It’s All About Pacing

Four times I sat down yesterday to tell you a story. Four times I forgot what I was going to say. If this is how the aging process works, I want no part of it. Can I remember that in 1976 my mother sold my yellow vanity table in a garage sale? Yes, I can. Do I know that Kevin Costner was to play Alex in The Big Chill and is still visible as the corpse in the opening sequence? Yes, I do. Do I know that Millard Fillmore supposedly introduced the bathtub to The White House, but there is some controversy over that fact? Yes, I’m aware of that. I’ve a head for trivia and a body for…well, trivia.

I looked in the mirror yesterday and all I could think was JOWLS. Where did those jowls come from? It is a special time in any girl’s life when something formerly only used to describe a lesser cut of pig can now be used to describe her face. This is heightened by the fact that I’ve recently lost some weight, and it shows in my face. Happy on the whole, yes, but fat is the best wrinkle filler. In fact, I’m trying to come up with a home fat-injection system. I want to call it DerrièreVisage. I think the name speaks to how it will work. It will also double as a flavor injector for chicken and turkey, so I think it’s really got some potential. Anyway, I really noticed an excess of skin the other day when I was putting on eye shadow. The applicator pulled my eyelid skin. And it stayed like that. It looked like my skin was made of sort of a purple-y crumpled tissue paper. I considered dropping my usual firming eye cream in favor of a steam iron, but that just seemed like more work than it was worth.

I think I was just hyper-aware of my impending crepey -ness because I had to go to a wedding last weekend. I am in the sort of delta between most of my friends already being married, and their children getting married. I don’t have to go to a lot of weddings these days, for which I am ever thankful. The Adorable Couple is not too much younger than I—I think he is six years younger, but she is more in the neighborhood of ten or more. So, wait. That nets out at what, eight? Thirty is a lot different than thirty-eight. Which brings me to my point.

You kids do not know how to pace yourself with the booze. You guys pregame. There’s no finesse to pregaming. There’s no art to it. You pound back four or five shots before you get to your destination and you’re puking in the rose bushes before the first score/toast/cop arrives. Now, see, back in my day, we kept it to a couple of beers or a couple of shots at most. The object was to keep a nice mellow drunk throughout the festivities so the only rose bushes you were puking in were your parents’.

A young gentleman stopped by our table at the reception and the talk turned to the torture he supposedly suffered as a lad by my husband and brother-in-law. I asked him where his scar was. It seems no one has escaped a scar if one has spent any time with The Boys. And let me stop future comments on this issue right now: Yes, I have one. Yes, I’ll show it to you. No, I won’t tell you how I got it. Dinner was not even finished and this guy was already talking in the non sequitur of the drunk. When asked what business he was in these days, he began a rambling dissertation on food delivery. Was he a delivery man? In logistics?  Perhaps he was developing a greener product to replace those plastic tripods used to keep the pizza box from infringing on the cheese’s territory? It remains a mystery.

Oh, but let’s give credit where credit is due, for he was certainly not the only binger there. One rather gregarious young lady busted out The Humpty Dance for the second song of the evening. Fortunately—or unfortunately for some, I suppose—she managed not to bust out of her rather ill-fitting halter dress. The only explanation I have for several friends of The Adorable Couple waving their hands in the air like they just didn’t care during a unique cover of “Dancing in the Dark” was a heavy hand in pouring the lemon drops that had to have been guzzled during the ride from the church.

The drunkenness of the younger guests could be measured by the fluency of what Tom Wolfe has called the “fuck patois”. I’m sure, had we stayed longer, we’d have heard language devolve into an even more bastardized state where entire conversations are had by uttering no more than fuuuuuuh, maaaan or ummmm druuuuhhh, y’aaaaal.

Pacing, my husband says. It’s all about pacing. One good friend is a fan of the bathtub drunk. You come in from a long run on a cold day, pour a couple of fingers of bourbon, get in a hot tub, and proceed to get “all squity and smerky.” My father does not like a heavy hand at the bar. “Pour it light,” he says, “I’ll be here all night.” I went through a slightly annoying phase of drinking aperitifs such as Campari and soda with a twist of lime.  Light alcohol, and therefore not a regular presence in bars at the time. All that seems so much more civilized than sucking back airplane bottles of blue, coconut-flavored grain alcohol or—and I swear to the little six pound, eight ounce baby Jesus this exists—Goo Goo Cluster flavored liqueur.

Now I don’t drink too much at all. Various medications, the affliction of alcohol-induced heartburn, and the need for better sleep have pushed out the booze in my Traditional Fall Burn Shit and Drink Beer Sundays. And my Wine Wednesdays. And our Date Nite Double Shots™. The only problem with all that is sobriety sure accentuates my damn jowls.

Just spit it out, already!

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