I could not have predicted that I would marry Husband. I first met him at a party in a dilapidated garage when I was 18-years-old. I had a broken leg and a D.U.I and he was passed out next to the keg. He looked like an angel. And thus began our torrid, drunken love affair. When I look back at our 17-year courtship, it seems pretty obvious that Husband has made a huge mistake. He had every reason to believe that I would be a handful for the rest of our lives, yet he married me anyway. What an idiot.
I’ve always envisioned myself as being fiercely independent and capable. This is a farce. The reality is I’m an insatiable control freak who will relentlessly grip the wheel while barreling towards a fiery abyss. This is likely why blackout drinking has always appealed to me. It’s such a relief to have alcohol making all the decisions. I’ve often woken up and thought, “Huh…I didn’t realize I wanted to go to New Jersey to have sex with this intriguing coke dealer. Thank you alcohol. What a fun sabbatical.”
This type of Jekyll-and-Hyde behavior has been confusing for those around me. This is particularly true of Husband. He has repeatedly watched me declare my strategy, set off to make my mark and then patiently followed me as I straggled to the finish line — always falling short — and right when I throw my white flag in the air, he’s there to pick up the pieces.
Many years ago, when Husband was merely Boyfriend, I proclaimed that New Year’s Eve was for pussies and that I wasn’t having any of it. I was probably 20 around this time and feeling very mature. I was also very into Boyfriend and thought this would be a good time to impress his family during the holidays. His parents typically celebrated New Year’s with their neighbors and lifelong family friends. I reasoned that this would be the perfect time to ingratiate myself to Boyfriend’s family.
Sadly, I started having a few cocktails and inadvertently overshot the mark. I’m not sure what happened, but I got accidentally shitcanned real quick. It was later revealed to me that I was so drunk, Boyfriend’s father spent the evening attempting to strap me to a barstool with his belt so that I wouldn’t fall off, as I had previously been doing. In retrospect, it was a chivalrous move but apparently I was hammered and having none of it. I was screaming, “RELEASE ME! I AM NOT YOUR PRISONER! UNBELT ME! UNBELT ME, YOU ANIMAL!” Now I was blacked out during this exchange so who’s to say what really happened, am I right? But Boyfriend maintained that I was so inebriated I had to be taken home. Now we were literally across the street from Boyfriend’s house but he claims it took 20 minutes to walk me back because I was a) unable to move my legs effectively, b) demanding that he return me to the party, and c) simultaneously propositioning him for sex in the middle of the street.
I hadn’t even made it to midnight! I was mortified. This was not the delicate flower persona I was attempting to portray. Instead I came across as a drunken, sex-crazed lunatic. BUT IT WASN’T MY FAULT! Clearly someone had spiked my drink. In the morning, I assured everyone that that was not typical of my behavior but his parents were not buying it. More upsettingly, they pointed to Boyfriend’s birthday the year before. I hate when people hold a grudge.
Ugh…Boyfriend’s 21st birthday. To be fair, I was well-intentioned but as usual, I got my ass handed to me by the universe and have yet to be able to live it down. Here’s the thing. I had spent copious amounts of hours trying to create the perfect 21st birthday celebration for Boyfriend. I was 19 years old and wanted him to understand the kind of thoughtful, organized woman I would surely turn out to be. So I bought two very expensive tickets to the Cubs game and drove us to the city so that Boyfriend wouldn’t have to worry about drinking and driving. Now here’s the thing, I’m not a great designated driver. Come to think of it, I’m not a great driver. BUT I WAS DOING MY BEST! Was I of legal drinking age? Of course not. Is drinking and driving totally illegal despite one’s age? Absolutely. But I wasn’t going to let Boyfriend have all the fun after I had painstakingly planned the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! (i.e. bought some cubs tickets and a pint of Jack). Whatever. The point is I was an amazing girlfriend and the rest of you are jealous. Ugh…
I like to pride myself on finding joy in the little things in life. For instance, boyfriend and I had been dating for two years (I was about to turn 20) and one of us was FINALLY LEGAL DRINKING AGE!!! It was so exciting. Boyfriend was able to buy beers at the game and I LOVE BEER! So I had some. And it was great. Did I potentially have too many? Who’s to say?! I’M NOT THE BEER POLICE. I was enjoying a wonderful baseball game with the Love of My Life, sorry if I didn’t count all the beers I had! I probably had 5. Or 6. Definitely no more than 8. And some Jack Daniels. And a joint. Oh shut up. I HAVE A HIGH TOLERANCE, GET OFF MY BACK!
