I don't really go in for Old Blue Eyes' music in a big way but I always agreed with what Frank Sinatra had to say about alcohol:
"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
Which is why it hurt so much to give up drinking this week.
Now, to clarify, and before you all have a collective heart attack, I mean I have given up drinking For This Week, as opposed to choosing this week to give it up altogether.
The idea seemed like a good one last weekend when I was hungover as all buggery, praying for death on the couch. It seemed stupid as hell seven hours later as I made small talk over a glass of diet coke at an engagement party and wondered what the frick one talked about at these things when one was drunk.
The reaction from friends, when I tell them about this one-week plan, has been polarised. The non-drinkers, the light drinkers and the binge drinkers look perplexed. "Just for the week?" is pretty much the normal response.
The heavy drinkers or the routine drinkers, like myself, look alternately impressed or sympathetic.
"Are you really bored?" one of them asked me. I didn't tell her the truth.
Now, six days in I'm surprised how easy it's been. I thought I would want to gnaw my own face off but, truthfully, I haven't missed that first glass of the night all that much. I have missed a warm red on the couch when it's raining outside, and I greatly resented sipping water at a friend's birthday dinner, but it's been much less painless than I would have expected.
"So maybe you could give it up for a month and do Dry July?" someone suggested to me, "given it's so painless."
Au Contraire. Because half of the reason I wanted to give up booze for a week was to prove that I could, both to myself and others, who worry occasionally about such things. Though I didn't say so at the time, I was scared I might find it too hard, might even be tempted to crack and scoff half a bottle in front of the Tour de France.
Seeing how easy it's been has, contrarily, made it that much easier to continue to imbibe. If it's so relatively painless to give up, how can it be so wrong to NOT give it up? The logic, dear friends, is flawless.
The drought ends tomorrow and I am, I must concede, looking forward to a reunion with my old friend.