The Wine Incident of 2003 + vocab

30 Dec

That arbitrary invitation from Kim, on May 28, 2003, better known as Memorial Day weekend (my first weekend home from college) engendered change the entire summer, and produced a new relationship with Mary, Kim, and my parents in one fell swoop.  I’m not sure why Kim (17 years my senior) called and invited me (a 20 year old) out with her–maybe her inebriation retarded her judgment, or maybe it was just an impetuous act because she liked me or felt sorry for me.  I knew if I went, they would probably give me a drink.  When I got there, the environment was full of levity, and Kim asked if I wanted wine or Pepsi and then said “Good girl” when I chose the wine.  This acceptance was the catalyst for the chain of events that would unravel that night and the long-term discord that would result.  It was that offer and acceptance that beget a summer of trouble.

I liked being part of a gregarious atmosphere, rather than being couped up, passively watching television with my parents.  Kim made it her personal mission to change me from neophyte to expert drinker–always providing me with alcohol and giving me tips on how to best consume (and recover) from it.  That night was no different from a string of other nights spent with Kim (in particular) and Mary, but it brought about much different results.

The dogs at the house ran around me, generating a great cacophony as my glass broke and I spilled wine on my clothes.  To circumvent the wine from permeating the fabric, and forever staining my clothes, the hostess lent me her husbands clothes and put my t-shirt and shorts in her washer.   This wardrobe change would procreate a small scandal, but I didn’t realize it at the time.

A few hours after I had arrived at the overly casual, small gathering, and had consumed more than a few glasses (six to be exact) of red wine, Mary appeared looking very mannered and uncomfortable.  I was annoyed at Mary’s verbose protests to my presence at an adult get-together and her horror at my intoxication.  I felt my alcohol consumption at a small party of trusted co-workers was analogous to drinking at Kim and Mary’s house, as I had often done in the past.  Kim, who was very inebriated herself, was glib to Mary’s line of paranoid questioning about the consequences of my drunkenness.  Mary’s presence at the party was ephemeral, as she did not want to be associated with this event for fear it would tarnish hersacrosanct image in the community, and she left in just two minutes.  I had satiated myself with wine, so that I blacked out and hardly remember the night from the point of Mary’s hasty departure.

I remember being a passenger in my own car, knell of impending doom in my ears, and confusion as to why the host’s husband was driving.  When my ride parked my car in my parent’s ditch and got in another car with his wife and Kim, I walked slowly to the gate, the inappropriate lack of seriousness of the night completely gone, and leaned on it trying to both steady myself and forestall the inevitable trouble I would face.  I knew I was dead.

I struggled to get the key in the door, barking dogs alerting my presence to the house, and staggered to my parent’s room to give them their obligatory goodnight kiss and furtive (on my parent’s part) breath check.  My sloppiness and wardrobe change, kindled a series of questions about the events of the night from my mom.  Unable to comprehend, or articulate how I was in men’s clothes becuse I had spilled my wine, I tried to protect Kim by stupidly saying, “I wasn’t with Kim.”  Aside from the memory of that particular question, I was on the verge of passing out, and don’t remember the questions or my answers.  Completely unbeknown to me, my intelligent mother, realizing I wasn’t being all-together candid, got Mary’s home phone number from the emergency pad by the phone and called it at 2 am, or whatever inappropriate time it was.  For whatever reason, my mom suspected Kim, my co-worker, friend, and HER and my Dad’s friend, of somehow molesting her pristine daughter that night, and accused Mary of such when she answered the phone.  Mary reacted to my mother’s fanatical phone call as expected and started to actively protect her closeted lesbian lifestyle.

I did not remember where my car was, how I had gotten into my pajamas, or that fateful phone call; and I marveled how neither of my parents yelled at me for coming home under-aged and drunk, but only asked me why I had been mendacious at their questioning.  I was confused and relieved though—my parents were mostly mad I didn’t answer their questions the night before.  Hello—I was too drunk to function!  They were even laughing about it and displaying humor by the time I went to work—weird.

