Holidays Equal Parties, Food, Flowing Alcohol …

If you are like me, then your social calendar from Thanksgiving until New Year’s is quite full. From office parties to friend get–togethers, client socials to celebrations reuniting with friends traveling home for a few days, one word sums up life over the course of five festive weeks: excess. 
Taking in calories left and right, nibbling on food you normally wouldn’t dare eat countless nights in a row, buffeting your ass off (or on, rather), dancing a fool on more occasions than usual and taking full advantage of free alcohol … we tend to go way overboard delving into the wonderful goodies and events associated with this time of year.
True story. One year, a girl I know had a very fun, libation-filled company holiday party. Wine, liquor, food, fun… and even a cocktail dress fit for the occasion.
She and her office cohorts were decking those halls—and getting quite decked altogether! Though this girl should’ve taken her tipsy jingle bells home once the party ended, she unfortunately had impaired judgment (six glasses of Cabernet) and a strong will to text a guy that had ended it with her a few months before but was still in contact with her from time to time (and open to hanging out casually.)
After a few texts and a confirmation to come on over, this girl was on her way to see “Mr. You Will Regret This Later,” wine mouth and all.
With her four-inch high heels and her thought process assuring her she was looking hot, feeling confident and totally in control—she made the drive (a huge mistake in her condition, by the way) to his place. She arrived at his house, and he offered her a drink as they caught up. Mistakes counting up, she accepted. She was actually nervous and jabbering, so she finished that one quickly and had another. The result?
She recalls only a few details for the next few hours. She apparently rattled on about how much he’d hurt her, asked a billion annoying questions of why it ended and recounted how many guys she’d dated that weren’t anything compared to him (which was trying to make him jealous and be a compliment all at once.)
She then managed to begin making out with him, despite her less-than-subtle comments, but then… reality snapped, and in an excess-alcohol-induced moment of clarity it hit her—she was at HIS house! Why? What was she thinking? Why was she here? He didn’t even want her! 
She realized she had to bolt—and fast. What she forgot in her inhibited state is that leaving quickly in four-inch heels on a sloped concrete sidewalk is a bit unlikely. As she clumsily took her walk of shame down his front steps, her footing fell out from beneath her. She, and her cocktail dress, took a hard fall smack dab onto his sidewalk. Her knee wasn’t a little cut, it was busted open. Sprawled out like a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night folks.
As “Mr. You Will Regret This Later” slowly became “Mr. I Am Annoyed at This Disgustingly Drunk Ass and Wish She Would Disappear,” this girl realized she was about to make matters worse. Not only had she gotten way out of line, said way too much and fallen (nay, busted her ass) in front of a guy who was literally the last person she’d wanted to do all the aforementioned in front of, she realized she could not drive. She could not leave! She was out in the suburbs and far from home… and she would have to crash on his couch. Thank you, excess.
Picking her busted knee and her aching head up at 6 a.m. and letting herself out the door, she knew not only had the holiday access gotten the best of her, but she would forever be remembered as “that drunken girl that said way too much and busted her knee open in a cocktail dress.” Not the present she’d wanted to be under anyone’s tree, especially his.
My point here is that with the holidays upon us, you (and I) will have more chances to either control the excess, make good decisions, not drink and drive, not drink and text/call/Facebook and not make complete reindeer asses of ourselves. Or we can try, anyway.
By the way, that girl in four-inch heels? Yes, yours truly. My ghost of Christmas past is your gift this 2010 holiday season, and I hope you treasure it as much as I, on the other hand, regret it … 
Happy Holidays fellow Birmingham singles!•

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