Hello. My name is Dan and I'm an alcoholic. I've been clean and sober for...just a second and let me finish this. Ok. I've been clean and sober for 17 seconds now.
The last time we got together, I mentioned that some good friends of ours were coming to visit us for a week, and that we hadn't gotten together in over two years. It turns out we still know how to have fun together without fighting.
It also turns out that we can still drink too, although Linda and I have gotten out of practice in both the speed and duration of our drinking. It isn't too obvious when you are around people that don't drink, but when you are in close proximity to two trained professionals, it is pretty clear.
Here is a picture from the end of day one of the visit. I was not allowed to take a picture before being shuttled off to Betty's but I can tell you that there is less than half left of the above. Our beer fridge went from full, to needs restocking, too.
It wasn't all alcohol, all the time, it just seemed like it some mornings.
"Hey Brittany. How are you doing today? Great to hear."
We actually crammed in a ton of activities while they were here, always with an eye on the happy hour clock to make sure it didn't slip by without us being ready. We went to The Living Desert, the outlet stores, San Diego, Palm Springs, Idylwild, and to other places over the course of the week. I think we showed them a pretty good overview of the things to do out here, and it was a nice escape for us too.
Of course, no matter where we were, lunch included at least one cocktail. It is important to prepare your system for what is to follow later that day. And by later that day, it sometimes meant forty minutes, later that day. Nonetheless we all survived and can tell stories about it to family and friends.
"Hi Charlie, I'm surprised to see you back here."
You know that your friends are good friends when, not having seen each other for two plus years, you just pick up where you left off in conversation and comfort. It was like it was just another drunk Friday, the whole week. Lots of laughs, and reliving the good times, of the past nearly fifty years of being friends.
The girls giggling and finishing each others sentences like twins. The boys acting like eighth graders with credit cards. It seemed like it did all those many years ago, except for the bad hips, sore legs, and groaning and creaking getting in and out of the car, or up and down from a chair. Walking around everywhere started out fun and exciting, and always ended up with at least two of us limping towards the car or a bench.
Wow. Matthew Perry and Andy Dick having coffee!
Naturally, conversations are completely different now than they were thirty years ago. Then it was all about the kids, or a new house, or new job. Now it is all about the most recent procedure, medications, doctors, or regularity of your bowl movements, typical meal conversations.
It's funny how the important things in your life change over time. Back then it was about moving up the corporate ladder or getting the kids to eat their vegetables. Now it is all about getting your blood sugar back down and keeping your arteries clean.
"Sorry Lindsey, I'm still married."
Anyway, the important thing is that it was great to see each other, and that we had a wonderful time together. For the first time, in over fifteen months, life seemed normal. Yes you still needed to wear your mask indoors, and yes you still needed to social distance in many places, but man it was nice to be able to do things with someone else for a change.
As always the week flew by and it was time to leave when it seemed like they had just arrived. Plans were made for the next adventure together and tears shed for having to go. It sucks that we aren't in closer proximity to each other, but we have different responsibilities at this stage in life. As long as we can share the times we do get together, life can still be good.
"Yes Nurse, I know I'm late for my meeting, I'll be right there."