hung over and out

The first thing you should know is I don’t usually drink fruity drinks. Ever. Unless lemon or lime count, but I don’t think so.  

I don’t really drink that much at all anymore, though I’ve been known to tackle an occasional bottle of wine (most often with assistance). Back in the day, vodka was my drink of choice. Good vodka in a fresh lemon drop (mmm, sugar) or with cranberry and lime, maybe a splash of soda. Or a fresh margarita in Mexico. A really good cold beer in the summer. The only non beer or wine drink I’ve had in years is a mojito, and that’s because I love the lime and fresh mint. I actually love a good nojito (or fauxito) too. 

So when we went to a party last night there were a few things of note. First is the fact that we went at all, and second was how much and what I drank. Oddly enough, M and I can’t really remember the last party we went to that wasn’t related to work or family. We gave up on many social events involving our unsupportive friends a long time ago.

But this was a party for someone who has been more of a friend than others. He and his wife are friends through family who continued to reach out to us, even when we hid away. They had suffered a loss and struggled to conceive. He referred us to an excellent grief counselor. They lent us their (proven) fertility juju to use in our newly feng shui’d bedroom when we were ready to try anything. They invite us for dinner and we talk about deep philosophical issues and not just daycare. We even read stories to their kids. He is a reference for our home study. 

Still, we’ve avoided parties for a while because we haven’t felt comfortable in certain social settings. It can be a challenge to try to pull yourself out of such a heavy place in your heart and mind to be sociable. I have a difficult time pretending nothing is wrong with people who should know better yet act otherwise. Somehow celebrating with “friends” in happy settings just hasn’t felt right if they weren’t there for hard times too. It can also be difficult to answer questions posed by new people we meet. And, people can often be cliquey. If we wanted to hang out by ourselves and talk, well we can do that anytime… 

So M and I decided to go and be sociable, to celebrate our friend’s birthday and meet some new people. We decided we could always chit chat and scat. A college friend who was always into experiencing new things would always say to me, “just remember, we can always leave.” How very liberating. 

Of course the first thing I saw when we walked in was a pregnant woman. But then I looked over and saw like the fullest bar you ever saw. Now as I said, normally I’m a wine drinker. But something about all that fresh fruit and juice and coconut and the five kinds of rum and the blender was just calling me. I was going to take it slow though.

Round 1: Hoegardden beer — delicious summer white beer (biere blanche) from Belgium…

As we were introducing ourselves around, it was hard to keep track of all the names. But everyone was super friendly. I was ready for my cocktail. 

Round 2: pineapple juice, coconut juice. lime juice and rum, blended with ice and topped with fresh pineapple (that soaked up all the rum by the time I got to the bottom)…

I shared the blender leftovers with a new friend. M and I were each chatting up the room. New people kept arriving. Many different circles of friends blending together. 

I overheard a conversation of a nice 30-something guy talking to his friend the pregnant woman. He was apologizing for not having been there for her recently. He was very sincere. He explained that his sister had recently lost her baby, and their family had been in crisis. He hadn’t had a lot of time to check in with his friends, but he was sorry and now there for her anytime. Wow. This floored me on a few levels. 

First, how nice it must be to have your family rally around you in such a life-altering crisis. Of course I don’t know the details, but his family obviously surrounded his sister with love and support during her moment in need. Yes, my mother tried to be with us, my aunt sat with me on bedrest, and some people called. But most didn’t. And when our baby was gone, people disappeared and didn’t really reappear until they thought we’d be “better.” 

Second, what a good friend to explain why he couldn’t be present before and to make himself available now, should his friend need his support. Whenever we’ve had people in our lives who were unable to be there for us, there was never a good reason why. Sure, some would explain that they didn’t know how to be there for us or what to say after our baby died. But most have simply acted like it never happened or that we should be “over” it by now. And they have never known how to deal with our infertility, or even appreciated that it was a crisis. 

Round 3: fresh chunks of pineapple and mango, coconut juice, fresh lime, muddled mint, dark rum and coconut rum, blended with ice and topped with mint and fresh pineapple chunks to soak up all the rum…

Yeah, by this point I was getting buzzed. M’s creation threatened to put me in sugar shock. The DJ started with some electronica trance type music, and we went outside for some fresh air under the tiki lights and stars. It was a beautiful night. M and I agreed what a good group of friends they had, and we were glad we forced ourselves out. Yes, I lot of couples mentioned their babysitters at home. But only one person asked if we had kids. And everyone we talked to was really nice and genuine. 

Round 4: mojito time! fresh lime juice, muddled mint, cane syrup from france, rum and soda water, topped with fresh mint…

This was the drink I thought I’d been waiting for.  I was looking for something a little less sweet than M’s sugar-bomb concoction. But the cane syrup was a little over the top. I drank a huge glass of water. We got into a good conversation with someone who knew the little cafe where I worked one of my first jobs. We talked about music and life and health. The band started so we went back inside to the cozy den. The pregnant woman wasn’t even rubbing her belly, she was just holding her husband’s hand. 

