Sunday, March 20, 2016

Damn you, Carrie Underwood.

"She's a small-town, hard-working woman just trying to make a living
Working three jobs, feeding four little mouths in a run-down kitchen
When you never taking nothing and doing nothing but giving
It's hard to be a good wife and a good mom and a good Christian

She said, I don't drink
But sometimes I need a stiff drink
Sipping from a high, full glass
Let the world fade away
She said, I don't smoke
But sometimes I need a long drag
Yeah, I know it might sound bad
But sometimes I need a smoke break"
Ok. The non-drinking-thing has been hard lately. I can't figure out why, it's just many times in the past few months I have told people, "I'd love to get drunk right now."

Usually this admission comes off the cuff while talking about how my husband and I had similarly difficult days, or something like that. Or, even better, when it's a cold day, I've got a pot of something on the stove and nothing would be better than a large glass of wine in my hand.

But, see, the thing with that is, my husband will relax and have a single beer with dinner. At this point I'm not even pretending I would love just a glass in hand. I want to get drunk. Da-runk. That feeling of all the big hairy bullshit just falling from the high, painful knot in my chest down to my belly and away away away.

So, why the Carrie Underwood song? My middle child loves her music and this is one of her current favorites, therefore, it's blasting through my home daily, if not more frequently.
Am I a 'small-town, hard-working woman just trying to make a living' and all the stuff that follows? No. I am a upper-middle-class woman who's husband makes the living while she cares for the three kids, keeps up the house and sometimes works freelance for a good guy who basically feeds her work on a regular basis. Not such a tough life. But I understand that having a tough lot in life isn't a requirement to the whole "I want to get Da-runk" community, of which I am just a member.

The hook of her song does apply. Sometimes I DO need a stiff drink. And, I used to smoke. When I waited tables as a youth it was pretty much the only way you actually got a break. You didn't go 'out for a rest' you went 'out for a smoke'. That turned into a shitty ugly habit...I lived with two other smokers and we actually started our day with coffee and cigarettes at 6 am before we drove off to our jobs as preschool teachers (ah, the future of America!) I used to have cigarettes and books for my lunch breaks (yes I was thinner then, inhaling your food does that). And, though I quit cold turkey the day my then-boyfriend/now-husband mentioned he didn't like smoking, around 20 years ago, I still sometimes have dreams about smoking and I for sure remember the immense release that long drag gave me.

Today, it's a Sunday morning, and this song is on. I'm tense as all get-out, and my youngest is pushing buttons I didn't even know I had. I am weak and angry. And I started crying. Not a big ugly cry, but the tears just sort of shot out of my face silently, so I left the kitchen to get my shit together. And came upstairs to my office space to write about it.

This is the part that brought the tears:
"He's a big-city, hard-working man just trying to climb the ladder
First generation to go to college instead of driving a tractor
Never had nothing handed to him on a silver platter
It's hard to be a good man, good son, do something good that matters"

He said, I don't drink
But sometimes I wanna pop that top..."
There. That's where the tears came.
What the hell now, Crazy?
"Take a swig and make the world stop
And watch it fade away
He said, I don't smoke
But sometimes I wanna light it up
Yeah, when things get tough
Sometimes I need a smoke break, yeah"
I am a person of two minds right now:

The willful, cold-turkey me, who will not drink alcohol again. Just like I never smoked a cigarette again.
The bitter-devil me who remembers all too well that feeling of uncorking the bottle, the glug of the lovely red (always a strong, deep red, full of flavor and tannins) pouring into the giant glass, the sniff (always had to sniff it first!) and the gulp. And another gulp, and so on, until it was gone! Like I should get an award like I cleared my plate! But that's just when the next glass was poured and the warmth rolled down and pushed all the feelings (anger, frustration, irritation, whatever), away. See? That bitter-devil is alive and has a goood memory to be able to write that paragraph with such clarity.

Back to you, Carrie:
"So here's to you and here's to when the day gets long
Go ahead, I understand if you wanna take a load off

I don't drink
But sometimes I need a stiff drink
Sipping from a high, full glass
Let the world fade away
Yeah, and I don't smoke
But sometimes I need a long drag
Yeah, I know it might sound bad
But sometimes I need a, sometimes I need a

When the day gets long
When the work's all done
When the sun sets
When you need to forget
Grab that cup
Fill it up
Sip it slow
And let it all go"
And I try to remember, that while I'm not that run down woman who's a good Christian or the ladder climber who didn't have to drive a tractor, I am a person who can actually, honestly say "I don't drink."