Monday, January 14, 2013

♪ Her name was Lola. She was a showgirl.♫

So I went to Vegas.  I got to see Mike!  and Erica.  And my friend, the ever-patient France.  (ha ha, we stayed at the Paris hotel.  I never got tired of saying "France is in Paris!" I am a laugh riot.  She loved it.  Every. single. time.) (not really she got all eye-rolly at me) (she's a bitch) (not really. *sigh*)

I'm actually pretty lucky in Vegas.  I usually stick to video poker, I bet max on a quarter machine, and I cash out immediately when I hit any jackpot over a coupla bucks. 

I won this on $20 on our first night there.  BUT, because my stupid KIDS were with me, I gave them each $100.  THIS turned into a theme, MIKE. 

I kept handing him cash and teaching him how to play in Vegas - how to sit at a blackjack table ($5 table, he started on his own at a $15 table, asshole lost $100 in about 15 minutes MIKE).  But there is much to learn about Vegas.  Not just WHERE to gamble (Fremont street ONLY, i don't usually ever even go to the strip) but where to sit at a blackjack table (what position, because that position will really matter if you take or don't take a card and the rest of the table will hunt you down if you do it wrong aaahhh!), how to only use ONE HAND at a table.  Don't touch your chips until the dealer says ok (especially with roulette), not to mention how to tip (everyone.  Often.  Tip dealers, waitresses, the room maids, EVERYONE.  But you know, we were high rollers and tipped $1 often.  A buck.  I was like that 'Most Interesting Man In The World' guy, if he was a bum).  We had fun and he got good at blackjack and won me back $100!  *plink* the sound of a drop in a bucket.  har.

I love hanging with my kid.  He enjoyed himself but said that if he goes back it wont be with his mommy.  huh.  HOW ODD, amirite?
Erica (left), me (center), Mike (right).

Anywhoozle.  This isn't so much about gambling as it is drinking.  More like, Vegas Sober and uh, that's just a stupid place to be.

It took forever to get to Vegas from Southern Maryland.  2 hours driving to the airport, park, ride a bus to terminal, fly to Detroit, change planes (run!  because it's always the furthest away!) get into Vegas, take a monorail to baggage claim (oh I wish I was kidding), find Mike, take a shuttle to the hotel, check in...  by this time I was like a chihuahua on crack.  I was weird and vibrating and my sinuses were jacked up because of take offs (X2) and landings (X2) and I was just ...  oh hell, I was feeling ODD.  And I was sober, and usually by this time I am drunky drunk from airport booze and airplane booze and everything is glowing and soft edges.  no.  Not this time.  Long car rides in traffic, airports, airplanes, buses, shuttles, monorails - that shit smells, people are disgusting, and being sober is no way to travel.

Erica was already there, they got her stuff and brought it to the room.  She had driven from So Cal - she had bought SO MUCH BOOZE for the room.  Huge bottle of vodka, orange liquor, 12-pack of Guinness, etc.  And there I was.

I don't LIKE drinking anymore.  What in the fuck happened to me?  I quit in desperation right after Thanksgiving.  Now I cannot stomach the stuff.  It tastes like ass.  And I feel poisoned as soon as I drink one.  Like I drank arsenic or Drano or something. 

I gave myself permission to just have fun in Vegas, and I didn't.  Not really.  Not much at all.  because...

Vegas is so ugly when you're sober.  I NEVER noticed before.  Because I have always been smish-smash-HAMMERED there.  Like, use your phone and take a picture of your room number because you will forget that and everything else!  Like, falling down drunk.

SOBER?  Vegas looks like a 50-year old show girl in the morning.  No makeup, cigarette dangling from her mouth, tits sagging in an old kimono bathrobe.  UGH LEE.

Night & day.

It was like sitting in one big smoky bar for 4 days.  I know, you all know that.  But for me, Vegas was always some glittering ball of FUN! Happy! Party All Day! land.  This time, the mask slipped.  Do you have any idea how many times dealers/waitresses/bartenders roll their eyes at you?  All of the times.  ALL of them.  They hate you.  But I was sober so I saw it.  I saw them.  I don't blame them.

I wasn't that much fun.  I was walking that line between joining the party and MANAGING the partiers.  I was FUSSY a little bit, like your dumb sober friend, you know?  I was drinking, but um...  I was FORCING myself to drink.  It was the most ridiculous spot I have put myself in in a LONG time. 

Being sober truly does suck.  And being drunk feels HORRIBLE anymore.  It isn't FUN, it doesn't feel all swoopy and delicious.  It feels like I'm sick, like I've eaten bad shrimp salad and I need a doctor.  I'm not used to seeing all the hard edges of life.  All the stains on the carpet and banged up doors (PARIS), all the tired eyes of waitresses and the Job Patience look of blackjack dealers.  I'm used to letting myself see everything as BEAUTIFUL because my life was hard enough.

Now it seems my life is no longer hard, and I no longer need the booze.

It's just SO WEIRD.  It's been 30 YEARS of drinking.  *poof*  the desire is gone.

I don't even WANT to drink.  I don't like the taste anymore (!?).  I know so firmly that ONE = ALL OF THEM so the first one seems stupid and ugly now.  I can't even explain it.  I'm done drinking, I quit on a whim, and I am sorta bereft. 

