Monthly Archives: December 2012

Day 152: Late Nights and Visions of Vodka

KetelOneIt’s interesting how your relationship with alcohol evolves as you age. In college, I was a student athlete by day and a wild socialite by night. Vodka was my poison of choice. Back then, we all drank the cheap stuff. No-name brand liquor packaged in flimsy plastic bottles didn’t make us so much as bat an eye. My consumption wasn’t excessive, but with a party-filled schedule, the drinks flowed freely.

As I progressed to post-college life, my nights of partying dwindled dramatically. My focus was now centered on a budding corporate career and a renewed passion for health and fitness. Don’t get me wrong; I still went out on the town now and then and enjoyed an array of cocktails. The difference was that alcohol no longer defined what it meant to have fun. Admittedly, some of my best memories with N involve loose lips, warm bodies and an overindulgence of liquor. But even then, it was the company that made those nights remarkable, not the Ketle sodas.

A group of old college friends arranged a girl’s night out in Hollywood last weekend. We set up camp at a popular nightclub famous for its guest DJs and celebrity sightings. Knowing that I wanted to return home safely to N, I made a conscious decision not to drink that evening. I reconnected with friends, danced the night away and had an amazing time – all without the aid of alcohol. Each time I politely declined a drink offer, I felt infinitely more secure and happy with my pledge of sobriety. When the club closed, my inebriated friends stumbled out, entertaining slurred conversations with questionable men as I returned to N’s warm bed.

While that was an empowering evening, it didn’t make me suddenly turn a corner and want to abstain from drinking altogether. I still enjoy a stiff cocktail at the bar and my weekend dinners wouldn’t be complete without an accompanying glass of wine. But what that experience did reveal was that I’ve grown a great deal since I graduated from college. I’m not the same naive young girl whose small world revolved around late night club hopping and endless bottle service. I realized that during the last four years, my priorities have shifted and I’ve truly come into adulthood. Now that’s something I’ll toast to.

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Day 150: Bruce Willis and New Traditions

die-hard-movie-title“Babe, we have to watch it now before you leave town for Christmas,” N said with an endearing sense of urgency in his voice.

The “it” he was referring to was the 1988 movie Die Hard, one of his all-time favorite action flicks. I had never seen the film and N insisted that my holiday experience wouldn’t be complete without it.

“Okay, put it on,” I agreed. “So, is watching Die Hard before Christmas going to be another one of our traditions?”

N simply smiled and nodded as he pressed play.

Over the past year of dating, N and I have established our own traditions, large and small. We have pledged to attend an outdoor concert every summer at the Hollywood Bowl. Whenever I give N a gift, I always attach three clues to the present so he can attempt to guess what it is before the big reveal. Our weekend mornings wouldn’t be complete without our usual trip to the local coffee shop where the barista knows our drink order by heart. The list goes on. And now, we were about to embark on another tradition involving a young, shoeless Bruce Willis.

The movie was full of firepower and memorable one-liners. The holiday theme was great too, from the office party setting to the soundtrack that riffed off of classic Christmas tunes. To add to the fun, N knew nearly every line in the film, reciting the dialogue like he was talking to an old friend. I enjoyed watching Die Hard for the first time, but even more meaningful was the fact that N and I established a new tradition that will continue generating memories. Forming your own traditions in a relationship is important. I just never thought that ours would include a fast-talking limo driver and Germans with bad accents – and even worse hair.

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Day 148: Extra Errands and a Dose of Humility

trafficFriday rush hour traffic in Los Angels is no joke. Yet there I was after a long day of work, sitting idly bumper to bumper in a sea of cars. I reached N’s city exhausted and wanting nothing more than to exit the vechicle that had held me hostage for over an hour. My saving grace was the fact that I managed to land a prime parking spot directly in front of N’s apartment. Most residents park along the street and depending on the time of day, you may be forced to circle the area for ten minutes or more just to find a space. Sometimes it’s impossible and you have to pay and park blocks away at the meters. After already battling traffic, I was thrilled with this small victory.

Then the phone call came.

N, still en route home, asked me to pick up dessert for a dinner party we were attending that evening. Now? He wanted me to get back in the car right now? Why couldn’t he just pick up dessert on his way home? Why couldn’t we get it together on the drive to dinner? I was tired and didn’t want to forfeit the parking spot that I had secured mere seconds ago. To make matters worse, it was raining and the streets were still heavily congested. I begged. I pleaded. I wined. But N wasn’t having it. Normally, purchasing sweet treats would be a joyous occassion, but I returned to my car only feeling irritated. I drove and parked again then muttered to myself as I walked three blocks in the rain to the cupcake shop.

I knew N would already be home by the time I arrived. I enviously imagined him sprawled on the couch while I served as the sacrificial errand girl. This thought festered as I drove back in my damp, rain-spattered jacket. Rounding the corner to N’s block, I noticed something odd. His car was parked in front of his house, engine running. What was he doing? As I neared, he pulled out of the spot and motioned for me to take it. At that moment, I realized he had been saving this parking space. For me. How long he had been waiting there for my return, I didn’t know. I quietly accepted his spot as he ventured out in search of a new one. Sometimes it takes a massive, life-changing event to rightfully humble you. And sometimes, all it takes is a saved parking space.

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