After the game, I got a little turned around on Lake Shore Drive and ended up in a parking lot near the lake. Now this didn’t strike me as an emergency but Boyfriend was furious. You know how men are… He was yelling and shouting and I could not focus because he was being so judge-y! I couldn’t figure out what he was complaining about and I had just dropped a cigarette in my lap so that was happening and he was still yelling and I’m thinking, “I PLANNED YOUR BIRTHDAY! IF ANYTHING YOU SHOULD BE THANKING ME! SURE, I GOT A LITTLE LOST BUT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FREAK OUT ABOUT IT! BE COOL BRO! I’VE GOT THIS!” I then threw the car into reverse, slammed on the gas, and furiously drove in the wrong direction over a set of tire spikes thereby popping and deflating the two tires on the right side of my car. Luckily, I had hopped a curb with the left side of my car so those two tires had been salvaged. YOU’RE WELCOME! Seriously though, what is the point of those spikes? Like why is everyone so dead set on me not driving backwards? I found the whole thing to be wildly unreasonable and viewed it as a small setback. Boyfriend, however, was outraged and trying to make some big point about how we had drugs on us and I was an underage drunk driver.
Boyfriend: You are so fucking stupid.
Me: Just relax. I’ve got this.
Boyfriend: You’ve got this?! You are inebriated beyond reason and just popped two of your tires.
Me: We both know I should never be in charge of driving places but it’s your birthday so I was trying to be nice.
Boyfriend: Nice?! You’re going to get us arrested!
Me: Well then maybe you shouldn’t have brought me so many beers at the game!
Boyfriend: Oh, so now I’m supposed to drink alone on my birthday?!
Me: OBVIOUSLY NOT!!! I WOULD NEVER DO THAT TO YOU! Wait…do you have any more of that Jack on you?
Boyfriend: NO! WE ARE STRANDED ON LAKE SHORE DRIVE, YOU ARE A DRUNKEN TEENAGER, I WOULD BET MY SWEET ASS YOU DON’T HAVE CAR INSURANCE AND NOW WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO CALL OUR PARENTS AND THEY’RE GOING TO THINK THAT I’M THE BAD INFLUENCE IN THIS SITUATION WHEN THE TRUTH IS YOU’RE AN IDIOT AND CAN’T HOLD YOUR LIQUOR!
Me: Take it back.
It was a low blow. It’s one thing to embarrass me on the side of the road but how dare you suggest I can’t hold my liquor. I was outraged. Eventually my parents came, took control of the situation and seemingly… it all worked out? Maybe. Who knows? Honestly, I can’t remember. But Husband brings this story up constantly. I feel he’s trying to admonish me but then I point out that he was dumb enough to marry me and that usually shuts him up. I mean honestly, what was he thinking?
To be fair, Husband hasn’t always been on his best behavior. Each time he brings up the birthday story, I remind him of a time he visited me after college. I was 22 at this point and living with three men… obviously. Boyfriend came to the city for a night on the town and we happened upon a local watering hole that was selling 40-ounce martinis. Honestly, I hate martinis but I love things sold in increments of 40-ounces so I was on board. As usual, I’m vague on the details. I remember ordering a drink and the rest is a blur. I came to, however, in the middle of the night when I heard Boyfriend rustling around my bedroom and I found it to be very irritating as I was attempting to sleep LIKE A PRINCESS!
I awoke to find him phantom pissing all over my bookshelf. For those of you who aren’t raging alcoholics, phantom pissing is when you’re deep in a blackout, but your body decides it’s time to pee. You then piss all over whatever is nearest you but deep within, your drunken synapses convince you that you’re in a bathroom. I always like to take the high road when Boyfriend is the one acting out. And when I say “high road” I mean that I like to berate him for his foolishness and point out that he probably has an out-of-control drinking problem.
Me: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
Boyfriend: Iiiaaammm gonnna peeee heeeerreee.
You will never know true love until you’ve been peed on by your boyfriend. True devotion and togetherness will only make sense once you find yourself trying to move your blacked out boyfriend’s large body while concurrently attempting to get him to stop pissing all over your belongings. And while you’re trying to get his pants up and you’re holding his dick in an attempt to cut off the urine stream, you will think, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
In retrospect, I suppose it was inevitable that we ended up together. Sure we’re both wildly immature, covered in track marks and dangerously close to dying if per chance we ever decide to pick up a drink again. But not many people can say, “My wife once almost killed me in a car accident, embarrassed me in front of my family and then I pissed all over her.” True love knows no bounds.