May. 9th, 2011

grrgoyl: (fightclub)
This weekend we went to our friends' wedding shower, Laura and Tyler. I really wasn't looking forward to it, and Tery even less so -- these parties are still a huge trigger for her, with everyone else drinking. I don't know why she can't have a good time without getting drunk, and we'll always butt heads on this. As a nondrinker, she tells me I'll simply never understand, no matter how often she inadequately tries to explain.

It was Hawaiian themed. We received the invitation, that looked vaguely tropical on the front, and said this on the back:


Contractions are tricky. Except no, they really aren't (are not)


I hoped it was the only Hawaiian-ish option available, making the error a necessary evil.

The party was held at Liana and Chris' (the vet and vet tech couple, respectively), but Kay, the maid of honor, had made it clear she didn't want this to be like their usual shindigs, i.e. raucous, drunken merriment lasting early into the morning. Chris somehow missed this memo and reportedly started drinking at 8 a.m.

By the time I got there he was already slurry, and eventually progressed to the drunkest I had ever seen him -- and over the course of 10+ years, I've seen this man drunk more than sober. I couldn't even look at him, it was so disgusting.

Chris is an exceedingly annoying drunk. He's very much an "I love you, man" drunk. He's a "Come dance/sing with me" drunk. (Oh boy, is he ever. He favors songs from the 60's and 70's, like Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," which has always made my skin crawl -- hearing it bellowed by a room full of drunk people has done nothing to endear it to me.)

Tery and I were in the kitchen having a lovely conversation with Liana when he stumbled in belting out Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair," (a song I previously didn't think could be belted out) completely drowning us out. We all tried to get him to leave us alone. "The grown-ups are talking here," I said crossly, because the nice thing when someone gets that drunk is you can say anything to them and they won't remember it (true dat: The first thing I asked when I arrived was if we could borrow their air mattress for my sister's visit. A mere three hours later when I mentioned it again he had absolutely no idea what I was talking about).

He was completely out of control. He was already blind stupid barely upright drunk, and just getting started. Near the end of the night he cornered me on my way into the kitchen where everyone else was, asking if everything was alright; he probably noticed how I couldn't even look at him, though I'm sure that wasn't as much from heightened perception as heightened sensitivity. I tried to change the subject to one of his favorites, movies. Here's how that conversation went:

Me: Have you seen any good movies lately?
Chris: (with immense sadness) No....
Me: Have you seen the most recent Harry Potter? (one of the few film choices we see eye-to-eye on)
Chris: (even sadder) I...can't...
Me: You can't?
Chris: I...CAN'T (pleadingly, seeming desperate for me to understand)
Me: I don't understand. Why can't you?
Chris: I CAN'T. But I can't tell you why.
Me: Okay, fine.
More similar to this. Then finally,
Chris: I can't...see...half a movie.
Me: OH. You want to see both halves at the same time?
Chris: Yesh.
Me: Then just wait for DVD. The first one is already out.
Chris: I...don't....wanna....
My patience was starting to get a little frayed by now
Me: I don't understand you. (He gives me a bizarre, secret little smile) And I don't think this conversation is as enjoyable for me as it is for you (Kay overheard me say this and I saw her chuckle)
After five more delightful minutes of dragging barely coherent responses from him, all slightly different variations on the above, I got this:
Chris: (openly weeping at this point) They're....MY BOOKS. Want movies MY WAY.

Which I think means he doesn't like the way the books are being filmed, although he's seen all the others without any complaint so I don't know why he's digging his heels in at this late date. Thankfully, he was embarrassed to cry in front of me (as well he should be; Jesus freaking Christ, we're talking about fucking Harry Potter here, pull yourself together man) and I was able to break free.

The party was over by 10:30 pm, unprecedented in their party history, but I think everyone was really put off by Chris' behavior (rightfully so). In fact, at the very end we were down to me and Tery, Laura and Tyler, and Chris and Liana. I had to pee like hell, but I imagined emerging from the bathroom to find everyone else gone and being the last one stuck there, and opted to hold it. Tery agreed that as soon as the first people started leaving, everyone else went into a panic and raced to follow them to avoid being the last ones left. It would be comical if not for the shadow of Chris' grossly inappropriate conduct.

(There was one funny incident earlier when I used the bathroom only to be confronted with an empty roll of toilet paper and no more to be found from my position on the throne. I opened the door and screamed for Chris, who dashed upstairs to get another (he was thankfully a little more together at that point).

A) Who does that? Finishes the roll in the middle of a party and just walks away without a second thought? A man, seemed to be the consensus among other partygoers. Or a very drunk person. Which I guess makes Chris my prime suspect.

B) Tabby was in the kitchen at the time. When I angrily related my story later, she said, "Oh, that was you? I heard you yell. I would have helped you." I laughed and said, "You don't know where they keep toilet paper. What would you have done, run to the store?" She said, "Sure! 'Don't move! I'll be back in 30 minutes!' But I would have totally done it for you," she finished as she flashed me a gang sign.)

Tery and I talked about Chris at great length later that night. She knew exactly what was going on with him. She said it was his way of refusing to change (or, more accurately, grow up); and when no one was partying with him, he got frustrated and belligerent and in people's faces (in fact, punched Tyler the bridegroom in the solar plexus for no reason, hard enough to necessitate an apology). He hated not being the center of attention, so like a child became louder and more obnoxious to try to get the spotlight back.

She had a long talk with him at one point. He's been grieving after losing Tery, who was probably his biggest drinking buddy. She explained she was in a different place now, and going back was absolutely not an option so he was going to have to catch up. Which he won't. He's a life sentence, organ failure kind of drunk.

I asked where the fun was in getting so utterly blitzed that he won't even remember anything the next day. What's the point of having a party at all if you aren't interested in any kind of meaningful interaction with your friends? (and let's keep in mind how intensely antisocial I am, oh irony.) She explained that, to an alcoholic, that seems like fun. That he doesn't know how to be with people without being in an altered state of consciousness. That he thinks he doesn't have enough to offer anybody sober.

And finally I understood, as well as I'm ever going to. And I think that's one of the saddest things I've heard in my entire life. Way sadder than "Your invited."

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grrgoyl

December 2011

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