My father is a drunk. Not a mean or abusive one, just a soggy Scotch sponge. One evening 28 years ago, shortly after moving to New Orleans, I was sitting on the curb in a tequila induced haze when I realized I was turning into my father. Since that was not really a goal I wanted to pursue, I stopped drinking. Right there, right then. I didn’t struggle with it, I didn’t have relapses, I just quit. One of the finest services a parent can ever provide is as a role model. Or a warning.
So now, all these decades later, I’ve realized I don’t have to be him. I can actually have a drink without following it up with so many that I turn into a sloppy muddle. Case in point: Tuesday evening, I met up with the Urban Street Pirate and R Man after work for cocktails at Moby Dick’s, an almost stylish bar in the Castro. Don’t judge, it’s next door to where we were headed for dinner.
I boldly ordered a Cosmopolitan. Yes, it’s true. I drink like the girl in your 9th grade class who listened obsessively to the cast recording of Cats, could never get a date, and ordered drinks based on the fact they’re so Sex and the City and they’re pretty.
One drink, after which I insisted we go on to dinner rather than sticking around to get blotto. I have an absolute will of iron. Plus I was already tipsy off one damn Cosmo. Hmm. I started out worried I’d turn into my father the lush and wound up as a girl-drink lightweight. Maybe that’s progress, I’ll take it.