  Shthe knew there was shthomething wrong with me.  Shthe had to! 

Well, my mother didn’t beat me.  I really thought she would.  In fact, she never said anything to me. I wonder about this. Maybe she didn’t know?

For the remainder of the school year, I had a lump on my head the size of an egg (and probably a concussion) and was called “two-can Sam” by everyone.

Have you ever done something that embarrassed you?  How did you handle it? Do you laugh about it now?


I Need A Hero!

HEROINE.  No, not that kind that fucks up people’s lives… the kind that makes us feel better, comes to our aid, helps us out.  I have been going through some stuff with my daughter, who is 16. She is so precious to me.  At one time she wasn’t.  She was expendable like everyone else in my life.  Everyone was there to serve me.  If you were unnecessary, you were expendable.

When Bonnie Tyler (singer of “Total Eclipse of the Heart – written by Jim Steinman) released “Holding Out For A Hero”, I liked it.  This tune was also written by Steinman.  Footloose helped the song become popular.

Okay, I had to throw all that in there, because every time I hear the line “I need a hero” that song pops in my head.

Focus, Darlene.

In the 80’s, my heroes (heroines.. whatever) were people like Laurie Strode (the protagonist in  Halloween, played by Jamie Lee Curtis).  She was fearless when protecting the little boy she was babysitting against that monster, Michael Myers.

Madonna! I fell in move with Madonna because she broke new ground for adding sexiness to music (along with some sluttiness  – my mother loved that part… not.)  She was sassy, controversial and took chances.

My daughter is nothing like Madonna, but at 16, I am noticing something about her.  She sticks up for the underdog.  She stands up for the kid that gets picked on.  She sides with the bullied girl.

I put my daughter through hell from the age of 9.  I got sober in 2006, when she was 11.  But those years of me finding myself, staying sober and focusing on my program, were still no walk in the park for her.

She stood strong.  She kept her head high.  She never gave up on me, even though for years I had given up on her.

My other two daughters, who are older than my 16-year-old, deserve a mention here as well.  They have been through their share of hell courtesy of me… something I am not proud of.   They didn’t have the chance for a mother to be there for them in their formative teenage years.  My middle daughter pretty much got her smarts on the street.  My oldest daughter trusts no one.

One thing I notice in all of them:  they stand up for what is right, and most importantly, stand up for themselves.

My daughters are my heroes.

Who are your heroes?