In case any of you were wondering, it is still 100% possible for an almost 30 year old to drink an entire bottle of cucumber vodka over the course of one night.
I didn’t even think I could do it.
I wasn’t trying to, but before I knew it I was acutely aware that I had just had a 40-minute conversation about Vibram five-finger shoes while sitting on a cooler with my friend Pat. It could have been 10 minutes, who knows; I had just consumed an entire bottle of cucumber vodka.
and with hardly any time to myself, an unexpected vacation was just what I needed.
I drove up with music playing softly and I watched the scenery change from city concrete to back country roads, crowded apartments and skyscrapers turned into old farm houses with grazing cows and small country shops with old men smoking on porches. As I pulled into the familiar driveway, I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough. I couldn’t believe I had almost been too busy to find the time to make this trip.
I had come every year since 2000: it started when we were all in college, the group growing every year. As the years went by a lot of us didn’t see each other anymore, and this trip was the perfect reunion.
No matter where we all had moved, we stopped everything and re-lived college for one weekend.
This trip has seen everything—changed everything and nothing at the same time. In the beginning this trip repaired college wounds, brought feuding sororities together, and made me realize that I could think for myself—no group of people would tell me who and who not to be friends with. This trip led to created and ruined relationships, countless hookups in tents, and tears falling into bushes, because things are so different now, for all of us. In the beginning, we were young. Things are so apparently different now, but for the better.
Well, over a decade later we all sit around the same campfire and we talk about what we might name the baby. We tell wedding stories, and now, even divorce stories. We talk about everyone’s children, who’s trying to get pregnant and how everyone is refinancing their houses. As the sun goes down, we start passing around two full pots of whisky and even with forty people geared up for drinking it takes forever. I look around at these people and all of a sudden I want to cry because these are really the people who matter.
They have seen me at my best and worst for so many years and no matter how much time goes by we pick up right where we left off.
We’ve come from San Diego, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Providence. We’re mothers, police officers, doctors, bar managers, bartenders, and pharmacists, and above all: we’re family. And even though we know what the hangovers feel like at this age, we drink like we were still partying at the white Lambda Chi Alpha house on Old North Road.
The whiskey pot is coming around again and I need both hands, which means I have to slide this 23oz Sminoff Ice out of my sweatshirt sleeve and see how up to par my buddy is with his chugging skills. A few years back this guy attempted a gallon of milk and we laughed until we cried while he threw up in a bush in 90-degree weather for almost a half an hour.
The whiskey goes down like fire, and from the looks of it, the Smirnoff Ice isn’t much smoother.
I take a mental picture of this moment, this feeling, because I’m so happy I might burst. I also make a mental note that cucumber vodka is officially my bitch. Yes, let’s play flip cup. Turn the music up. Is there any Garth Brooks? Who is peeing on my car? Fade to black. I’m never drinking again…