• Sarah

Don't Get Murdered and Sober Curiosity

Oh podcasts, what did we ever do without you? I have been listening to My Favorite Murder, with Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff, on the recommendation of one of my favorite millennials. It is good, I'm not one of those "I'm so fascinated by murder types" but I do think that these ladies are smart and funny and I would recommend the podcast if you are looking.

The show has given me pause for two reasons. The first is how hard, in my lifetime, I have tried to get myself murdered - so hard. I hitchhiked, like hitchhiking was my main mode of transportation one winter. Up at 5:30am, hitching in the dark to my job at the coffee shop - that's basically the start of every murder story. Additionally, I dra(i)nk too much, had one night stands, camped alone, met men off the internet, went skinny dipping in open bodies of water, at night, after drinking, a lot. One time on a plane ride to Mexico I met a dude and ended up spending 4 days camping at a secluded beach with him and his friends - that's Murder 101! Anyway, I didn't get murdered but JESUS! I imagine my daughter doing any of these highly murdery things and I cringe, hopefully my own mother doesn't read this (although I know she does because she loves to support me and to tell me I’m doing a good job. Sorry mom, but thanks!)

Now on to my second reason for pause, recently one of the hosts, Georgia, of MFM participated in “Dry January”, the other host, Karen, is a recovering alcoholic and has been sober for some decades now. I thought about “Dry January”, rejected its constraints and made an adjustment to “Damp January”. Then at some point threw in the towel and participated in my own version of “Wet January”, which sounds like a porn movie but is just me drinking whatever, whenever. But Georgia has re-inspired me and made a suggestion about a book/podcast called This Naked Mind, by Annie Grace. I have long thought about changing, adjusting, examining, contemplating my drinking habits - now just might be the time.

I started drinking in high school and it certainly didn’t take me long to acquire a keen taste for Busch beer, chugged in the forest with 75 other bumbling high schoolers while we burnt a pile of pallets. What the Fuck?? Often the police would bust up these parties and my friends and I would run drunk through the woods, hoping our ride wouldn’t abandon us and we wouldn’t be impaled on an errant branch or barbed wire fence. Later we would all re-converge at the Hardee’s parking lot to try and find a new place to drink our salvaged beers or just give up and head home for the night. But seriously, how am I even alive at this point?

Back to me and booze - I have had few periods of sobriety in my life. While I was in the Peace Corps I would go some months at a time sans alcohol and while I was pregnant. Although I did have one half glass of red wine in my 3rd trimester on a camping trip with the hopes that it would help me sleep through the night. Side note: this camping trip caused one of the biggest “fights” my usually very reasonable partner and I have ever had. We both remain unbudging on the matter, although I’m positive if any of you were regaled with the tale you would surely side with me. I also engaged in a "dry April" about two years ago for no real reason. BUT other than that I have been a pretty consistent drinker for what is now most of my life. Recently though my drinking has become somewhat of a pesky habit, I don’t often get drunk (although I do get drunk on occasion) but I do often drink.

The other night, I went out with some friends I used to work with, I was planning on not drinking. They were not down with my decision, and I ended up drinking - not a lot but I had set an intention and then allowed other people to influence me. Even when I was like, “Well, people who care about me, I’m just taking a look at my relationship with alcohol and I just decided I wasn’t going to drink tonight.” They were like, “ummm...yeah, no, not tonight. You picked the wrong night for this shit.” I told them I was sure I could have a good time without booze and they assured me that I was an idiot. And then I allowed someone to pour me a glass of sparkly wine and proceeded to have a fun evening.

I realized a couple of things that evening, 1. My relationship with alcohol is just that, mine, I get to decide when I drink and when I don’t. I pass no judgement on others and their relationship with alcohol. Seriously, you do you. 2. The culture of drinking in our society be strong and powerful. 3. I love the people that I used to work with and I miss them dearly. So while I’m not committing to anything like “dry February” or “damp February”, I am taking a look at my drinking habits, the emotions surrounding drinking or not drinking, and all the other shit that swirls around my love of dry martinis, a hoppy as hell IPA, and wine in most of its beautiful forms.

In other more self-promotional news, I’m hosting another leather working class! March 6th from 5-7pm at my favorite shop, Dandelions & Rust in Fort Collins. I will be leading a class in upcycled leather plant hangers! While there will be wine available at this event it is also a great sober activity/date night. You can BYOP (Bring Your Own Pot) or I have a ton of super cute thrifted and unique pots to choose from. Come support me and my two favorite ladies from D&R, Tanya and Karen! This plant hangers are also super fucking cool, if I do say so myself.

In the wise words of Ms. Hardstark and Ms. Kilgariff, "Stay sexy, and don't get murdered." And in the wise words of me, "Drink if you want to, but if you don't, just don't." Good thing I'm writing this shit down.

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