The other night we retrieved the girls up from piano lessons and headed to TGIFs to throw some grub down their throats. As we sat down I started my usual encouragements to “Focus, focus,” without which a decision about what to order would take a solid 25 minutes. Our server came back with the drinks faster than expected and our table became a universe of questions and indecision.
In the midst of chaos another server sat down a shot glass filled to the brim as if we had ordered it.
My ability to manage the chaos was tested. While trying to assist the girls in determining their culinary choices I missed my chance to let the other server know about his mistake. The additional burden of solving the ill-placed jigger of spirited juice cracked my composure. And it got worse.
The servers whisked off before I could voice “disownership”. I searched for eye contact and simultaneously saw scribbling on the napkin that the bunglesome booze was sitting on. It said:
AAHHHH!! The foreboding inebriant had been sent by someone from church! Thoughts collided in my mind. There’s no way I was going to drink it. I couldn’t. I’ve struggled with the demon of alcohol in my life – I’ve never been able to just “socially drink.”
My brain synapses were melting down. Too much to process.
I didn’t want to seem ungrateful. It was a note of encouragement. They were obviously showing love. Maybe they were just messing with me. The longer it sat there the more chance someone else might see the pastor “throwing down some hard liquor.” So what. There’s nothing wrong with drinking. What if I explained to them I appreciated what they did, but I couldn’t drink. But what if they in turn felt bad about sending it then. Worse, what if I went around the corner and didn't recognize anyone. They sent encouragement and I couldn’t even have the decency to know their names . . . . AAAAHHHH!
Then I started belly laughing at the situation and my inability to handle it. It was great.
Dipping my pinky finger in it, I tasted it on the off chance that it wasn’t firewater and someone was just giving me “the business.” (later my youngest asked why I didn't just smell it . . . good point. I was flustered OK?!)
It was tea.
They got me! At this point Tess and I were laughing hysterically. Thinking about all my ridiculous angst made me laugh even harder. Sometime in the midst of the cachinnation I proudly grabbed the whiskey glass, assumed the shooting position, uttered the reminiscent, “through the teeth and over the gums . . . look out tummy here it comes,” threw back my head, and downed it in one fell swoop.
Thanks Joe and Katie for the laugh . . . but don’t think this is over by any means.