Worship the Bar

Mistake # 101- I was in Queenstown,  New Zealand. I met a guy earlier that day on a bungee jump. I invited him to come out for drinks with me and my friend that night.

He arrived with a friend. I did not realize my friend invited a guy she met that day. She was off and busy with that guy dancing, drinking or making out. I was left to talk to the guy I met and his friend.

This guy was Irish. I remember this because he asked me what was my religion. I thought that was an odd question to ask someone you just met. I told him I had no religion. He asked “are you Catholic or Protestant?” as if those were the only two choices. I told him I was baptized Catholic but do not consider myself Catholic. He said “oh no, that is good enough. You are Catholic.” I got a bit offended.

“No, just because my parents made a choice for me while I was in diapers does not make me Catholic. This is my religion” as I pointed at the bar

I held my arms up towards the bar. I said I pray to the bartender gods. The drink menu is my bible. I actually got on my knees and started to bow towards the bottles of alcohol on the shelf. I stood up laughing. The guy and his mate just stared at me.

“I guess religion isn’t something to discuss when you first meet” he said.

We switched the topic to travel. He told me he was in Thailand last and on his way to Australia next. I said I was in Thailand in 1996.

“What, were you TEN?”

No, I was about 20. He then asked how old I was. I truthfully answered I was 31.

“WHAT! I am 24. I JUST turned 24 a few days ago. I thought you were 25 or 26 at most.”

Why thank you! I told him happy belated birthday. I said I was going to go to the bar for another drink. Would he like me to buy him a birthday drink. He said no thanks.

I grabbed a drink. Then I stopped to find my friend. I told her I predicted this night would end early. First he was upset about religion and now seems mad about my age. She told me not to worry and she returned to snogging her guy.

I went back to where I left the guys. They were gone. I looked around. I checked the bar. By the bathrooms. The dance floor. I waited to see if they would return. After 15 minutes, I realized they ditched me. I returned to my friend.

“I am too old to be here. Most of this bar is young 20s.” She told me to drink up. I will feel better.

This bar had a fun drink special. There was a flyer with photos of 10 pop icons. Each was the name of a drink. When you order one, they stamped the photo. After you ordered all 10, you got a free teapot. This was an actual large teapot full of a mixed drink. You pour the drink out of the spout into a small cup. I think they are meant to be shared. I made it my goal to get that free teapot.

After about 6 drinks, my friend told me she was leaving for a shag. She said sorry. Then she left me at the bar alone. I sat at the bar, by myself, finishing off the pop icon drinks. I won my teapot. I sat there drinking it alone. I started crying. A guy I knew sat down next to me to ask if I was okay. I started to blab about being too old and men suck and he should just go away cause no one wants me. I guess he got up and left which made me cry more.

I left after that teapot but did not want to go back to my room. I was sharing a room with 7 other girls. I wanted to cry alone. So I went to the beach. It was a bit chilly. But I laid on the beach and cried and cried and cried. I remember looking at the water and contemplating going in. I wondered if a good swimmer could still drown. Or maybe I should go drink more until I could drown myself.

I kept thinking I was too old to be there and I will be alone forever. I did not see a point in living. But I was also worried what my friends would think if I failed. What if I just made an ass of myself? I started to picture the Kiwi papers “Drunk American Hospitalized For Hypothermia After Lame Suicide Attempt.” Fear of failure kept me from hurting myself.

I returned to my room a little before daybreak. I slept away most of the day with a hangover. I drowned my sorrows in those mixed drinks but thankfully not enough to drown myself.