Thanksgiving was a lovely day at my parents house. My brother and his family came down, all the kids (five boys under eight years old- my two and his three) got along. All the adults got along. Dinner was loud and delicious. We all agreed that the stuffing was the best, ham too was a great idea, and that we should feed the kids first next year so we could all actually eat instead of pop up and down for kid seconds and thirds before we’d had a bite. “Mom? I need more ham.” “Me too! I need more ham too!” And so we could hear each other talk.
Around five or so we came home, built a fire and all piled up in blankets and pillows and snacks on the couch. Put on “The Polar Express”.
Kind of in the middle of the movie I had a sudden thought. “Is this what we do every year? Wait, why don’t we do this every year?”
Then I remembered.
This was my first sober Thanksgiving.
Usually I would have had wine with dinner. Then Jonathan and I would have wine at the house. I would have wanted to put the kids to bed on time so we could get our Thanksgiving drink on. I would have been bundled in my coat outside smoking and freezing.
I would be hungover this morning instead of popping open a can of cinnamon rolls and making bacon. I would be dreading this whole day instead of wishing it had a few more hours. I would have been upstairs asleep instead of making hot chocolate for the kids. Seeing them grin when I hold up the whipped cream so they’ll open their mouths and I’ll spray some right in. This delights them and me every time. I would have missed it.
The more time I spend sober, the more I realize that the alcohol industry has it all wrong. I don’t have less fun because I don’t drink- I have more. They have us all fooled into thinking that life is ho-hum OK, but if you add some chardonnay it will be somehow extra extra amazing. They want us to believe booze makes it better.
They also want you to think you are missing something if you aren’t drinking. That you are boring. Abnormal. I am of the opinion that having to add booze to an event or to a person to make it fun is just plain dumb. Totally dumb.
Being sober has made me realize: I’m not missing anything. I see and hear and remember it all. I’m not waiting for the magical time to happen when the wine is right and the night is alive and I am suddenly, because of booze, the woman I was always meant to be. I am already her. I have all the things I need right here. I am not boring or uncool with my seltzer and my sobriety. I am fucking awesome. 🙂