Note: this post is raw and unedited. I typed it at the airport and on the plane, and posted it as soon as I landed. Please excuse any typos/autocorrect errors/lack…
This week, I celebrated 1 year and 6 months off the sauce.
In Las Vegas, of all places.
If you had asked me two years ago, I would have never thought I would be — or could be — writing this post.
It’s been 553 days since my last drink, and it still feels surreal to type that. I don’t really know what I’m trying to say or how to say it. But I feel the need to say something, so here goes nothing.
To cut to the chase, I’ll be honest: I’ve had a problematic relationship with alcohol since the first time I got drunk at 18.
The nagging voice of denial in the back of my mind stubbornly refuses to admit that I’m an alcoholic. But I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t admit that I exhibited some concerning drinking habits, that my relationship with alcohol was unhealthy, that I was speeding towards rock bottom, and that something needed to change.
Here’s my story.
My mom and I both sleep in, giving our bodies time to heal our fresh ink.
She texts me that she’s going to take a bath in her soaking tub, and we plan to meet after. Unfortunately her bath is cut short by a call from her sister that my grandpa has fallen and broke his hip. He’s fortunately alright, but that puts a damper on the final day. On my way to the room, I find a discarded White Claw box in the hall, so I crack one.
My mom and I check out at the last possible minute (protip: ALWAYS ask if they have complimentary late checkout to score an extra hour) and drop our bags at the bell desk, which is quite crowded, and head to the Strip for our last few hours.
After peeing two or three times in the night, I groggily check the clock and it’s 10:30am. I realize that I’m in Las Vegas, and am too excited to fall back asleep.
Miraculously, I’m not hungover. I drink my Verbena anyways, cause why not?
The genesis of this trip is simultaneously wholesome… and as degenerate as usual.
It all started with an offer for two comp nights at the Cosmopolitan, as well as a free companion room, that expired at the end of April 2021. (Loyal readers will know this stems from the generosity of my friend Costas, who springs for a fountain view terrace for my birthday and lets me put the points on my card).
Naturally, being the degenerate I am, I’ve got the itch to go to Vegas, but also the wherewithal to know we’re still in the midst of a pandemic and that I *probably* shouldn’t go. So I call my mom — who in addition to being my voice of reason, is also a nurse — to talk me down from the Vegas ledge.
And let’s just say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. After explaining the situation, my mom goes “Well, you wear a mask and are safe. And you live alone and work from home, so it’s low risk. I say you go.” As my mind begins to swim with the possibilities of my first Vegas trip since attending the reopening in June, she delivers coup de grace to any semblance of pandemic responsibility with the magic words “if you can’t find anyone to go with you, my birthday is in April and I’d go [since I’m fully vaccinated since January].”
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