Suddenly Drunk Syndrome
Sassy and I have a new favorite thing to do together that has temporarily replaced playing “Sorry!” (or, as I like to call it, “passive aggressive Eff You!”). We watch animal videos together on youtube. Today we found one in which a baby sea lion swimming off the coast of Newport Beach got tired, boarded a boat, snuggled up in a man’s lap, and made itself comfortable for over an hour. It’s so cute!
Watching it reminded me of a similar experience I had this year, except instead of a sea lion it was me, and instead of a boat it was an airplane, and instead of curling up in a man’s lap…well, actually, that part is the same. It was so ridiculously awkward!
The night started innocently enough with me waiting for an airplane to visit one of my favorite long distance BFF’s in Austin, Tx. The year before I happened to visit when the only movie playing at the Alamo Drafthouse was The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1. Hereafter referred to as TTSBD1. She insisted I had to experience the Drafthouse because of our ability to order food and drinks throughout a movie, so we went. TTSBD1 was so incredibly incredibly terrible in all the wrong ways that I kept the drinks coming at a rapid pace to try and make it all better. It didn’t work, which says a lot. Her husband swung by to pick us up, but drunk as we were we didn’t want to go home we chose instead to sing karaoke to a live band at the bar next door. Karaokeapocalypse!!!
Anyhoo, the movie scarred our souls so badly she made me pinky swear I would come back the next year for TTSBD part 2 for closure. So I did. This story starts a few hours before my departing flight. Turns out, they delayed it by an hour. So, I wandered over to the bar and had myself a double whiskey and coke. Then they delayed my flight another hour. So I had myself another double whiskey and coke. Then I boarded the plane.
I had a window seat, and the middle seat was empty, with the aisle seat occupied by a man I remember seeing at the same airport bar. He nodded. “Hello, double whiskey and coke!” he said to me. “Hey!” I said back. “They were so weak, I don’t even feel tipsy. So weird!” He was a nice paramedic from Texas, and I asked him what he was drinking back at the bar. “Oh, scotch. I always drink scotch.” he answered. I mentioned I’d never had scotch before, and being a gentleman he flagged down the flight attendant and had her bring us two travel sized scotch’s and a coke for me.
Being the smartest girl in the whole entire world, I decided to drink the scotch neat, right out of the bottle. Fuck coke! I’d already had two with my whiskey and everyone knows soda is bad for you.
It. Was. Delicious.
“I LOVE SCOTCH!” I declared followed shortly after by “I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!”
When I came back from the bathroom, still feeling completely sober mind you, I stepped over him and he said, “I have a surprise for you!”
What he meant was, “I have another travel size bottle of scotch for you!”
I’ll preemptively come to his defense now, in case anyone is thinking this man was out to get me drunk. He in no way was. I was stone cold sober, in spite of my quadruple whiskey & cokes and scotch. It’s a common societal expectation that when you reach a certain age, you know how to hold your liquor. Little did he know, I’ve only been drinking, like, 3 years now. As it would turn out, both of us seriously overestimated my alcohol consumption skills.
So, feeling chipper, we cheers’d and I took another drink.
I’m not entirely sure what happened next.
One minute I was of sound sober body and mind, and the next minute–actually, the next second–I was feeling as drunk as I’d ever felt in my whole life. It was as if my blood cells decided all of a sudden to let all the alcohol in through their cell membranes and then my liver denied them all entry into its cleansing house of health. One second I was in the middle of a conversation with him, and the next I couldn’t even hold the bottle of scotch up to my mouth.
I stopped him mid word and said, “Excuse me, but my body just decided I’m super drunk.”
He paused and looked at me while I handed him the rest of my scotch.
“I’m so drunk that I don’t really think I can sit up anymore.” I told him as I put up the first and then the second armrest between us.
“I’m so drunk that I need to lay down right now…” I continued as I pulled myself across the empty seat on my way to laying my head down in his lap.
There was one tiny part of my brain where the blood was still clean and pure, and that part of my brain shouted at me that laying your head in a man’s lap who you only just met 35 minutes ago was probably not very cool. But then that part of my brain got suddenly drunk too, and told me that actually it was the best idea I’d ever had.
I’m aware, as I passed in and out of “sleep”, that for the entire time he kept his arms and hands up, as if I’d said, “stick em up!” before passing out on his leg. I’m also aware that the stewardesses would occasionally walk by, stop, and ask if everything was OK. “Oh, yeah, we’re fine!” he’d say. The flight passed by like this until he shook my shoulder.
“How are you? We’re landing now, can you sit up?”
I sat up. I looked at him and said, “You have to help get me off this plane and out of this airport, cuz I’m never going to make it on my own. I don’t even know where up and down are, let alone left and right and in and out…”
Luckily he was only carrying a backpack, so he slung it on his back and reached up in the overhead bin for my bag.
“Don’t forget my hoop!” I instructed.
“My hula hoop. It’s that round thing next to my bag…”
“Of course” he said, as if that explained everything.
I could walk marginally well. I was in good spirits if not very confused. He brought me and all my stuff out to the curb and stood with me. I’d started getting texts from my friend who was circling the airport, so told him he could go and I’d be fine. Before he left he apparently got a hold of my phone and called himself so he’d have my number to check up on me. And just like that, Prince Scotchy walked out of my life. True gentleman through and through!
My friend found me, assessed my situation and drove me back to her house with all speed. I crawled out of her car and vomited in her neighbors yard. “I don’t really like them, anyway” she said after I slurred out an apology. She put me to bed, and thus ended my night of suddenly drunk.
Every once in a while I’ll get a random text from Prince Scotchy. He’ll say, “Have you passed out in any more stranger’s laps lately?” and I’ll reply, “Have you gotten any girls massively scotch drunk lately?” and then we’ll both reply “No” with the crying laughing emoji.
It’s a little awkward being 40 but with all the alcohol self awareness of a teenager. Luckily I have good friends and serendipitously gracious strangers to help me on my way.
Please, it would make me feel oh so better if you would share your own stories of Suddenly Drunk Syndrome with me in the comments or on facebook!