Posts Tagged ‘drinking’

Some people just should not drink

May 24, 2011

When I was in college, I worked a few summers with a darling man. He was tall, good-looking, funny, goofy, immersed in his faith, smart… We shared an immediate and intense friendship. I adored him.

One night, we traveled to a small-town festival a few hours away. Lots of our friends and co-workers were also headed that way, and we had a friend in town whom we all planned to stay with. There would be a lot of alcohol and dancing and eating, and we would return home (back to work!) the next morning.

My beloved friend had only turned 21 a few weeks prior to the festival, and he decided he was going to DRINK. He bought hands-full of drink tickets and passed them out like candy. He downed one beer after another, and it became obvious that despite his towering frame, he had no tolerance for alcohol. Very quickly another friend and I conspired to acquire his car keys, since he had driven to the festival.

The evening progressed in a series of unfortunate and uncomfortable encounters. He would dance only with me, then grew mean and turned against me. He ignored me. He forced me to take drink tickets. He kept drinking long after I and other friends asked, then ordered him to stop. So drunk he could hardly walk, he decided he needed to carry me piggy-back. He was so much larger and stronger than me that it took the intervention of three other friends to get me back on the ground.

After we had made our way to our home-for-the-night, my friend was sweet and contrite and heartbreakingly candid. Or delusional–I can’t say which. He told me he loved me. He asked me to stay and sleep beside him. I sat and told him whatever he wanted to hear. I held his hand. I stroked his face. Finally, he fell asleep. And I, not drunk and well aware that he was engaged, broke every one of the promises I had just made.

A few days later, I tried to tell him what had happened. I tried to make him understand. But I was too chicken to tell him what he had said to me, and I don’t think he fully believed how out of his mind he was. He agreed he had had too much to drink, but was unwilling to avoid it in the future. He would not even promise not to drink at his wedding. “I think it will be expected…” he said.

I have only seen him once since that summer, and I do not know if he drank at his wedding. I just hope that he never went so far off the deep end again. Sober, he is a wonderful person. Drunk, not so much.

Why am I writing about this? Well, I have someone in my life now who drinks too much. She blacks out and she gets mean and she falls down and she makes scary-bad decisions. I really like her (when she’s sober), and I worry about her. And I wish she would stop drinking, but I can’t talk to her about this. I can’t do it at all.

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