I am now between worlds.  Firmly.  Can a person just talk themselves out of drinking?  Because I miss LOVING IT.  I miss the party all night aspect of life.  I was in bed (or whining about it) by 10:00 PM every night in Vegas.  good lord.

I don't drink anymore.  But I don't know (yet) how to live SOBER. 


  1. I wish I could help you on the drinking. It's been lifelong battle with me.
    I know a lot of people who claim to be teetotalers. Never. touch. a. drop.
    Oh they'll have a glass of Merlot I mean every one likes a glass of wine with dinner. And they might have a rum drink on a cold day. But not. a. drop. more.
    Except a snifter of Brandy at night. Or maybe two or three. For medicinal purposes. It helps them sleep.
    By the time they are done qualifying their little snorts and shots you realize they never draw a sober breath.

  2. *sigh* yeah - I SAY I quit but I'm not gonna get any chips for my way. Glass of champagne at new years, coupla (few) (more) in Vegas. I'm not anti drinking, I fucking MISS IT. I just can't stomach it anymore.

    Sort of like how when I was a kid I loved Pixi Stix and marshmallow fluff and all that. Now I wouldn't eat that shit on a bet. Tastes like ass to me, that sugar will make me feel like crap in a coupla hours.

    But godDAMN I loved drinking for 30 years what am I gonna do NOW? Yeah yeah, ride my bike, collect thimbles, it wasn't a HOBBY it was what I did. I breathed, I drank. now it seems I have to find a new drug. Wonder how that worked out for ole Huey Lewis.

    I don't WANT to be sober. I'm not a 'see the edges' kinda gal. I just have no choice.

    I guess that's a good thing. ugh.

  3. It sounds like you had a good time. You just didn't know it.

  4. I was four years sober on January 1st and the "birthday" will be celebrated at an AA meeting next Saturday. Not sure how to explain it in a comment but it took a while to manage so many little things without booze. Going out to sit on the back deck without a glass was completely foreign to me. Like WTF am I going to do on the deck sober?

    I wasn't physically well for the first seven months so that made it pretty miserable too. Didn't know how to handle the assholes that so desperately wanted me to drink so I just stayed home which was mentally unhealthy.

    Gradually, things started to change, like being able to get out of bed, shower and get dressed every day. Then things picked up really quickly when with a clear head I started "fuck you" to people like my folks.

    These days I have a whole new life with a (mostly) new set of friends and activities. We have crazy pee-your-pants laughing fun and I'm glad I soldiered through because I fucking love being sober!!!

    Bonus things, like the monthly lease payment on my car being less than I spent on booze every, make me happy. In fact, lots of "unimportant" stuff makes me crazy happy.

    At AA, I steadfastly refuse to fold on the "God" stuff. I have my own form of spirituality and I don't intend to give it up. I'm REALLY glad I didn't end up with a completely fried brain like my miserable fuck of a brother.

    Qs right. Sometimes we have a good time and just don't get it!

    1. Mulder, it's true. There are so many things I do that used to ALSO involve a glass, and I don't see the point without one. Like, oh - say LUNCH.

      I had a dream last night that I got pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint and I had a big old plastic cup of 7&7 in the car. Jeff dumped it out but I knew I was gonna get busted. It was a good dream - a reminder of the exact scenario that made me quit.

      I hate that I have another way for myself to feel ODD, but I'll get there.

  5. Hey big spender,
    I'm so glad that you got to spend some time with your peeps!

    I quit drinking because I realized that I was pulling my entire world down around my ears (albeit slowly, I was being thorough.) I quit with a program because I couldn't do it on my own. However you are doing it, or whatever the reasons you have for doing it, here's what I know:

    You don't take out something (a drink, an action, coffee, cigarettes, thoughts, words, jauntily crocheted tea cozies) that you've been doing/using/thinking/saying/crocheting for 30 years without A: leaving a void and B: missing it. Even if you're not an addicted alcoholic, you're still going to miss the function of being able to use alcohol to escape, even if you're only using it to escape the scuff marks on the bottom of every door in the hotel corridor. It was freekin' magic juice for me, man, for a long, long time. And I missed it terribly when I couldn't/wouldn't/didn't want to use it anymore.

    The only way to close the void is to fill it with... something. I needed a (if you were here with me, you'd witness the granddaddy of all eye rolls as I say this,) "spiritual program," cause I needed to get my head straight (and I still often do,) and that filled the void (as it still often does.) That's what's worked for me, fwiw, for the last five years.

    I went to Vegas with DH for our honemoon many years ago - when my drinking was just ramping up - and it was beautiful. I've been thinking that I don't want to go back, ever, and I think you've just confirmed that for me. Some things might be better left unseen.


    1. Vanci,

      Yeah - I miss LIKING it. Absolutely 'magic juice' like you said.

      I don't recommend Vegas sober. It really is just kinda icky. And a little depressing. Like going to Disney and seeing Mickey take off his head and catch a smoke behind the bathrooms. Illusion GONE! lol

  6. I on the other hand had a blast though i'm sure my liver would disagree. To me though drinking isn't something i need but something that increases the fun of most situations. Like a Saturday barbecue with the family is fun but add beer into the mix and its even better. But then again I have drank to escape and have had my share of "bad" experiences (throwing up on my girlfriends car as she drove me home which I don't remember) the strip was almost 0 fun too expensive and full of assholes but freemont was too much fun, i think i drank my weight in bud and rum though