Though I was hung-over, I went to work at Mary’s hospital as usual and meticulously began scrubbing kennels with a cheery attitude.  Mary arrived and traded her usually bright “Good morning!” for an ominous  “How are you feeling?”  And I,repudiating any suggestion of a hang-over gave a happy-go-lucky smile and positive answer.  Little did I know, the zenith of the consequence for drinking wine with Kim was not my current hang-over but the impromptu meeting I was about to have with Mary.  Mary sat me down and began making trenchant remarks about my behavior, Kim’s indiscretion, and my mom’s accusations before she said she would not move and start over as a result of my parents’ backlash, and I was being let go from my kennel job at her hospital.  She was really pissed.  Mary’s castigationspawned sorrow, and confusion:  Where was Kim today, what was my mom’s involvement, and how was a personal party outside of work and having no bearing on my cleaning abilities causing me to get fired?!  Maybe Mary recognized my genuine confusion, or felt sorry because she was seeing me cry for the first time, or maybe a wave of philanthropy washed over her, but she seemed to change her mind and said, “Go home.  I had Kim stay home today to think about things, and I want you to do the same.  While you’re gone I’ll consider if you should be allowed to come back.”  I left work, still not understanding why Mary was reacting so strongly as tobifurcate our relationship by firing me, when my normally strict parents had been far less angry.

I went straight to Kim and Mary’s house to get Kim’s perspective on the situation despite Mary’s explicit instructions to go straight home and not try to speak to Kim.  Seeing me at their door, Kim wavered just a moment before letting me in and saying, “I thought you would come here–Mary told me not to let you in you know.”  I didn’t want to antagonize Mary or get in Kim n trouble, but I needed Kim to tell me why Mary was being so unreasonable, especially since my parents were moreamused than mad.  It was then Kim informed me of my mom’s panicked and chauvinistic phone call in which she accused Kim of raping me!  Kim’s pained expression, only added to my agitation at my mom’s unconscionable and homophobic act ofiniquity.  I was livid with Mom for almost getting me fired and ordered her to call Mary and exonerate Kim while begging for my job back.  I had no idea how long the abeyance from work would last, or if it would ever end, so I became listless and depressed, spending all my time alone in my room, crying.

Pathetically, I wrote both Kim and Mary cards of apology to try to make things right and to bring about a quicker return to work.  My mom said she had to work hard to convince Mary not to fire me.  And she must have given Mary some eloquent speech, because Mary allowed me to come back to work after a week or two–against her better judgment she told me.  The rule my mom and Mary decided upon was that I was never to drink with Kim again.  Little did my mom know I had also drank quite often with Mary around.

Mary had rules above and beyond what my mom and she had discussed.  There were several contingencies to my employment –in an orotund fashion, Mary told me I was not to speak, see, or associate with her or Kim in a personal manner or even casually at work.  She (meanly) told me I needed to find friends my own.  As if I were some pathetic loser who was socially inept and unable to make friends with my peers!

My mom must have realized her behavior had been completely xenophobic and inappropriate, but she felt justified in her actions.  I continued to glower at my parents all summer:  My mom for proliferating false conclusions and wrecking my life, and my dad for not stopping her or defending me (or Kim).  My friendship and camaraderie with both Kim and Mary was over–both of them abstained from talking to me the entire three months I worked at the veterinary hospital.  I had completely ruined what little I had with them, and it devastated me.  I abdicated Dayton and went back to college, hating my parents and Mary for treating Kim and me so unfairly after such a small indiscretion, and vowing never to live with my parents again.

Even now, I try to think back on that first black out experience, which engendered so much trouble, and I can’t remember specifics.  No matter how hard I try I can not generate memories of the details of that fateful night after I blacked out.  Sadly, I didn’t learn from the bad experience and I drank enough to reproduce that black out state many times after that.  This drinking to black out habit  was reprodcued on another night of questionable ethics and resultant trouble with Kim, but that happened much later.


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