My New Favorite Drink

Maybe, just maybe, I’m getting better. I hesitate to go further than a maybe because images-2the last two times I openly declared “I’m feeling better,” I threw up a few hours later. Whether those scenarios were related to drinking too much (prior to March 28) or giving up drinking (after March 28) or having hypothyroidism for God-knows-how-long, I don’t know.

But I do know that, in the 122 days since giving up alcohol for good, I have been my most miserable self ever. And I have wondered, hourly, if the best parts of me got poured out with the wine. My misery even spilled over into my sleep. I’ve had recurring dreams in which I decide — at a party somewhere — to drink. But after a glass or two, I start crying about the fact that I have to quit all over again. And then I wake up, as unhappy as I went to bed.images-3

Man, I really thought that alcohol-free meant angst-free. Nope. Nada. It means staring angst in the face, waiting for one of you to blink. And guest what? Angst doesn’t have eyelids.

Somewhere around your billionth blink — perhaps on a late Wednesday afternoon in late July — you re-open your eyes and catch a glimpse of your former self instead of the angst.

images-1Allan and I decided to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary at the Basin Harbor Club on Lake Champlain last night. We arrived in the afternoon so we could spend time at the pool on a 93-degree day. (Note: this is 30-degrees cooler than Abu Dhabi so I am not complaining.) After splashing around for a while, I spied a few women at the pool bar.

When my longing for their beverages passed (about 3 seconds instead of what has taken at least 30 minutes or longer) I walked over and asked for a virgin Strawberry Daiquiri. Allan had asked that I get him a club soda images-5
with a lot of ice.

We lounged with our cold beverages and chit-chatted about this and that. Allan decided that he needed a refill and headed back to the bar. He returned with a funny look on his face.

“The bartender gave me club soda mixed with water.”

“Why?” I asked.

“I figured that it was his own recipe,” Allan answered. “So I played along.”

“Who has flat water with their bubbly water?”

“I don’t know. I’m so confused. He asked me if I wanted what I had before, and then gave me this.”

“Maybe it’s some secret recipe to cut the bubbles down some. Maybe it’s more palatable this way. Still, it’s weird. How could we be this old and not know about this trick? Or is Basin Harbor watering down its club soda to save money?”images-6

We shrugged.

Anyway, 6 p.m. rolled around and we headed back to the Lodge to get ready for dinner. Allan stopped to pay the bill and decided to inquire about the club soda and water recipe. He returned even more baffled than when he left.

“Nan, the bartender said you asked for the drink to be made this way.”


“Yes, you asked for Club Soda and lots of water.”images-4

I realized immediately that instead of saying “lots of ice” I had, indeed, said “lots of water.”

My eyes squinted up, my face cracked up and my belly let out a laugh the likes of which I haven’t seen in ages. What also struck me as hilarious was that the sweet boy bartender had gone along with it, as if I were ordering a soda and scotch.

Now this may not seem funny to you, dear readers, but this mixologist mix-up had me in stitches for the rest of the night. For a while, tears were pouring down my face and I couldn’t utter a word. When it was time to go to sleep, I lay in bed giggling for TWO HOURS.

Yes, good evening, sir, I’d like to order a club soda with a lot of water.

OMG! WTF? Who orders that? Moreover, who laughs like a nut job at herself for ordering that?

Someone who maybe, just maybe, is starting to feel better.




3 Comments Add yours

  1. That is awesome and so, so funny. Also, 20+ years after quitting cigarettes I still dream that I’m smoking, but only someone else’s, or only at night, or only half of each, and then I hate myself because I’m a phony faker who never really quit. But quit I did indeed, and so did you.

  2. john e shanley says:

    hi Nancy, your mom sent your post over to me and I just want to say sounds pretty normal to me . there are times when you feel its not worth it or you will have dreams that shake you up, but hang in there it gets different then it starts to get better thats the way it goes sometimes. also remember you are not alone in this anymore! telling on yourself is a good thing! we can always lend an ear and tell you some of the screwball things that we have gone thru. keep the faith and if you ever want to talk my hand will always be there. john shanley

    1. nancybercaw says:

      Thank you John. That means a lot!

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