I have been listening to a lot of Madonna’s greatest hits. I like the old school and new Madonna. I was obsessed with her when I was little. My 3 close friends and I would dress up like her when we were 8-11 years old. We would wear one small earring and one large cross earring. We had layered, bright colored skirts and fluorescent scarfs to wrap around our teased hair. We wrote fan letters to her. We rode our bikes to the mall to see “Desperately Seeking Susan” and then “Who’s That Girl” a few years later. “Like a Virgin” was the first cassette tape I bought. I remember debating with my friends what the word virgin meant. I finally asked my mom.
Remembering those innocent times made me think of our sleepovers. Even as teenagers and we no longer lived near each other, we would get together for a few sleepovers a year. Usually someone’s birthday. We would have a fun night. Usually watch a movie. Paint nails and do our hair. Talk about boys. We never drank alcohol. We were for the most part, good kids.
I am trying to picture what would happen if we had a sleepover now. They all have kids. I am the only one choosing to remain child-free. Most likely, after the kids go to sleep, they would want to open a bottle of wine. Relieve the stresses of motherhood. Enjoy a few glasses while we watch movies, paint our nails, do our hair, and talk about men. We are allowed to do that now. We earned our right to imbibe with alcoholic beverages as adults.
But why do we need the booze?
I once had a teacher in high school that was giving us a small talk about alcohol. I do not remember why. He taught history or geography. But I remember he said something along the lines of “if you need to drink to have fun, you must be a very boring person.”
I did not drink back then. I was a good kid. In honor classes. Mostly As and Bs (with a few Cs in math classes.) Anti-drugs. A huge fan of New Kids on the Block. I was not really anti-alcohol. I just never had the desire back then. Or maybe I just never had the opportunity.
My first time getting drunk I was in the Navy. We were allowed to drink on base back then. I went to my first bar with my roommate on base. We were in uniform. We were 18 so we must have had beers or wine coolers. Liquor was only available for people over 21. Later, we went to a party off base. I remember I got drunk on Moonlight Margaritas. Everyone at the party took a walk to the beach that night. I attempted to go swimming. Everyone kept warning me the undertow was strong. I didn’t listen and ran out into the waves. Someone yelled my full name like a mother would and that got my attention. I came out of the water before anything dangerous happened.
That was the beginning of my drinking life. I continued putting my life in danger for twenty years. Maybe I was still trying to figure out who’s that girl. Who am I? Now I need to figure out who I am without booze.
Mistake # 41 – I originally wanted to leave this story until the end of the year. But I think it goes well with my first drunk time.
A month after I first got drunk, I went to a party with a friend. It was at a hotel near the base. It was full of Navy guys. Most of us were under 21. We were playing drinking games. My friend and I had our own hotel room for us to sleep in after the party. I started making out with a cute guy at the party. I remember a little bit of sitting on the closet floor near the bathroom and kissing this guy. I remember we both were from the same state. He asked me to stay for the night. I said no. I went back to my hotel room. My friend invited her boyfriend back to the room. I passed out on the bed drunk. The guy I kissed was at the door knocking. My friend and her boyfriend decided to go out for late night food. They let the guy in and left. I do not remember much. But I woke up with blood on the bed. It was my first time.
I was too embarrassed to tell anyone. A few friends noticed I was depressed. I finally told two friends. They told me I should become a born-again virgin. Instead, I figured I had nothing left to save. The good girl I grew up as was now gone.