Since I left, there has been no blazingly obvious reason to continue teetotaling. My parents are not exactly prohibitionists; my mother is Russian, for goodness' sake. However, my father no longer drinks at all (it would interact negatively with his medication), and my mom confines her indulgences to the very occasional cocktail after he has gone to bed. Essentially, this means that I would be drinking alone. Since I am enough of a basket case all on my own, and the one night I did have more than a single drink (the scream gala) I felt myself getting a bit weird and potentially weepy around the edges, I've avoided alcohol and with it any potential of becoming a crying drunk living with her parents. *I* would even be embarrassed to be around me at that point.
But I miss cooking dinner with a glass of white wine, then finishing the bottle with a friend over dinner. I miss spending very lazy Sundays watching football or tv-on-dvd and combining various other liquids with gin. Most of all, I miss bourbon and coke with lime, my most favourite drink on earth, whether ordered or mixed myself (or by another kind soul when my sense of ratio got a bit garbled). I miss it, I think, because drinking has always been a very social activity for me, and an extremely pleasant one at that. Ed and I spent a lot of hilarious evenings getting very drunk and yelling at the television. I had a lot of excellent conversations with brilliant friends in pubs.
So I suppose when I say I miss drinking, I am really saying that I am looking forward to having fun again -- and, more specifically, having adult fun again. I can't wait to do things like stay out late, order a few drinks, and swear in mixed company. I want to wake up with a terrible headache and mascara smeared on my pillow. I want to hear my voice drowned by bass and slurred inside my own head. I want to enjoy my adulthood, my valid ID, my wildness again.
I know that this reclamation, this joyous return of my former, modest state of depravity, means that I will occasionally be That Girl again. Perhaps on a birthday, or a book launch, or some other suitable excuse, I'll not stop when my warning light starts blinking around the 5-ounce mark. I'll want to keep going, keep dancing, keep swimming through the hazy brown and gold light. And so I will end up in the men's bathroom sticking my fingers down my throat, or leaning out a car door while the driver idles, foot on the brake, puking onto the curb. I will make up with a sore throat and scraped knees, feeling like crap.
And I will not regret a moment.