I'm exactly halfway done with rehab!
Which meant that today, I was allowed to leave the unit and roam wine country like some yokle tourist in a Branson, MO t-shirt, wondering where the hell all the Chablis is.
My folks came up first, dutifully attending a class on "Families of Alcoholics." When I was a little girl and had to color pictures of what my life was like at 15, 20, 25, and 30, the "Beth at 30" picture did not include a drawing of my parents watching a passive-aggressive behavior video in a conference room with a bunch of other nervous looking families while I attended an AA meeting in a barn led by a man with a ponytail.
Had it, I might have been moved to special ed, but the heads up lo those years ago would have been greatly appreciated today.
After our respective meetings, mom and dad took me to lunch at Market, which was lovely, especially when the waitress when into great detail describing their special pomegranate martini. I'll admit, I was eyeing that gorgeous, fancy-ass bar; exactly the kind of bar who's $12 Gibsons got me into this mess in the first place. I wonder if there'll ever be a time where I can still be the mysterious woman writing in her journal at a bar, only drinking cranberry juice out of a martini glass? I fucking hope so, because seriously, that look suits me.
Anyway, we shopped around town (where I picked out some awesome shoes they didn't have in my size) until my folks dropped me off back at rehab and my friends picked me up. Alex and Mel had been the only other ones to see "the unit" so I gave them, Tara, Hastings and the Brians a tour, delighting in showing off my gorgeous, generous, fabulous friends. As Redneck pointed out to them, "I thought people from the city had better things to do."
I chickened out in showing them the 3rd Floor, which is the mental ward and quite frankly, a treat I'm saving myself if it ever gets really, really bad down here. Nothing cheers me up like a nut in a straight-jacket.
We invited my friend "Johnny" to join us. Johnny stays in the room next door to me, and if we feel like talking after lights out, we just knock on the wall and meet on our respective balconies. He's awesome and was just as happy as I was to blow this popsicle stand and wander the streets like regular people.
Johnny's interesting for many reasons, including the facts that he's from Texas and serves in the military, returning from Iraq a few months ago. However, what I enjoy most about him, and reveled in telling my friends as we all ate charcuterie together HERE, is that he cried at our Saturday night viewing of "Radio." While Johnny maintains that it takes three tears to constitute an official cry, and he merely shed one, I find this fact gloriously hilarious and quite frankly, these days I'm desperate for a giggle. I'll take that shit anywhere I can get it.
Radio, people. Radio.
We went to Dean and DeLuca, my favorite place on earth and I stocked up on bare necessities like wasabi covered peanuts while Johnny got 2 different kinds of hot sauce. "Yo Beth, they have wine here."
"Yeah, I know. And it's all fucking amazing wine."
"Shit, we could go anywhere right now."
"Yeah, like to a bar."
"Ugh, this sucks."
He's right. It sucks. It really goddamn sucks. It sucks so bad, my friends are trying to throw me into cross-addiction. Devine made me his awesome cookies, Hastings brought me a huge box from Citizen Cake, Alex even brought me Toblerone. You people can't fool me with these glorious treats! I'm tradin' this contraband for some mouthwash and vanilla extract.
My friends are amazing. They just let me wander, feeling a little bit normal again for 3 hours. Poor Hastings even sat on some ladylike couch and read Vogue while I shopped for handbags. I was so desperate to buy something, ANYthing, I actually considered purchasing a martini-drinking Santa holiday display. I guess I got to feel too normal because as our caravan headed back to rehab, I started to get scared.
"Let's make a break for it! Come on! It'll be like Thelma and Lousise."
Alas, no. It was more like that scene in Dead Man Walking where Matthew has to say goodbye to his family and Sister Helen.
Slowly, all 8 of us walked back in and kinda sat in my room staring at each other. I was shocked at how on the verge of tears I was, and it was definitely going to be more than three. Shit, shit, shit. I kept wanting to scream, "Don't let 'em take my boots!" I don't know why. I guess I'm just really into Dead Man Walking. Anyway, they all lined up to hug me goodbye, again, much like Dead Man Walking. After they left, I stood out on my balcony and dramatically waved farewell, wishing I had some hankie to twirl as I watched their tail lights head to civilization. But then there was a knock on my wall and was jolted back to my temporary reality.
"Hey, Beth. Can I get my hot sauce?"