I remember running late into a meeting roughly four years ago. I had been out for lunch with a group of co-workers where I managed to drink 3 pints of beer with my pizza. I was nervous to go back in the building at all, let alone try to manage sitting through the meeting with my department. The accountants. I went back n forth about what do while I finished my smoke outside, then got myself together and headed into the meeting. While everyone was casually talking, I sat at the farthest end of the table I could. A few Hellos, but that was it. I was functioning and I was OK. A few minutes later, another lady came in and carefully chose the seat next to me. Then the meeting began. I didn't know the lady beside me very well, but she had a familiar smell to her. She smelled like me. She smelled like beer. I caught her eye, she had the same 3-pint grin on her face that I had. We became fast friends after that day. My bcwf. We've had many nights and days of utter-debauchery since. Some bad, some great, and everything in between! A good chunk of my favorite young adult memories have been with her and a few other co-workers. Going in to work after liquid lunches was nothing, piece of cake. A few smoke breaks, a few cups of coffee, a few good laughs, and the buzz was gone in time to leave work and collect the kids from daycare. Sometimes, we'd start right after work. I'd scramble for someone to pick my kid up and keep her for a few hours, and if that failed, I've been known to pick her up from daycare in a cab. Hell, even more recently, I picked her up with Keys Please, a drivers alternative company that gets you and your car home after tipping back too many to get behind the wheel. Hey, at least I'm responsible. Sydnerella was confused at the strange person driving my car, confused when I handed them my credit card, and then really confused as to why I was smiling with a gatorade, a bag of chips, and a pointsetta in my arms. Those nights, I can still manage. On rare occassion. And I'm glad. Don't let this blog make you think I'm a drunkard - If you don't think it already. I like to drink. I socially drink a few times a month, if that. But that's as far is goes. And my kid has never seen me drunk drunk. Tipsy? Absolutely. But I can't come in to work hungover anymore. Most certainly can't come in still drunk from the night before. And I can't drink at lunch. Not even one beer. I don't like the feeling. The fuzzy headedness. The fatigue. I was approached today at our company tailgate party, football season is starting, to stay a little longer and have another drink. Against my better judgement, I already had a drink and wasn't interested in having another. The approachee is new to the company and had been invited to stay behind. I encouraged the new young girl to stay, but said I was going back to the office to get some work done, with a clear head. She followed me instead. We laughed as I told her stories of my drunken fun past on the walk back to the office and I saw myself in her. My young self. And then I saw myself in others I've met through work. The older women in the office. The women whose party days are long gone. The straight women. There was nothing straight about where I came from. Sheer alcoholism, it runs in my blood. Some nights more than others. But I'm not a drunk and I do say No. Somewhere between then and now, I think I've lost my edge.