Monday, March 19, 2007

Sunday Top Ten: Reasons to Drink Before Sunset

My favorite part of St. Patrick's day are the grown women wearing little sparkly stickers on their temples. Other than that, the whole she-bang just seems like an excuse to drink earlier in the day? Unless you're Irish. Then it's like, Irish-Jesus was born or something, right? I don't know. I'm not big into Jesus either (but I do drink a little! holla Dolores!). On St. Patty's '03, a guy brought a beer to our Hebrew class at U of M. Our teacher let him have it because I mean, he brought a beer to Hebrew class. That's pretty fucking awesome.

As you may recall from one of the other 500 blog posts where I talk extensively about myself and how fascinating I am, I do not like to drink before sunset.

This rule addresses two basic concerns: 1. The brief, glorious, appearance of virtue (when the truth is I just don't want to fall asleep at 3 p.m.), 2. My two personalities, Daytime Riese and Night-time Riese. Daytime Riese goes to the gym, drinks coffee, eats healthy snacks, answers e-mails promptly and goes to things on time. Nighttime Riese is usually either drunk or complaining or having a heart attack or both. But I realize that many people have more harmonious senses of self. These people drink before sunset, and there's lots of reasons to.


span style="font-style: italic;">(photo: myself and a small selection of my peers from the olive garden, 2001) The first floor of the OG is called the 'cafe,' and because our 4 obese managers couldn't be hovering in the cafe all night when the real action was in the 350-seat upstairs dining room, they installed a security camera to spy on us. We knew it's purview to the inch, and thus the bartenders could make fruity gross drinks in to-go cups and set them out of sight for us to pick up and take to the kitchen to chug. The reason for drinking was simple: working at the Olive Garden is not all Hospitaliano. It is also a lot of Zuppa Toscana refills and insufferable hungry fat human eating machines demanding more bread and then more bread. Also drinking increased the quality of my number-one skill as a waitress, which was seducing the waiters.

9. KEGS AND EGGS In my former life as a frat rat, I was mystified by my then-boyfriend's glee for his frat's annual "Kegs n' Eggs" event, which the boys celebrated on the last day of rush week by eating breakfast and drinking beer at Theo's at 6 A.M. I believe this was related to some sort of inter-fraternity sporting event, though the majority of my boyfriend's "brothers" were at least 20 pounds overweight and didn't fare well at Sport. Another fun part of rush week was when they locked the pledges in the attic and made them listen to Enigma for 14 hours. My then-boyf believed all these events made him a better man. These are just a few small examples of differences between me and my ex.

(photo: Sarah and I in NYC, full of purposeful but misdirected energies, 2000) In 2000 I was living in Manhattan with Ryan and Sarah, having my mid-life crisis, and quickly Sarah and I discovered that most places in Manhattan would serve us alcohol despite our tender young age of 18 (also we are tall, blonde, and used a lot of big words (we were really high on intellectual superiority then), which probably helped). We were very uncertain about ourselves/our lives, so when the server at Ernie's asked if we wanted champagne to celebrate "something," we were like, yeah, bring it on, it's noon, whatevs. As servers, we knew how good a mid-day alcohol sale would look to our server's manager, which made us feel charitable for a second of our grotesquely self-centered lives. We toasted to the future, or something equally uncertain and eventually wholly unworthy of a toast. Then we went home and I fell asleep on the couch until Ryan came home and roused me for our friends b-day party at the Roxy. We had a yummy Morroccan dinner and I got drunk again, then at the Roxy, Ryan and I fell asleep on a big red couch. Then we squabbled in regards to my non-desire to get another drink. Ryan went drinking alone. When he got back, he jumped on the bottom bunk of our bunk bed and we cuddled and watched people across the street living their purposeful lives (lying in bed and watching ppl across the street was one of our top activities) and Ryan told me how much he loved me and that he wanted to help me get better because I was sick. Then we slept in the bottom bunk together and felt like we were 16 again, before champagne lunches and birthday parties in fancy clubs and having to figure out what we were doing with our lives and stuff.

7. THE FOURTH OF JULY Another one of my favorite holidays, and by that I mean NOT AT ALL (it combines many of my least-favored things: eating outdoors, excessive heat, mid-day bottled beer, patriotism, loud explosions, glee). Once I had a beer on the 4th of July circa noon and fell asleep in the sunshine while the boys played beach volleyball. It was Natty Light.

