Alcohol Lied to Me

Last Sunday night, I stayed up late watching the Patriots play the Seahawks. I probably had my last beer around 10 o’clock (my guess is that the game ended around midnight); I do this, cut myself off at a certain time. Not after an amount of booze, but a time. It’s 10 o’clock, regardless of whether or not I have to be up in the morning for anything special. On weeknights, I’m in bed at 10 o’clock, mostly.

Because of the special circumstance, I allowed myself to stay up later and have a few beers into the night.

I’m 34, pushing 35. I’m a parent of two kids, neither of whom has been alive for longer than two years and three months. That means we wake up early and our entire day-cycle is spent chasing, feeding, changing, negotiating, and giving 100% of our attention outside of ourselves. Shower? Lunch? I guess I forgot. Yes, these are sweatpants and, yes, I know it’s 3:30.

It also means I don’t drink as much — quantity-wise — as I once did. Quality is up, but as far as how much I drink, it’s not much. Maybe I’ll have a solitary beer each night (or a glass of wine or a drink, whatever), but as far as quantity, it’s low comparatively speaking. This entire paragraph seems too much like justifying. If so, go screw. I’m an adult.

After the game, our typical routine came and went. Monday everyone went off to school and the baby stayed home with me to work. No drink that night; Same thing Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Friday, I came home from work at 9 p.m., a time I’d typically have a beer, and, eh, I’m tired. Let’s go to bed.

At this point, my liver is loving me.

Saturday night, we went to this great Middle Eastern restaurant. We go there all the time, but, unfortunately, they’re closing. Not because the food was bad, not because of money. Just don’t want to be in the business anymore. We went for one last blowout and ate like fat kids. It’s BYOB at the restaurant, so we brought a bottle of wine, which we split and finished.

We came home and everyone else went to bed and I watched football and made a couple more drinks. Two.

I woke up in the morning at 6:10 and really felt the booze. Couple glasses of wine, couple heavy-handed drinks did me in. Tough to watch Doc McStuffins at 6 am after that. To her credit, our two-year-old noticed me dozing off and scooped up some M&M’s. That’ll teach me not to drink and leave the Halloween candy out at night.

It was nice to abstain during a football Sunday. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that.

For the record, I didn’t quit drinking. I just thought it’d be beneficial to my body to heed the signs of, “Hey, you should just go to bed tonight. Don’t stay up and have a beer” and “Milk would taste great with this dinner.” Also, and this is just an aside, I was taking a selfie with my son the other day and saw my face and said, “Holy fuck you’re fat!” The holidays are coming (in fact, they’re here). There will be drinking and feasting and conviviality. I don’t need to exacerbate the damage. Some nights of abstaining are warranted before the holiday booze gauntlet begins.


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