Tis the season
On Sunday morning I woke up wondering: When the hell did it happen? As in, when did staying out past midnight mean the following day would be spent on the couch with a bottle of Advil within arm’s reach? When did going to a holiday party result in the next 12 hours feeling like a small family of pocket-sized people were living inside my skull, playing with hammers? When did "just one more" become code for "I’m going to pay for this tomorrow?" I don’t know what the clinical name for my disorder is, but these are the symptoms: I RSVP "yes," I get ready to go, I tell myself I’ve got game, I convince myself I might as well be in my 20s and then the next day I’m like: Nope, definitely not in my 20s anymore.
I used to be able to have a few adult beverages on a Saturday night and the next morning, down a few pieces of greasy pizza and a Bloody Mary and snap right back. I could close down the bar and meet friends for first chair. 5 a.m. was the time I got home, not the time I woke up. I used to be able to hang with the cool kids. But now, a night of merriment requires more recovery time than minor surgery.
Eleven months out of the year, I’m pretty reserved. I consider it an accomplishment if I stay awake long enough to hear Jimmy Fallon’s opening monologue. But December. Oh, December. It blows in like an F-5 tornado. Despite the warnings, I never seek shelter in time. I just get sucked in to the vortex and beg my liver to hold on tight.
Every year I make a promise to myself to only attend a handful of parties. Only the really important ones, with people I actually want to see. After all, I’m not running for homecoming queen. I really don’t need to make an appearance at the annual "knit a sweater for homeless chickens" Christmas party. And if I do go, I don’t have to accept the glass of wine handed to me. That’s the pep talk I give myself every November 30th. But I fail, I always fail. December seems to zap my ability to say "no, thanks." This is the month my willpower gives me the middle finger.
So instead of fighting it, instead of making promises I know I won’t keep, this December I’m going to embrace the fact that it will be a rough 31 days. After all, what would the holidays be without pushing your body to the brink of alcoholism and diabetes?
Let’s just accept December for what it is. Let’s raise our glasses and say: Cheers.
Cheers to the people who try to conceal their alcohol problem at the office holiday party and consider that a solid month’s work.
Cheers to those who travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year Only to be reminded why they live thousands of miles away.
Cheers to the people who sleep until noon because someone told them the night before "You’re going to regret that in the morning." They’re real problem solvers.
Cheers to the holiday office parties, where you can finally meet all the people you’ve been emailing from 10 feet away.
Cheers to the people who are the drunken equivalent of WikiLeaks at those holiday office parties.
Cheers to all of us who were born in this month. All we want for Christmas is someone to remember our December birthdays.
Cheers to the people whose diet plan is to bake cookies for all their friends. That’s one way to look thinner.
Cheers to those who say they need a glass of wine because they’re so stressed out about where to hide that creepy Elf on a Shelf. Buyer’s remorse yet?
And cheers to Santa. Some say he’s jolly, but I think he’s a bit judgmental.
At some point this month I’ll drink a glass of water, just to shock my liver. But until then, tis the season to drink with the family, friends and coworkers who are the reason you drink too much in the first place.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident, and the proud owner of a rescued Dalmatian named Stanley.