I am sure it is true the world over, but certainly in the UK growing up it is a rite of passage that somewhere around the age of 13 or 14 you must get drunk in a local park. The requirements for the success of this night are pretty simple and amount to nothing more than sitting on a rickety old bench in the freezing cold, swigging from a mammoth sized plastic bottle of cheap cider – acquired from someone who looks close enough to have
fake valid ID – puffing on a packet of lung bleeding cigarettes, and just generally acting like roooolly cool and like you are having the BEST.NIGHT.EVER. Of course this is despite the fact that the cider makes you dizzy and gag each time it is your ‘turn’ to swig, and the cigarettes just hurt your throat and make you want to cough your guts up.
Whilst there is no doubt that I most definitely partook in such activities in my teens, I have to confess that actually it was more a case of going along for the ride than anything else. I never really drunk much of the cider, just held it up to my lips and then kind of acted a bit giddy after to fool fellow drinkers that I was like totally pissed man, and I also never really inhaled the smoke, just held it in my mouth and then blew it out again.
No, for me the first time I got actually, properly, officially, ‘I can’t walk 2 steps without falling over’ drunk was with a boyfriend of mine of the time and on a night when, randomly, we decided that making ourselves a gazillion vodka and orange drinks from his parents’ drinks cabinet would be a really great idea. After all we were the grand old age of 16 and 17 and, therefore, had a LOT of stresses in our lives that we just needed to drink our way out of.
Naturally, portion control was not really in our vocabulary back then and, given that the orange flavour did well in disguising the triple shots of vodka the more you drank, it wasn’t long before we had worked our way rather impressively through a whole bottle of vodka. The majority of which I am damn sure, even to this day, that I consumed.
If I am honest, I don’t have much recollection of what happened after this other than 2 very definite things which, perhaps because they were parentally linked, I do seem to have ingrained in my memory. Those were a) the 15 minute drive home with my Dad in the car from said boyfriend’s house, during which time I spent the entire journey ‘convincing’ him that I hadn’t been drinking as I could quite clearly read the license plate of EVERY.SINGLE.CAR on the way home (all without even being asked of course), and b) on my arrival home, my Mum demanding to know WHAT I had been drinking, to which I responded insistently that I had only had Coca coca coca cola whilst simultaneously walking a wonky line and bouncing off the walls and furniture around the living room in an attempt to prove I was stone cold sober.
Needless to say I was promptly escorted to bed with the accompaniment of a bucket for the impending sick, as well as a good flea in the ear for my actions. As for my boyfriend, well, he arrived the next day with a head hung full of shame (as well as no doubt hammers), and a box of chocolates tucked under his arm alongside the promise to my parents that he would never let me drink EVER AGAIN whilst in his care!
This post has been written in conjunction with Kerri Sackville’s #My First Challenge