Yes, that's what I'm doing.
I miss the martinis. I think they miss me too. I hate to think of them out there, all icy and dirty olive-y and lonely without me. It's not like I haven't been to a bar since I stopped drinking a year or so ago. I've been to plenty of events and soirees for work and friends. I just haven't been out for "happy hour" by choice. What exactly is a happy hour without the cocktail anyway? What's going to make ME happy if I don't have an icy cold vodka martini or four? I aim to find out.
My goal: Three happy hours in three days. Can I do it?
One down. I went to J. Paulz on James Island to join my friend MK out on the deck for some happy hour merriment. It wasn't hard because it's a laid back kind of place and she wasn't drinking either (not that I mind; it only bothers me when I'm in a roomful of people who are so trashed they're yelling out requests for "SKYNYRD!" when there's no live band). Nice day, nice breeze, nice patio.
I didn't stop drinking because I had a problem or because I couldn't control it. I stopped drinking for health reasons and I feel about a million times better having gone for a year-plus without a single hangover. Not to mention the many lbs. gone, gone, gone. But alcohol is a social lubricant. People get chatty. It loosens us up. We're entertaining. We talk to strangers easily. We bond. Without it, I feel incredibly awkward and out of my element, like I'm 13 years old and I just know everyone hates me.
I make conversation. I eat lovely sushi. I drink my water. I even smoke a cigarette because I've been chewing nicotine gum all day and I'm on a patio and I want one because everyone else has one and I can't have a f*cking martini, so...
The verdict? I feel stupid and contagious. Next.