My half-grandmother in Australia knows how to do it up right: she devoted the bulk of her wedding budget to quality booze. I was 17; my Mom'd been freaking out all week about my international status as old-enough-to-drink. I wasn't really "eating food" so often that summer, therefore a few glasses transformed me into liquid air. All bubbles, no flesh. In photos, my flushed bug-eyed face has the structure of a skull-and-crossbones. We returned to our flat, I slept all day, woke up and went to the reception and had more champagne. It remains the best champagne I've ever had. They remain married. Coincidence? Doubtful.

When I first moved to Sparlem and was entrenched in mountains of debt, I took a craigslist job filing for a doughy insurance salesman in Queens. His mother had just died of cancer and he had to go through all of her paperwork and thought it'd be easier if he had a pretty girl doing it for him. Obviously this job had "sketchy as hell" written all over it, but I couldn't afford to be picky. Somewhere between 115th and Queens, I got really nervous, went into a liquor store, bought a fifth of vodka, dashed to Barnes and Noble and downed half of it in the handicapped stall (then mixed the remainder to my juice bottle). I left feeling significantly handicapped. He wanted me to wear a really tacky dress. I would have been happier in something more revealing but less White Trash. He had a photo of G.W.Bush on his fridge. It was awful. His cheeks were so fat they swallowed his sad lonely beady-eyes but the vodka helped. It wore off before our alloted three hours ended. He bought me a Metrocard for the month, but I never went back. He scared me, I felt sorry for him, life seemed terribly unfair.

(photo: Lewis and I at a celebration)

My father's side is not Jewish, so we go there for Christmas. When we were children, my cousins and I liked to dress up as Pilgrims or pop stars and put on performances. We also made paper dolls, forts and snowmen. Now, we drink. Once my Grandpa had a margarita and then passed out on the floor by the couch. That's how I feel sometimes too.

Right? Esp. if vay-cay involves an open bar private party in Rosie O's vista on the private level of an Alaskan-bound cruise ship. Or large fruity drinks in bright pink and yellow colored souvenir cups at the Flamenco. Or like, just really anywhere but home.

The sun doesn't set til like, midnight, right? Also I love margaritas, and there are lots of summer events that inspire a little visit to the bottle, like going to work, baseball games, picnics and long walks down the beach.

(photo: Vater and I, drunkity-drunk-drunk)
I penned this masterpiece for Vater on the occasion of her departure from the agency, which means we never got to play it together. However, if we had, it would have been about 4:30, and we would've been very very drunk. That would've been far before sunset, except in the very worst part of winter. We're on the out-side of that now, btw, like things should be getting much sunnier very soon. Like, exploding into bright bright sunshine.


haviland said...

this should really be, when ISN'T a good time to get effed up in the middle of the day? I mean, rieeght? Clearly this is how I roll.

riese said...

haviland, put down the beer and step away from the fifth of Makers Mark. You can't spend your whole life passed out on the floor, you have a world about to wait (?) when tomorrow comes (?)

nyradical said...

You guys crack me up. It's 6:31 and dusk, and I've not started drinking. Go team. Think I'll be dry for the next week, cause my body's one giant hangover--not acceptable. Also--was I smashed when I agreed to the gay cruise? To the Bermuda Triangle? With a gazillion lesbians? Stultifera navis dude; cheers. P.S. I must read this again when I'm well-rested and seeing straight.

natalie said...

i'd like to comment on number 7---4th of july...but not so much on the drinking part, but rather the eating outside part. i think marie and i fell in love over our mutual hatred of eating outside in the heat, or in the sun, or really in any weather.

also in the UK people drink all the time--during the day, at lunch, at the office, after the office, on the tube, on the bus, on the corner, at night, at dawn. i have never seen anything like it (they clearly don't understand liquid calories!). the brits would really appreciate this entry, little miss.

i looooove you.

ps. hi haviland!

abbie said...

When I was on spring break in the bahamas my senior year the question was more like "why aren't we drinking all the time?" I guess b/c we were trying to be hardcore. That definitely falls into the 18 and being served category with the sub-category "being out of the country." I love how you have Daytime and nightime Riese, although the thrill of drinking during my lunch break always temps me. Thanks for the post, I was literally falling asleep at work.

riese said...

Yes, to address all of these recent comments (re: Bermuda triangle, spring break, eating outdoors), there is nothing that scares me more than the idea of sitting on a beach in the sweltering sun, being both drunk and drinking, which is probably why I never went on spring break. I got scared. Though it always sounded like fun. From other people. Hm. Just thinking. You know, about all that...sweat. what am i talking about?

nata, can't wait til you arrive and we can drink indoors all night long! nymag this week talks about you drunk british peoples. check it.

natalie said...

i think i would like to become an alcoholic. marie, want to join? eerrr. wait. are we there already?
ps. i will check out the article
pps. i can not wait to see you either! and drink.