So in case you missed it, last weekend I was up in Toronto with my cricket team for a “tour”. We do this particular tour every summer from Friday to Monday of whichever weekend is closest to containing both Canada Day and the 4th of July. Ostensibly the tour consists of four matches, three of which are played at the Toronto Cricket, Skating, and Curling Club, and one of which is played way the heck out in the middle of nowhere in rural Ontario in a place called Inverhaugh.
I say ostensibly, because really the tour is all about hanging out with friends and having a good time. Our social events are as set as our cricket matches. And yes, you guessed it, those social events consist of parties, dinners, and closing down bars.
Let me take a moment here to explain something you might not know about me. I am not a drinker. I’m ambivalent about alcohol at best. I rarely drink. Nine times out of ten, when my cricket buddies start drinking, I politely decline.
This is a story of the tenth time.
So there we were on Friday night, at a party hosted by a lovely man named Howard. Howard has a gorgeous house in suburban Toronto, truly lovely. He also has very good taste in wine. Wine is one of the only things I’ll drink without anyone having to twist my arm. But speaking of arm-twisting, there was a lot of razzing and encouragement leading up to this party about me drinking. “You’ve got to let your hair down and have some fun!” my cricket daddy, Mike, said to me. “It’s all about letting go and relaxing.”
Okay, Mike, bring it on!
I have to say, that was some pretty good chardonnay! I did like it. Granted, I probably should have had some water before I started drinking. I also should have eaten something that afternoon. And maybe it wasn’t a good idea to drink that first glass so fast. That was a touch of nerves talking, because I’m not really a party person. Well, that first glass was gone, and fool that I was, I went to get another.
So I had two glasses of wine that night, right? Honestly, I’m not sure. Someone (or someones, more likely) kept filling that second glass. I ate, I drank, I got dizzy. I started talking. A lot. I had trouble walking in a straight line. When it came time to leave the party, I handed my keys over to one of the guys who had had far less to drink, thank you very much!
So we got back to the hotel, and what do we do? We sit down at the bar and keep drinking, of course! I think they ordered me a Riesling, also very good. I was tired, still incredibly dizzy, but yes, okay, I’ll admit it, I was having a great time. I love my cricket team! They’re all such great guys, even the ones who aren’t so great. They look out for me. They make me feel loved and included. With them, I’m just one of the guys. And let me tell you, ladies, sometimes it is absolutely hysterical and entertaining to be one of the guys! Men are such delightful creatures, and yes, they revert to 13 year-olds when they are all together with some alcohol in them.
Anyhow, at around 12:30am, I shuffled up to my hotel room, passed out, (I’ve never really “passed out” before, but that’s an apt description of the speed and depth to which I fell asleep), and ….
Okay. I would like to know right now, WHO THE HELL HIT ME IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD WITH A TWO-BY-FOUR! Seriously. As soon as I woke up the next morning, I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. I was so thirsty I could have drunk a lake, and yet I had to go slow because my stomach was not happy with me. I scraped myself up, showered, and wandered downstairs as my head pounded.
What. The hell.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that was my very first hangover. I’ve managed to avoid drinking enough to be hung-over for the past 39 years. Until now. And what better way to do it than on tour with British Officers Cricket Club! Granted, I flat refused to drink again that night when the second round of partying came along. There was no way I wanted to feel like I did Saturday morning two days in a row. How do people do that every weekend? Seriously!
But you know, Mike was right when he said that sometimes you have to let loose and have fun with your friends. I’m not planning on drinking like that again anytime soon. In fact, I probably won’t have more than a glass here or there until next year’s Toronto tour, but it was fun as a one-off occurrence. And this from the former teetotaler! I guess we all have our moments.
So there you go. That’s my alcohol confession. Anyone else have any fun stories about letting go and trying something new and a little bit naughty?