I know I’ve been a bike geek for the past week, so I appreciate the patience of all my non-bike geek readers. 20 Prospect will now return to its regularly scheduled programming.
If there are two constant themes in all of my stories, I think we can agree they are “Drunkenness” and “Sexual Frustration”. The two always seem to go hand in hand. Well class, today’s story is no different. Imagine the coincidence!
It was late winter of 1985, and my teenage social life was taking off. For a brace-faced, acne-riddled, wallflower with a bad Beatles haircut, I had somehow stumbled into a steady girlfriend, and circle of coeds with amazing access to alcohol. Surely all those years of serving as an altar boy were paying dividends, because God was smiling on me now.
For the first time in my natural born life, I was the only child living at home. My Bratty Big Sis was living in Oneonta with her husband, my Big Bruddah was working at the Buffalo Bar in Idaho Springs, Colorado and the “Middle Child Sister” had moved out of the house again, and was in her own apartment. As the Golden Child of the family, I had already enjoyed more than my fair share of my parents attention, but now I was positively swamped with it. It was all about me, all the time, and with 2 cars in the household, and no siblings to have to share them with, I had the freedom to take my girlfriend parking whenever I could slip her out of her parents’ sight. My friends, life was about as good as it could get, but then it got better.
My Bratty Big Sis living in Oneonta just had her first baby the previous summer. My folks were suddenly finding reasons to drive to Oneonta about one weekend a month. Not only did I have wheels, I soon found myself left alone like Tom Cruise in that movie with the awful Bob Seger song. I know, I should be more specific as ALL Bob Seger songs are awful, as are all Tom Cruise movies for that matter. You know the one the one with Rebecca De Mornay? Yeah, THAT one.
I found out on a Friday that they would be leaving the next morning, and coming back on Sunday night. The Middle Sister was over for free dinner on Friday night, and I was able to pull her aside, and give her the $30 from my secret cache to buy me a couple of cases of beer. I could have elected to go cheap, but I wasn’t that sort of guy, yet. I specified a case of Molson Golden, and a case of Michelob dark, and whatever else she could find that looked good at Angotti Beverages.
It only took a few clandestine calls on the old rotary dial in the upstairs hallway to set plans into motion. I called my friend Tim, and told him to come by Saturday afternoon to help set up then plan on spending the night, then I was on the phone with Bella making sure that she could gather the Girl Next Door and other female friends. Chris & Dan were a given. Now I had been drinking for a little less than a year at that point, but in all that time I had never been able to bring my girlfriend to a party. She spent most weekends babysitting for a couple down the street, or cleaning house for a little old lady in town. But on this particular night, the stars had aligned and she was free to come to the party. She arranged a cover story of going to the movies with her best friend so as to hide the fact that she would be drunk and half clothed by 9pm, from her strict parents. Things were shaping up.
My parents left bright and early on Saturday morning, and the game was on. My sister dropped by after lunch with the two cases of beer plus a six pack of some Philippine Beer with a grass hut on the label. (Ooo exotic!) Tim arrived at the appointed hour, and we proceeded to carry my Big Bruddah’s stereo downstairs from the bedroom, and set it up in the living room. I put on my best long sleeve Ocean Pacific T-shirt, we grabbed some dinner from Burger King, and by 7 pm the guests started to arrive.
I had only invited a small circle of 12-15 trusted friends, as the last thing I wanted was for my party to turn into a scene from John Hughes movie. We kept the shades drawn, and nobody drove to the party, walking instead after putting together suitable alibis. We were amazingly responsible for a bunch of hormone addled 17 year olds.
My girlfriend was one of the first to arrive. As people showed up by ones and twos, we started playing quarters around my Mom’s huge kitchen table. I kept jumping in and out of the game, to change the tape, or answer the front door, peeking out each time half expecting to see Johnny Law standing on the front porch.
The party was going great, everyone was in fantastic moods, and the beers were going down easy. This was so much better than drinking warm Old Milwaukee in the woods behind the blind school. Once everyone had arrived, there was little thought or worry about getting caught. Now I could turn my attentions to entertaining my guests, looking forward to later in the evening when I could slip upstairs with my girlfriend. In the mean time I was suavely working the crowd like Sinatra in Vegas, making sure everyone was having a good time.
I’m not sure when I first noticed it, but at some point my girlfriends best friend came up to me, and told me that they had a problem. My girlfriend was about to pass out. Now, this was shocking news to me, and I had just been talking to her not 10 minutes earlier, and she had only had half of a beer. I followed her into the kitchen, and sure enough, there was my girlfriend, her eyes rolling around in her head like pinballs as she slumped against the table. This was definitely not on the agenda.
I helped her up, and tried to figure out what was wrong. She smiled at me, slurred something about how much she loved me, and fell against my shoulder sobbing, “I’m sorry I’m so druuunnnnk. You’re going to hate me aren’t yoooouuuuu.” None of the John Hughes movies I had ever seen had prepared me for this.
I cut her off from drinking, and her best friend started freaking out about how we were going to take her home in this state. Someone suggested she drink some coffee like they did to sober people up on TV, but this being 1985, none of us had ever considered actually drinking coffee. Ick! Then her best friend had the brilliant idea that she should take a cold shower. This seemed to make sense at the time. Perhaps we confused the TV remedy for horny husbands, for the one for drunks. In any case, we helped her upstairs, and her friend took her into the bathroom to help her undress and get in the shower. This wasn’t exactly the way I had hoped to get her out of her clothes that night, although, I may have been amenable to the part about her best friend helping get her undressed.
I went back downstairs to the party, but my mood was pretty much ruined. I proceeded to get myself drunk, muttering under my breath. Then I began to turn my attentions to the Girl Next Door. We had been flirting pretty heavily in school lately, and she seemed to be enjoying the attention I was giving her. I had almost forgotten that my girlfriend was in the shower upstairs. It might have been minutes, it might have been hours, but eventually she came back downstairs, looking sleepy and remorseful. This only ticked me off more, because now the drama began.
“You’re going to break up with meeeee…..”
“No, I’m not. I’m just upset that you got so drunk.”
“You hate meeee….”
“No, I don’t.”
It was at this point that I decided that maybe she wasn’t really the girl I wanted to be giving my class ring to. Maybe I should have stuck with the Catholic girls from ND. They could handle their liquor, AND had no issues with fooling around. I guess this was what you might call one of those “teachable moments”.
The rest of the night I spent convincing my now inconsolable girlfriend that I did indeed still love her, despite the fact that I wanted to break up with her more with each passing minute. Eventually the beer ran out, and I missed the rest of my own party. One by one people left for home. I managed to step out onto the porch to say goodbye to the Girl Next Door, and tell her I would give her a call the next day. Then I went back inside, and help my girlfriends BF to walk her home, stopping at the corner of North Street and Bank, so that I wouldn’t be seen by her parents.
I went home and cleaned up. Tim spent the night on my couch, and in the morning we discovered that someone had puked all over the floor of the downstairs bathroom. He denied doing it, and I know it sure as hell wasn’t me. The morning was spent mopping the bathroom, and getting the smell out before my parents came home. He never did own up to it either.
Needless to say, it was a memorable experience. I learned several lessons that night that would serve me well in later years.
1.) Never date a girl that couldn’t handle her liquor.
2.) Parties are WAY more fun when they are at someone else’s house.
3.) There’s no point spending money on good beer, when cheap wine coolers or Franzia will get the girls every bit as drunk.
4.) When a girl is crying hysterically about how you are going to break up with her, keep your mouth shut and go along with it.
5.) Catholic School Girls Rule
I must confess that I knew #5 already, but the party did drive the point home.