blame it on the alcohol (a history)

it's funny because my family really doesn't drink. well, maybe funny isn't the right word because when it's 3pm on christmas day and fights have begun and you haven't had even a SIP of alcohol, the last thing you're thinking is "this is funny." it's more like "how funny is it that i could literally tear a chunk of my hair out right now and use a rifle if given the chance!!?? HILAR!!!" i wish my family indulged more. dinners and holiday gatherings/gatherings in general would probably be more fun. not to say we aren't fun as it is - i've been told numerous times by separate individuals that my family needs a reality show. trust me, i ain't tootin' my own horn. some of the shit that's gone down under my parent's roof is better than 5 episodes of the jersey shorecombined. answer me this: would you rather see snooki get wasted and punch a hoe for the 15ooth time in a row? OR watch as a housewife turns beet red, with hair standing on end yelling at her daughter's friends to get out of her house all because they dyed their hair in the upstairs tub? yeah. that's what i thought.

my parents were pretty strict: curfews through senior year of high school, no boys upstairs, a list of 65 chores to complete each week, restricted AIM usage (which was enough to make my tween self suicidal. HOW WAS I GONNA GET THROUGH THE NIGHT IF I DIDN'T HAVE SOMETHING CORPORATE LYRICS AS MY AWAY MESSAGE???), but the one thing they were oddly open about was drinking. my mom figured if she let us have tastes of their drinks at dinner (which was rare when they were drinking at those dinners), it would take away some of the mystery so we didn't go off on our own and down shots of straight vodka, chase it with coke and vomit 10 minutes later like most high schoolers.

and you know what? it worked. i was never "that" girl in high school. i didn't treat my teen years (except for years 18 and 19) as though i were a college student. i wasn't interested. yeah, i wanted to go to parties and look hot, but i wasn't the hoe bag in the corner with a bottle of jack at 16-years-old, taking swigs to show off. i'd drink some lukewarm keystone light like your typical gal and pretend i was WAYYYY more fucked up than i really was (that game was always kind of fun).

the only slutty-ISH thing i remember attending was a "pimps and hoes" party (yeah. i know. i can't). i remember thinking my outfit of SUPER short, silk victoria's secret boxer shorts, a skin tight wife beater and UGG boots was enough to ensure i was going to hell. that is, until i arrived and saw that most of the girls there were in straight lingerie. god, i hated my fucking high school so much (sorry to any HS folk i know who read this... PLEASE KEEP READING. THIS IS NO REFLECTION ON YOU). i wasn't like that and i don't think i ever really wanted to be. i just wanted to try and be cool and get my fucking hair figured out (which took years) (i like parenthesis).

there are two very distinct alcohol-related memories that are burned into my brain, which i believe could very well have shaped my future that is now my present with alcohol. the first was the time i decided, at age 14 maybe even 13, that i was a little bored on a saturday night home alone and maybe should have one of those smirnoff ices that was always sitting in our fridge. i knew they were somewhat alcoholic, but mostly just tasted like disgusting fruit juice.

i vividly remember sitting at our family computer, probably chatting on AIM and telling some douchebag i had a crush on that i was drinking to sound really cool and edgy, and finishing off that disgusting bottle of piss drink, which tasted pretty great at the time. the thing of it was, i knew it was wrong because as soon as i was done, i knew i had to hide the evidence. i couldn't throw it in the trash in the kitchen - i'd be busted. so, instead of using my brain and throwing it away in someone else's garbage can out in the alley way, i stuffed it into the desk drawer next to the computer making a mental note to come back for it the next day when i could do away with it properly.

i'm a dumbass. our maid, Coco, ended up finding it that next week, presenting it to my mom and getting me in trouble.

"what is this? do you have a problem, emily?"


"then what are you doing stashing away bottles of alcohol???"

"i meant to throw it away..."

"you MEANT to throw it away?! so you were hiding it and you know it was wrong to do. do you have an addiction? how often are you doing this?"

"NEVER! i swear! it was my first time. i made myself a stouffer's TV dinner and just, i don't know! wanted something other than water or coke."