Eventually it was time for us to go though, I’m sure the party continued until the wee hours of the morning. We drove home on the back roads through the hills and under the moonlight. We saw two coyotes scampering along the side of the road. And later we saw two baby deer trying to decide whether they should cross or not (don’t do it!). I’m glad I stopped drinking when I did, or M would have had to worry about me yakking in the car (again — long story for another time). I woke up with a fuzzy head and sugar headache. And here I am. 

So that was hung over. Now for the over and out.

Today, in between glasses of water, I’m packing for our last summer vacation.  We’ll be away for almost a week, headed to the Southwest to visit family — my mom and her husband, and my stepbrother, his wife and their not-so-new twins that we have not yet met. The twins were born prematurely in late January, after IVF with donor eggs, after nearly five years of infertility and adoption waiting lists. Apparently they are huge and healthy now.

There’s also a rumor that I may get to see one of my favorite bloggers, who I was lucky enough to meet once before. It may be just for a very quick lunch, but I’ll take what I can get!  So until we return on labor day, peace out my friends.

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~ by luna on August 24, 2008.

14 Responses to “hung over and out”

  1. I’m so glad you were able to have a good time and get out! I too have a laundry list of friends who don’t know what to say, so they stay away (most don’t know about our IF, but most know about my m/c and scattered to the wind just after that). It then becomes easy to shut ourselves in, avoiding the awkward silences, the blank stares. It takes a lot of courage to get out there in new people. Of course, fruity little concoctions do make it easier, don’t they? 🙂

    Have fun on your vacation!

  2. As if I should even pretend to be surprised by the parallels anymore, but we too just went to a party and probably b/c there is no more IF to worry about–at least not now–we unabashedly took part in the cocktails and it was FUN! For the first time in so long, it was so fun to be out and not say, No I’m not drinking or whatever–did I mention I FELL OFF THE COUCH when we got home. How awesome is that? Yes, it’s been a long time since college for me.
    Have a great time on vacation, we’re going away too. Glad there’s some lightness around for you right now!
    Enjoy!!

  3. Those sound like some yummy drinks! I’m trying my darndest to find us a restaurant that will serve mojitos for brunch. Hopefully you’ll be all recovered by then.

    I can hardly wait to see you — just another week!

    Safe travels.

  4. I’m glad you had a good time at the party – those cocktails sound delicious!

    I understand what you say about avoiding social gatherings – I think infertility has very much caused us to retreat in on ourselves as a couple. Somehow it feels easier to hide away at home than to face all those awkward ‘so, do you have children?’ questions. But I love the idea that, if it comes down to it, one can always just leave – as you say, it’s a very liberating thought!

    I hope your headache gets better soon, and that you have a wonderful vacation. Take good care on your travels, dear Luna.

  5. Mmmm… screw this coffee! I need to get me some mojito, stat.

    Infertility has definitely caused me to trim out a lot of that “going through the motions” stuff I used to do like go to parties I don’t want to go to, etc. I also don’t force myself to keep corresponding with people that make me feel icky.

    Interestingly, it’s opened me up to a lot more that DOES fit. I seem to be filling my life with more people who “get it”, gatherings I truly feel good at, etc. Perhaps infertility has been a gift in a way (hahahah… did I say that?!).

    Hope your trip is fantastic! I LOVE the southwest…

  6. Sounds like a fun party. And me being the sugar-a-holic that I am, the sugar bomb drink sounds awesome. Have a good trip.

  7. I can completely relate to avoiding some social situations. We have done the same thing. Have a great vacation!

  8. Lord knows we have avoided social situations, too. I am really, really, REALLY glad you got to enjoy an evening out (even if there were some potentially derailing moments). And I am glad you have a friend who has reached out to you when others did not.

  9. I would like to be at a party like that…sounds divine!
    We, too, avoid all things social as a sort of self preservation attempt.
    I wish we could go to an all-infertiles-drink-fest!

  10. Sounds like it was a lovely party. glad you had a nice time. Have fun your last summer vacation!
    And I agree that IF seems to have made me better at surrounding myself with better, nicer people as well.

  11. So glad that you had a good time. You totally have me craving fruity drinks. Have a wonderful vacation.

  12. Ha! We’re on the same bender, Luna! I’m so glad you got to see the good side of humanity and let your hair down at the party. It sounds like a good one.

    Have a great trip!

  13. Wow, do I need a cocktail now. That’s an impressive set-up.

    And it’s nice to overhear decent discussion between heartfelt people, isn’t it.

    Wishing you a lovely trip!

  14. Have a fabulous time and drink a bunch more!!!

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