18 April 2010

Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Kevin.

I stole the title of this post from the smart, funny and totally doable Chelsea Handler, who in turn stole it from Judy Blume's Are You There God?  It's Me, Margaret.  Margaret turns to God for answers and I, obviously, turn to Vodka.  I am only sort of kidding.  Since I broke my leg on Pearl Harbor Day 2009 I thought I would have to go until May without a drink, which was fine.  I looked forward to getting myself as healthy as I could.  I had been prescribed painkillers that (allegedly) weren't supposed to be mixed with alcohol.   What they don't tell you, what you have to find out for yourself, is that they work so much better with alcohol (brainstorm - replace the pimentos in olives with vicodin).  I probably went for three weeks without a drink and this was during the holidays when drinking is so much more festive than it is the rest of the year.  I had one on New Year's Eve, then the following Monday, and after that I started to have one every night.  I looked forward to it.

I have always liked to drink and I have always liked to drink vodka.  It's tasteless, odorless (except for the fumes) and goes with anything.  Olives, cranberry, oranges, grapefruit - you name it, vodka makes a good companion for it, as it does me.  After my leg started to heal I used vodka to take the edge off my rehab.  The scar tissue in my knee binds it from bending freely and the rehab process is akin to bending your fingers back until they hurt and then bending them a little more.  I would sit on my rehab ball in the kitchen every day at four, make myself a martini, then watch Law and Order.  It was a good ritual.

Alcohol gets a bad rap because of all the things associated with it: alcoholism, divorce, insanity, DWI's, cirrhosis, teenage pregnancy, death, etc., but no one talks about the benefits.  Enhanced self-esteem, beer muscles, general fun, sex with teenagers.  Why else do we celebrate with alcohol?  Weddings, funerals, dinner on Friday nights, and reunions are all good occasions to drink.  Oh, I forgot Vegas, weekends at camp and hangovers.  And then there are the good shows to drink to.  For me its Arrested Development and Mad Men.  Movies - Casablanca and The Big Lebowski (just add kahlua).

Sometimes I think drinking is like watching tv.  Almost everyone does it but no one wants to admit just how often.    Everyone can spot the unstable unapologetic drinker; its the stable unapologetic drinkers that are hard to find.  I'm glad to say that my recent habits have pushed me into the latter category.  One martini is fine and good and I don't feel guilty about having it, even before four o'clock.  For those in the former category I am reminded of a quote from modern sage Homer Simpson.


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