"well. that's that. we're getting all this shit out of the house."

and just like that, the smirnoff ice was no more... that is, until the whole "YOU GOT ICED!" craze happened two summers ago at a time when anyone who's anyone knows how hilarious it is to be forced to chug a bottle of that putrid trash vomit. i got iced once. it was memorable, but i can't really remember how it happened. this is what it looked like, though:


thus concludes my first alcohol-related memory that shamed me.

my second incredibly impactful alcohol-related story was the time my friends convinced me i could TOTALLY have people over to drink and play card games while my parents were out to dinner. "we'll be gone before they get home!" they insisted. i knew a bunch of guys who did it - as soon as their parents left for the night, they'd have people over and clear out just in time before mom and dad were back home. i felt the odds were ever in my favor that night (if you got that reference, you rock) since my parents were dining with another couple, so i decided to take a risk.

things would've been fine if one of my funnier girlfriends hadn't continued to secretly pour MORE vodka into my screwdriver every time i left the room to go do something. you know how it is in high school - it takes NOTHING to make you a drunken twerp with a voice two octaves higher than usual. i got so drunk so fast, that i didn't even notice the mass amounts of vodka swirling around in my cup - it tasted fine.

by the time the boys and girls came over, i was completely hammered. i'll never forget that sensation as long as i live because i had never felt anything like it before. my body was literally tingling. my toes, my fingertips, my skin as a whole - all of it was ACTUALLY tingling and numb. my eyes were about the size of nothing and somehow my hair had grown vertically by three inches (this tends to happen when i'm drunk. my frizz gets drunk, too).

suddenly and without warning, one of my guy friends came briskly walking into the kitchen announcing "hey emma. um. your parents are home?" i swear to you, it had been MAYBE an hour. maybe. i couldn't believe nor feel my ears and eyes. around the corner came my parents with their friends following close behind. everybody froze. you could hear teenage hearts beating so hard against chests. it was like dementors had entered the room.

"hey em!" my dad exclaimed chipperly.

"sjkhfajkee" my drunk self tried to respond.

"where was our invite to the party?!" he screamed back, half laughing, half actually screaming.

"adkjlfkllllllllleheeeeeeee" me.

"i didn't say you could have fellas over!" my mom's interjection. her usage of "fellas" still makes me laugh to this day.

they excused themselves momentarily to show their friends out, and that's when i turned to the group of people in my kitchen.


watching them react to this order and scatter about like frantic mice was an amazing image. beer bottles grabbed off the counter and shoved into bags, cups thrown into trash cans as quickly as possible and one last glance at me from my two friends asking, "are you okay?" before they bee-lined out the door and saved themselves, leaving a literal trail of beer droplets from the kitchen to the front door - just in case we wanted to retrace their steps in the morning.

i was instructed to go upstairs so my parents could decide whether to execute me now or later. i got in bed, sobbing and decided the best thing to do was to call my house phone and my dad's cell phone repeatedly until someone answered and talked to me... from upstairs in my bedroom. i called incessantly until my dad flew to the bottom of the staircase and screamed, "STOP FUCKING CALLING US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" which made me cry harder.

finally, the jury called me down to the bottom of the staircase. in my household, the bottom step of the staircase where the carpet ends and the floor's about to begin is more or less equivalent to the electric chair. if you're sitting there and getting talked to by a parent, you really fucked up. and there i was. sitting on that godforesaken step, swaying back and forth to the music of vodka in my blood.

the best part of this entire story is that my mom had NO FUGGIN IDEA how wasted i was. i couldn't believe it. i was sobbing. i was sloppy. i was saying how much i loved her and my dad and how sorry i was. i could smell my own breath that was basically pure vodka. she didn't know. she thought i was just super emotional because i had been caught and was being grounded for a month, which unfortunately included my 18th birthday and they didn't budge for it. can you believe that? i couldn't even celebrate my 18th birthday. but i deserved it for thinking i could get away with being cool for once by having people over to EMMA'S HOUSE! WHAT WHAT!

sure, i have tons of stories from college that probably top these by miles, but these are the two that happened before i was supposed to be indulging and the two that have really stuck with me throughout the years. drinking smirnoff for leisure at 13/14? getting caught "partying" at your own house at 17? these are the things that shape us as human beings (not really).

go have a beer,

- emma


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